Anticipation builds ahead of first Obama Foundation Summit

The first Barack Obama Foundation Summit gets started Tuesday and people from all around the world will be descending on Chicago.

The two-day event event seeks to inspire and empower attendees to create change in their communities. The National took the stage at the House of Vans about 6:30 p.m. with a line of people snaking around the block to see them ahead of their performance at the Obama Summit.

It marked a special occasion for the band, who put their European tour on hold to perform here.

The performance serves as a warm up just two days ahead of the first Barack Obama Foundation Summit, where they will perform with Chance the Rapper and Gloria Estefan on its final day, the culmination of two days of getting 500 civic leaders from around the world to talk with youth about how to change their communities.
“They're going to work together, be inspired, and hopefully, learn lessons that will allow them to be better community leaders back home,” said Mike Strautmanis, vice president of civic engagement at the Obama Foundation.

There will be five main stages with topics to include motivating young people on how to become civically engaged, including separate sessions, one of them hosted by England's Prince Harry.

“The president and Mrs. Obama will have conversations with the Summit attendees. They're also going to go into breakout sessions and learn lessons like how do you lead online, how do we have conversations with people who have differences,” Strautmanis said.

The summit runs Tuesday and Wednesday at the Marriott Marquis Hotel at McCormick Place.

The concert will also be streamed online.