New facility groundbreaking events for RIC

From Groundbreaking to Ribbon Cutting

Since 2013, agencyEA has partnered with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to launch the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, a facility that improves patient outcomes by uniting clinicians, scientists, technologists and researchers.


Designed and produced a 560-person groundbreaking event at the new building’s site, complete with remarks from public officials, entertainment and equipment demos to commemorate the new $550 million, 1.2 million-square-foot facility in 2013.

Managed logistics, guest flow, and volunteers for guided hospital tours that previewed select units, showcased equipment and offered insight into the facility’s purpose.

Executed rendering of event footprint

Produced a unique, celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony, which introduced the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to more than 350 prominent stakeholders including donors, board members, religious and political dignitaries, and community members.

Refreshed the traditional ribbon cutting moment with the cutting and retying of a two-sided ribbon to represent the joining of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and Pathways.

Involved guests in the culminating moment by inviting them to tie ribbons — covered with handwritten messages from RIC staff, patients and their families — to a wall structure adjacent to the stage.

“Both the groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremonies were very important moments for us. Having EA’s support allowed RIC to step out in bigger and bolder ways than ever before. Many families rest their trust on our shoulders and for these significant events, it was so special to have EA help lift that responsibility. Their creativity is unprecedented — and they are kind, smart and a fun team, we trust them through and through as a partner on our events.”

President and Chief Executive Officer
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab