October 29, 2018

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Announces 2019 Program Dates

2019 initiatives highlight the “Year of Chicago Theatre,” Chicago’s Music Legacy and thousands of public programs in downtown Chicago and across the city’s neighborhoods

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 (DCASE) is pleased to announce the 2019 dates of its marquee festivals, events and exhibitions (highlights only, subject to change). The year 2019 has been designated the “Year of Chicago Theatre” by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the League of Chicago Theatres. Among the year’s many initiatives will be theatre performances and special events for the public at hundreds of locations throughout the city. Throughout the year, many City of Chicago programs and festivals will include a theatre component to highlight the diverse theatre companies and professionals that call Chicago home.

As the birthplace of the urban blues, gospel music, house music and other beloved music genres, Chicago will also continue to celebrate and showcase its musical legacy and history for residents and visitors. Local and national artists will shine a spotlight on Chicago’s impact on the past, present and future of global music at the Chicago House Music Festival, the Chicago Gospel Music Festival, the Chicago Blues Festival and the Chicago Jazz Festival. In the Chicago Cultural Center, the exhibition Bronzeville Echoes: Faces and Places of Chicago’s African American Music visually explores the legacy of Chicago’s African American music scene from Ragtime to the contemporary genres of House and Hip Hop through the unexpected stories of legendary musicians and places where they performed.

Annually, DCASE presents 2,000 free-admission cultural programs for an audience of well over 25 million residents and visitors. Cultural programming takes place throughout Chicago, including art exhibitions, film screenings, music concerts and theater and dance performances at iconic downtown venues including Millennium Park, the Chicago Cultural Center and the Chicago Riverwalk. The Chicago House Music Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival and World Music Festival Chicago will also include free programming at music venues across the city. Additionally, DCASE facilitates over 700 neighborhood festivals, sporting competitions and special events, and awards $1.7 million to artists and arts organizations in support of cultural activations and programming.

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 2019 Initiatives

Year of Chicago Theatre

January–December 2019

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the League of Chicago Theatres have designated 2019 as the ‘Year of Chicago Theatre.’ This citywide, year-long focus on theatre is the first of its kind in the U.S. The initiative will include theatre performances and special events for the public at hundreds of cultural venues, theaters, parks and neighborhood locations throughout the city. The City of Chicago and its partners will also launch a marketing campaign that leverages a new brand for Chicago theatre; provide additional financial grants to theatre projects; encourage dialog around inclusion and equity; and call on civic, philanthropic, arts and business leaders to support the theatre community.

 

Lakefront Festivals and Special Events

21st Annual Chicago Kids and Kites Festival

May 4, 2019

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 construct, 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 and Wreath Laying Ceremony

May 25, 2019

The City of Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade honors all men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country. The parade is preceded by a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the eternal flame on Daley Plaza.

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

 

4th Annual Chicago House Music Festival

Memorial Day Weekend, 2019

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.), Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) and other citywide locations

 

34th Chicago Gospel Music Festival

May 31–June 1, 2019

Celebrating the great influence of the music genre born in this city more than 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.)

 

36th Annual Chicago Blues Festival

June 7–9, 2019

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 and more.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Millennium Park Summer Music & Film Series

June–August, 2019

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.)

 

23rd Annual Chicago SummerDance

Wednesdays–Sundays, June 27–August 24, 2019

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 24, 2019.

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

 

39th Annual Taste of Chicago

July 10–14, 2019

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.)

 

61st Annual Chicago Air and Water Show

August 17–18, 2019

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.)

 

41st Annual Chicago Jazz Festival

August 23–September 1, 2019

The Chicago Jazz Festival showcases the greatest jazz artists from Chicago and around the world across the city during new, extended festival dates. The Chicago Jazz Festival is produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago.

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

 

21st Annual World Music Festival Chicago

September 13–29, 2019

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

 

106th Annual Christmas Tree and Holiday Celebrations

November–December 2019

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

Juicebox

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

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

 

21st Annual Chicago Kids and Kites Festival

May 4, 2019

See information above.

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

 

Chicago Riverwalk Summer Programming

Late May–October, 2019

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.

 

39th Annual Taste of Chicago

July 10–14, 2019

See information above.

Grant Park (Jackson St. & Columbus Dr.)

 

106th Annual Christmas Tree and Holiday Celebrations

November–December 2019

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Dance-Along Nutcracker®

December 8, 2019

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.)

 

Theater, Dance and Performances

Year of Chicago Theatre

January–December 2019

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the League of Chicago Theatres have designated 2019 as the ‘Year of Chicago Theatre.’ This citywide, year-long focus on theatre is the first of its kind in the U.S. The initiative will include theatre performances and special events for the public at hundreds of cultural venues, theaters, parks and neighborhood locations throughout the city. The City of Chicago and its partners will also launch a marketing campaign that leverages a new brand for Chicago theatre; provide additional financial grants to theatre projects; encourage dialog around inclusion and equity; and call on civic, philanthropic, arts and business leaders to support the theatre community.

 

Chicago Cultural Center Programming

Year-Round

Originally completed in 1897 as Chicago’s first central library, the stunning landmark Chicago Cultural Center is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, as well as a year-round schedule of free art exhibitions, performances, tours, lectures, films, family activities, music and more.

Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

 

goat island archive we have discovered the performance by making it
March 30–June 23, 2019

Throughout the 23 years of its existence (1986–2009), the Chicago-based Goat Island contributed to the conception of nine major performance works, accompanied by publications, film and video projects, workshops, summer schools, lectures and symposia, inventing a complex institution of interconnected processes bigger than the individual works. The work continues to influence subsequent generations of artists, theatre makers, teachers, writers, cultural theorists and social philosophers. As part of the City of Chicago's Year of Chicago Theatre, this exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center will present archival materials that reflect the generative and pedagogic processes of the collective. In conjunction with the city’s Year of Chicago Theatre, ten international artists have also been commissioned to present new works inspired by the work of Goat Island - one for each of their nine performances along with a tenth based on "Missing Scenes."

Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

 

23rd Annual Chicago SummerDance

Wednesdays–Sundays, June 27–August 24, 2019

See information above.

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

 

3rd Annual SummerDance Celebration

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Get moving at this full day of participatory dance competitions, lessons, social dancing and showcase of local dance companies. All ages and skill levels welcome.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Music

Chicago Cultural Center Programming

Year-Round

Originally completed in 1897 as Chicago’s first central library, the stunning landmark Chicago Cultural Center is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, as well as a year-round schedule of free art exhibitions, performances, tours, lectures, films, family activities, music and more.

 

4th Annual Chicago House Music Festival

Memorial Day Weekend, 2019

See information above.

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

 

34th Chicago Gospel Music Festival

May 31–June 1, 2019

See information above.

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

 

36th Annual Chicago Blues Festival

June 7–9, 2019

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Millennium Park Summer Music Series

Select Mondays & Thursdays, June–August, 2019

See information above.

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

 

23rd Annual Chicago SummerDance

Wednesdays–Sundays, June 27–August 24, 2019

See information above.

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

 

39th Annual Taste of Chicago

July 10–14, 2019

See information above.

Grant Park (Jackson St. & Columbus Dr.)

 

41st Annual Chicago Jazz Festival

August 23–September 1, 2019

See information above.

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

 

21st Annual World Music Festival Chicago

September 13–29, 2019

See information above.

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

 

Latin Music Celebration

September 2019 (Exact Date TBD)

From Mariachi to Merengue and more, celebrate the diverse music genres and sounds from Chicago’s vibrant Latino community and around the world. Part of the 21st Annual World Music Festival Chicago.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Caroling at Cloud Gate

Fridays, November 29–December 20, 2019

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.)

 

Films

Chicago Cultural Center Programming

Year-Round

Originally completed in 1897 as Chicago’s first central library, the stunning landmark Chicago Cultural Center is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, as well as a year-round schedule of free art exhibitions, performances, tours, lectures, films, family activities, music and more.

 

Millennium Park Summer Film Series

Tuesdays, June–August, 2019

See information above.

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

 

Exhibitions and Visual Arts

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

Through 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.

Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

 

goat island archive we have discovered the performance by making it

March 30–June 23, 2019

See information above.

Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

 

3rd Chicago Architecture Biennial

September 19, 2019–January 5, 2020

For the 3rd edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, artistic director Yesomi Umolu and co-curators Sepake Angiama and Paulo Tavares will highlight the transformative global impact of creativity and innovation across creative fields. As the largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America, previous editions of the Biennial drew more than a half-million visitors to free exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center and elsewhere that featured the ideas of 140 practitioners from more than 20 countries, including many from Chicago.

Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) and other citywide locations

 

Bronzeville Echoes: Faces and Places of Chicago’s African American Music

Ongoing

Bronzeville Echoes explores the legacy of Chicago’s African American music scene from Ragtime to the contemporary genres of House and Hip Hop through the unexpected stories of legendary musicians and places where they performed. Seldom-seen original artifacts will be on display, such as sheet-music, rare 1920s records with quirky period graphics – and even the original 1932 telephone booth from the old Sunset/Grand Terrace Café that will play music from the time period. The exhibition will culminate in the creation of a pop-up performance venue that will included ephemera and artworks that document Chicago’s house and hip hop legacies.

Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

 

Markets

Chicago City Markets

May–October, 2019

Daley Plaza Farmers Market opens May 9, 2019

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

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

Maxwell Street Market (800 S. Desplaines St.)

 

Recreation

Chicago Riverwalk Summer Programming

Late May–October, 2019

See information above.

Chicago Riverwalk, Lake Shore Dr. to Lake St.

 

Millennium Park Summer Workouts

June–August, 2019

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 2019–Mid-March 2020

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. Admission 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.)

 

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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