Chicago’s Creative Industries

2017 Year of Public Art Chicago

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events supports and promotes the city’s art, music, theater, dance and culinary industries.



Year of Public Art Year of Public Art Chicago

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) have designated 2017 the "Year of Public Art" with a new 50x50 Neighborhood Arts Project, the creation of a Public Art Youth Corps, a new Public Art Festival, exhibitions, performances, tours and more -- representing a $1.5 million investment in artist-led community projects.



Chicago's City Markets bring more than 70 vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers to neighborhoods throughout the City of Chicago.


Cultural Grants

The mission of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is to enrich Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. To support this overarching mission, Cultural Grants Program’s goal is simple: to serve as a catalyst to foster a robust, healthy arts community where artists, non-profit arts and culture and creative industries thrive. More information.



DCASE/British Council Arts & Social Practice Fellowship

In collaboration with the British Council, DCASE is offering an Arts & Social Practice Fellowship for a socially-engaged cultural leader based in Chicago looking to partner with practitioners in the United Kingdom for a two to three week self-directed residency in the Spring/Summer of 2017. A socially-engaged cultural leader is defined as an artist, arts or cultural manager, curator, cultural educator, creative presenter, social entrepreneur or community activist who addresses contemporary social issues through the lens of arts and culture. More information.



The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) periodically accepts artist submissions for consideration for its festivals and programs. All events take place in Chicago, IL. More information.Venue Licensing Toolkit

The Venue Licensing Toolkit is a new resource for entrepreneurs and organizations interested in presenting music, theater or other entertainment at permanent venues such as cultural centers, theaters, clubs, bars, or movie theaters. Using flowcharts, checklists, quick links to important documents and frequently-asked-questions, the step-by-step roadmap gathers the information from multiple City agencies in one centralized and transparent location and explains the application process to become either a Public Place of Amusement (PPA) or a Performing Arts Venue (PAV).

ChicagoMade Music CollectiveChicagoMade - Join local music industry professionals and working musicians for a networking series at locations throughout the city. Each event combines a panel discussion on an industry topic and a showcase performance by several local artists.

The Chicago Track is an industry school for film and music, where aspiring creatives
and professionals ages 18­25 network with working artists and leaders in media and entertainment. The Music Series, coordinated by Young Chicago Authors, provides networking, workshops, and performances for those seeking out a spot for themselves among the various creative and professional roles within the music industry.


Residency Programs

Studio Artist and Curatorial Residency Program

The Chicago Cultural Center Studio Artist and Curatorial Residency Program is for professional and emerging Chicago-based visual artists and curators. The program aims to support Chicago's visual artists and curators in their creative process and to increase the diversity of expression and representation in the larger artistic community in Chicago.


Chicago Cultural Center Arts Organizations in Residence

Congratulations to the 2017 Chicago Cultural Center Arts Organizations in Residence: Ayodele Drum & Dance, the National Museum of Mexican ArtOpen TV, the Public Square in collaboration with University of Illinois Chicago's Social Justice InitiativeSixty Inches from CenterWalkabout TheatreWomen Made Gallery. Stay tuned as we talk about their series of ongoing free public programs at the Chicago Cultural Center in the coming months. This program is underwritten by the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Art Works initiative.


Theater and Dance

DCASE Theater and Dance - The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) presents an ongoing performing arts series that showcases both emerging and established music, theater, dance and multi-disciplinary artists at the Chicago Cultural Center and other venues. Dedicated to capacity building in the arts, DCASE hires the artists and provides performance space as well as technical and marketing support.

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events' Theater and Dance Residencies give emerging and established performing artists the opportunity to test-drive new work in a public setting. Each residency is tailored to the needs of the artist or company and their project. Each showing is a unique opportunity for audiences to get a behind-the-scenes look at new work by Chicago artists.

 Additional Information

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Cultural Affairs and Special Events