Obama Foundation Annual Report 2018


The Forum

The Forum will serve as a place to welcome the local community—a commons designed to bring people together. Largely built into the landscape of Jackson Park, the Forum will house numerous collaborative and creative spaces, including an auditorium, a broadcast and recording studio, flexible learning and meeting spaces, and a restaurant.

The Forum will also provide plenty of spaces for people to relax, eat, do their homework, or play a game of chess. The Forum is designed to serve as a hub for our neighbors, so these spaces will mostly be free and open to the public.


Inspired by the amazing concerts, performances, and celebrations in the East Room during the Obama Presidency, the 300-seat auditorium will host a variety of public events and screenings. We plan to bring in performing artists and speakers whose work complements the themes of community engagement or whose presence affords neighbors on the South Side a chance to see renowned acts.

The auditorium won’t just be used for special events, however. It will also be a place for community events, and when not in active use, will screen selected content and be open for visitors to enjoy.

Broadcast and Recording Studio

From blues to jazz, hip hop to house, Chicago has always had its own sound. We’re building a recording studio that hits all the right notes, from workshops and master classes in audio production to the opportunity for anyone to lay down a track. For those practicing their flow or starting a podcast, our recording studio will be a place for our neighbors to share their voices.

We’ll also have a broadcast studio for budding influencers who want to get some experience either behind or in front of the camera.

Flexible learning and meeting spaces

The Forum will also have six flexible programming rooms for a wide variety of public programming. Each room can accommodate groups of varying sizes and needs for meetings and workshops, orientation sessions for Museum tours, or club meetings and after school programs.


In addition to its sound, Chicago definitely has its own flavor. Our restaurant will be the main dining space for visitors, with outdoor seating available during the warmer seasons. The restaurant will also offer catering service to support meetings, gatherings, and special events at the Center.

All renderings featured in the report are under development and are
subject to change as the design process progresses.

Obama Presidential Center: The Museum Obama Presidential Center: Library And Park