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Chance the Rapper rings in holiday season with night at Field Museum

Chance The Rapper speaks at SocialWorks’ holiday event, “A Night at The Museum,” at the Field Museum in December. | Max Herman/For the Sun-Times

Chance the Rapper brought some Christmas cheer to Chicago’s underprivileged kids on Wednesday night with a holiday social at the Field Museum.

The Grammy-winning hip-hop superstar hosted a “Night at the Museum” benefiting his youth charity group SocialWorks and collecting donations for the homeless.

Chance, a vocal supporter of Chicago Public Schools and regular critic of city officials, spoke to the crowd for only a few minutes toward the end of the event. But his path among the various activities set up across the museum was trailed throughout the night by hordes of breathless teens hoping to snag pictures on their cellphones.

“Being a city that has one of the worst and coldest winters in America, I think it’s important that we take some time to appreciate, and work with, and work for the homeless population in Chicago,” he told nearly 6,000 guests who filled the Field Museum’s main hall.

“It’s honestly way too many people here right now,” he joked.

Clockwise from top left: Antoine Joseph, Priscilla Joseph, A.J. Joseph and Ashley Joseph. | Mitchell Armentrout/Sun-Times

For a $15 ticket, guests were treated to holiday displays, musical performances and snacks. Families in need were also invited at no cost, and kids were sent home with one of 4,000 backpacks filled with toys, crayons and other donated goodies.

Most proceeds — including a $25,000 donation from Luster Products — were going to Chicago Public Schools, organizers said.

Priscilla Joseph and her family — husband Antoine, daughter Ashley and son A.J. — trekked downtown from Austin after hearing about the event on Facebook.

“In our neighborhood, we don’t get the opportunity to come to the Field Museum any night and take part in a big event like this,” Joseph said.

“With Chance, it’s not just about the music,” she said. “It’s about supporting the community and giving people that opportunity.”

Thousands gather at the Field Museum for Chance The Rapper and SocialWork’s holiday event, “A Night at The Museum,” on Wednesday. | Max Herman/For the Sun-Times