November 15, 2017

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Announces 2018 Program Dates

New 2018 initiatives include the “Year of Creative Youth” and a Creative Youth Festival in Millennium Park; events celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2018 include Kids and Kites Festival, Blues Festival, Air and Water Show, Jazz Festival, World Music Festival and Christmas Tree

Christine Carrino    christine.carrino@cityofchicago.org, 312.744.0573

Mary May, mary.may@cityofchicago.org, 312.744.0576;    Jamey Lundblad, jamey.lundblad@cityofchicago.org, 312.744.2493

 

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is pleased to announce the 2018 dates of its marquee festivals, events and exhibitions (highlights only, subject to change). Throughout the year, many programs will highlight the emerging talent of young artists – and the organizations that support them – as part of the “Year of Creative Youth” designated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. A new Creative Youth Festival will showcase the creativity and talent of young artists in dance, theatre, music, spoken word, the visual arts and more in a full day of programs at Millennium Park.

Admission to all events is FREE. For information and updates, visit cityofchicago.org/dcase, like us on Facebook (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events) and follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@ChicagoDCASE)

 

Note To Media: Media requesting credentials to cover our music festivals, Millennium Park summer music series, the Chicago Air and Water Show and Taste of Chicago must submit requests in advance, no later than two weeks prior to the event. Please visit the press room at cityofchicago.org/dcase to select the festival you wish to cover.

 

New 2018 Initiatives

Year of Creative Youth

January–December 2018

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events have designated 2018 as the “Year of Creative Youth.” The $2 million investment by the City of Chicago will include a Creative Youth Festival across the Millennium Park Campus, performance opportunities for teens at city festivals and partner events, cultural grants and convenings for youth arts organizations and a marketing campaign among other events.

Citywide

 

Creative Youth Festival

September 22, 2018

As part of the “Year of Creative Youth,” Chicago's first Creative Youth Festival will showcase youth artists in dance, theatre, music, spoken word, the visual arts and more. Through performances and activities, all ages will discover and celebrate the creativity and talent of emerging local artists – and those helping to inspire and unlock every child's creative potential.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Lakefront Festivals and Special Events

20th Annual Chicago Kids and Kites Festival

May 5, 2018

Up, up and away. Kids of all ages will get swept up by this timeless spring tradition. Free kite kits are provided for children to build, decorate and fly (while supplies last) along with other family activities such as professional kite flying demonstrations, face painting, balloon artists and the Big Kite Candy Drop (weather permitting).

Cricket Hill in Lincoln Park (Lake Shore Dr. and Montrose Dr.)

 

Chicago Memorial Day Parade

May 26, 2018

The City of Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade honors all men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country.

State St. from Lake St. to Van Buren St.

 

3rd Annual Chicago House Music Festival

May 26, 2018

DJs and live performances showcase the various sounds and styles of house music, the musical form born in Chicago that has gone on to revolutionize dance music internationally. 

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

33rd Chicago Gospel Music Festival

June 1–2, 2018

Celebrating the great influence of the music genre born in this city 80 years ago, the Chicago Gospel Music Festival features local and national artists from traditional choirs to contemporary urban styles at the largest free, outdoor gospel music festival of its kind.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) and Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

 

35th Annual Chicago Blues Festival

June 8–10, 2018

With a diverse lineup celebrating the Chicago Blues’ past, present and future, the Chicago Blues Festival features the live music performances of over 100 national, international and local artists celebrating the city’s rich Blues tradition while shining a spotlight on the genre’s contributions to soul, R&B, gospel, rock hip-hop, rap and more.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Millennium Park Summer Music & Film Series

June–August, 2018

Grab a seat in the pavilion or bring a picnic for the Great Lawn and enjoy the free outdoor movies and concerts at Chicago’s architectural gem, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

Millennium Park, Jay Pritzker Pavilion (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

22nd Annual Chicago SummerDance

Thursdays–Sundays, June 28–August 25, 2018

Swing, waltz, cha-cha...or simply enjoy the music at the largest outdoor social dancing series in the United States. Dancers of all ages and skill levels are invited to take part in introductory, one-hour dance lessons by professional instructors followed by live music and dancing in Grant Park and other Chicago Park District locations. The series culminates at the SummerDance Celebration highlighting the city’s diverse dance community in Millennium Park on Saturday, August 25, 2018.

Grant Park, Spirit of Music Garden (601 S. Michigan Ave.) and other Chicago Park District locations

 

38th Annual Taste of Chicago

July 11–15, 2018

A cultural experience for all your senses, Taste of Chicago is the nation’s premier free outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s dining scene, alongside a smorgasbord of cooking demonstrations, music concerts, dance performances, art activations, family activities and more.

Grant Park (Jackson St. & Columbus Dr.)

 

60th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show

Presented by Shell Oil Products US

August 18–19, 2018

Featuring military and civilian flight aerobatics, historic aircraft, simulated water rescues and parachute teams, the Chicago Air and Water Show is one of the largest and longest-running free admission events of its kind.

North Avenue Beach (1600 N. Lake Shore Dr.)

 

40th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival

August 30–September 2, 2018

A favorite Labor Day weekend tradition, the world class Chicago Jazz Festival showcases four stages of live performances by Chicago’s vast jazz talent alongside national and international jazz legends and artists. The festival is produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) and Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

 

20th Annual World Music Festival Chicago

September 7–23, 2018

Enjoy global grooves by award-winning artists from around the world at the city-wide, multi-venue World Music Festival Chicago featuring 50 artists and ensembles representing over 20 countries and regions of the world.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.), Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) and other citywide locations

 

Creative Youth Festival

September 22, 2018

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

105th Annual Christmas Tree and Holiday Celebrations

November–December 2018

Celebrate the holiday season at the official Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting, sing holiday favorites at Caroling at Cloud Gate on Friday evenings and glide across the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Family Events

Year of Creative Youth

January–December 2018

See information above.

Citywide

 

Juicebox

1st & 3rd Fridays (Chicago Cultural Center) and 1st & 3rd Saturdays (Garfield Park Conservatory), 11 a.m.

Winter, Spring & Fall

With engaging music and dance performances in a kid-friendly setting, the free Juicebox programs are geared for the stroller set, but enjoyable for the whole family.

Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.), Garfield Park Conservatory (300 N. Central Park Ave.) and occasional special events

 

20th Annual Chicago Kids and Kites Festival

May 5, 2018

See information above.

Cricket Hill in Lincoln Park (Lake Shore Dr. and Montrose Dr.)

 

Chicago Riverwalk Summer Programming

Late May–October, 2018

From daytime fishing to evening fireworks, the Chicago Riverwalk offers a full slate of free summer fun along the 1.25-mile active waterfront environment and cultural destination in the heart of the city. The Chicago Riverwalk is presented by the City of Chicago with programming produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Fleet and Facility Management, Choose Chicago, the Chicago Park District and the vendors and boat tour operators along the Chicago Riverwalk. 

Chicago Riverwalk, Lake Shore Dr. to Lake St.

 

38th Annual Taste of Chicago

July 11–15, 2018

See information above.

Grant Park (Jackson St. & Columbus Dr.)

 

Creative Youth Festival

September 22, 2018

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

105th Annual Christmas Tree and Holiday Celebrations

November–December 2018

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Dance-Along Nutcracker®

December 2, 2018

Sugar plum fairies and mouse kings of all ages and abilities are invited to point their toes to the familiar music of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic. The Dance-Along Nutcracker, created in 1985, is the property of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, the world’s first openly gay musical organization.

Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

 

Exhibitions and Visual Arts

Year of Creative Youth

January–December 2018

See information above.

Citywide

 

Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush

February 10–May 6, 2018

Born and raised in the Chicago area, Nina Chanel Abney emerged as a major force in contemporary art in the early 2000s. Inspired by twentieth century masters such as Matisse, Stuart Davis and Romare Bearden, Abney takes on recent issues of racial politics with startling directness. Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush is organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

 

Keith Haring: The Chicago Mural

March 3–September 23, 2018

Having rocketed to worldwide fame in the 1980s, graffiti artist Keith Haring worked with 500 Chicago Public School students to paint murals in Chicago's Grant Park in 1989. This is the first exhibition of many of these works by the artist known for his incisive draftmanship and unsettling cast of symbolic characters (atomic baby, barking dog). Haring died tragically of HIV-AIDS in 1990.

Chicago Cultural Center, Sidney R. Yates Gallery (78 E. Washington St.)

 

Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle

June 2–October 1, 2018

This multi-faceted project explores the past, present and future of North America’s Great Lakes – one of the world’s most emblematic and ecologically significant ecosytems.  Painted in Rockman’s signature, meticulous but visionary hyper-realist style, the works in the exhibition are anchored by five mural-sized (72” x 144”) oil paintings, each exploring a theme that emerged during Rockman’s field research and engagement with lake experts. Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle is organized by the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Chicago Cultural Center, Exhibit Hall (78 E. Washington St.)


African American Designers in Chicago: Art, Commerce and the Politics of Race

October 27, 2018–March 3, 2019

Featuring work from a wide range of practices including cartooning, sign painting, architectural signage, illustration, graphic design, exhibit design and product design, this exhibition is the first to demonstrate how African American designers remade the image of the black consumer and the work of the black artist in this major hub of American advertising/consumer culture. African American Designers in Chicago: Art, Commerce and the Politics of Race is funded in part by the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, as part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy.

Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago Rooms (78 E. Washington St.)

 

Films

Millennium Park Summer Film Series

Tuesdays, June 5 –August 21, 2018

See information above.

Millennium Park, Jay Pritzker Pavilion (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Music

3rd Annual Chicago House Music Festival

May 26, 2018

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

33rd Chicago Gospel Music Festival

June 1–2, 2018

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) and Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

 

35th Annual Chicago Blues Festival

June 8–10, 2018

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Millennium Park Summer Music Series

Select Mondays & Thursdays, June–August, 2018

See information above.

Millennium Park, Jay Pritzker Pavilion (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

22nd Annual Chicago SummerDance

Thursdays–Sundays, June 28–August 25, 2018

See information above.

Grant Park, Spirit of Music Garden (601 S. Michigan Ave.) and other Chicago Park District locations

 

38th Annual Taste of Chicago

July 11–15, 2018

See information above.

Grant Park (Jackson St. & Columbus Dr.)

 

40th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival

August 30–September 2, 2018

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) and Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

 

20th Annual World Music Festival Chicago

September 7–23, 2018

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.), Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) and other citywide locations

 

Caroling at Cloud Gate

Fridays, November 23–December 14, 2018

Bundle up and belt out some holiday classics as local choral groups lead hundreds of celebrants in song at these festive part concerts, part sing-alongs.

Millennium Park, Cloud Gate aka “The Bean” (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Theater, Dance and Performance

OnEdge

January 12–February 11, 2018

The OnEdge performance series spotlights experimental dance, theater and genre-defying performances from Erica Mott, Rosy Simas, Project Tool and Temporary Distortion.

Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.), Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) and other citywide locations

 

22nd Annual Chicago SummerDance

Thursdays–Sundays, June 28–August 25, 2018

See information above.

Grant Park, Spirit of Music Garden (601 S. Michigan Ave.) and other Chicago Park District locations

 

Recreation

Millennium Park Summer Workouts

June –August, 2018

Jump start your day with tai chi, yoga, Pilates and Zumba® classes on Millennium Park’s Great Lawn. Grant support provided by the McDonald’s Active Lifestyles Endowment, managed by the Millennium Park Foundation.

Millennium Park, Great Lawn (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink

Mid-November 2018–Mid-March 2019

Swish, twirl and glide at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, a Chicago winter tradition for over a decade that draws over 100,000 skaters annually. Skating is free, with skate rentals available for a fee. Free skating lessons are offered throughout the season. Grant support provided by the McDonald’s Active Lifestyles Endowment, managed by the Millennium Park Foundation.

Millennium Park (Michigan Ave. between Washington St. and Madison St.)

 

Markets

Chicago City Markets

May–October, 2018

Daley Plaza Farmers Market opens May 10, 2018

Across Chicago at locations downtown and throughout the city’s neighborhoods, the markets managed by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) sell fresh fruits, vegetables plants and flowers. Some neighborhood markets also feature music programming, prepared foods and local artisan (non-food) vendors.

Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St.) and citywide locations

 

Maxwell Street Market

Sundays, Year Round

A Chicago tradition of bargains and bargaining with an international flavor, the Maxwell Street Market offers an eclectic mix of merchandise – from tools to tires, plus fresh produce, furniture, clothing, rare find and collectibles – plus some of the best Mexican and Latin street food in the city.

800 S. Desplaines St.

 

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. For information about programs presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, visit cityofchicago.org/dcase, like us on Facebook (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events) and follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@ChicagoDCASE)

 

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