Free, Free, Free! Chicago Arts + Events

Free Free Free! Chicago Arts + Events

"Free, Free, Free!" is an e-newsletter and website that provides a monthly curated list of free programs, events and activities happening throughout the city in our libraries, museums, cultural centers and parks. We encourage you to express your culture through the arts and take advantage of the many opportunities the City of Chicago provides you to engage, create and participate!

  Rahm Emanuel Mayor   Mark Kelly Commissioner
Rahm Emanuel
Mark Kelly


Year of Creative Youth

Creative Tech Expo EnglewoodCreative Tech Expo Englewood
Contexture Media Network

Thursday, March 15 & Friday, March 16, 4-8pm
Kennedy King College, 740 W. 63rd St.

Creative Tech Expo Englewood at Kennedy King College is a community centered technology resource demo day featuring a variety of STEAM organizations, career pathways and professional development resources and opportunities.


DuSable Museum of African American HistoryThe Chills-Teen Night at the DuSable

National Museum of Mexican Art and DuSable Museum of African American History

Friday, March 16, 6-9pm

DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl.

The Chills is the first in a series of 3 traveling teen nights brought to you by Yollocalli Arts Reach and the Dusable Teen Councils.


All-City High School ExhibitionChicago Public Schools All-City High School Exhibition

Chicago Public Schools Department of Arts Education
Thursday, March 22 - Wednesday, April 11

Expo 72, 72 E. Randolph St. 

 As part of the Year of Creative Youth, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events will present the annual Chicago Public Schools All-City High School Visual Art Exhibition. This juried art exhibition highlights the diverse talent and work of Chicago Public School students in the professional platform of a gallery setting.


Chicago Cultural Center

Keith Haring: The Chicago Mural (Photo by: Marcelino Y. Fahd)Keith Haring: The Chicago Mural

March 3 - September 23
Chicago Cultural Center, Sidney R. Yates Gallery, 4th Floor North, 78 E. Washington St.

The FREE admission exhibition will feature 36 original panels of the monumental mural created in 1989 by internationally-acclaimed artist Keith Haring with the assistance of 500 Chicago Public School students in Chicago's Grant Park. The mural is a reflection of Haring's incisive draftsmanship and symbolic characters (e.g. radiant baby, barking dog). Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in partnership with the Chicago Public Schools, the exhibition will also feature a collection of photographs, correspondence, designs, plans, t-shirt drawings and much more.


International Music FoundationYoung People's Concert

Thursday, March 15, 10:30am and 12pm

Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E. Washington St.

The International Music Foundation provides music performances and music education free of charge for people of all ages and degrees of musical awareness, so they might experience how music enriches their lives.





Smart Museum of Art Family Day Family Day: Color Fields

Saturday, March 3, 1-4pm

Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S. Greenwood Ave.

Drop by and join in the Smart's free family activities every month! Each Family Day features hands-on art activities designed to inspire children to think about and respond creatively to art and the world around them. Admission to the Smart Museum of Art is always free and open to all.



Chicago's Birthday Chicago's Birthday

Sunday, March 4, 1-3pm

Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St.

On March 4, 1837, Chicago was incorporated as a city. Join us as we celebrate the city's birthday with a day of four-star fun! Festivities include family-friendly activities, as well as Eli's Cheesecake and special certificates for individuals born on March 4 (while supplies last).

Museum admission is FREE for Illinois residents on commemorative days! Special family-friendly activities and performances are designed to honor and celebrate significant moments and figures in history. No RSVP needed. We look forward to seeing you!


MCA ChicagoMCA Family Day: X-Ray Vision

Saturday, March 10, 11am-3pm

Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 S. Chicago Ave.

At this Family Day, enhance your powers of sight and look at things from the inside out. Family Days are free monthly programs for kids and their grownups where Chicago artists transform the museum. Enjoy free admission while taking part in workshops, open studio sessions, gallery tours, and performances, all designed and led by Chicago artists.


Night Out In The Parks


Presented by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Night Out in the Parks brings over 1,000 cultural events to neighborhood parks each year. Chicagoans and visitors alike, enjoy the breadth of world-class events in every one of the city's 77 community areas. Here are a few programming highlights happening in March, but be sure to check out their website (or download the app!) for a full listing of events!

Garfield ConservatoryJazz City Concert at Garfield Conservatory

Friday, March 9, 7-9pm

Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave.

Programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago's Women's Jazz Leadership Initiative, a group of female high school and college jazz students, the evening will feature women who were mentored by various Jazz artists.


Poetry Night at Austin Town HallPoetry Night at Austin Town Hall

Wednesday, March 21, 6-8pm

Austin Town Hall, 5610 W. Lake St.

Join us at Austin Town Hall for an exciting night of Poetry, Music, Spoken Word, and More. Hear local artists spit and take a chance on the stage to shoot your own piece, or work on a group poetry concept. Open to all Adults.


Merrimac ParkDownhill Derby Race at Merrimac

Friday, March 23, 6:30-8:30pm

Merrimac Park, 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.

Children from woodcraft classes at Merrimac, Shabbona, Horner, and Loyola will race the cars they have made in woodcraft class during the winter session. Come watch and show your support.


Chicago Public Library


Since first opening our doors in 1873, Chicago Public Library has served all Chicagoans with free and open places to gather, learn, connect, read and be transformed. The libraries are that special third place-beyond home and work-where people come to improve their lives, nourish their intellect or savor entertainment. Their 80 locations host a variety of free events ranging from performances, arts and crafts, writing and poetry, continuing education and more.

Chicago Public Library YouMediaFinch Robot™ Maze Runner

Tuesday, March 6, 4-6pm

Back of the Yards, 2111 W. 47th St.

Plot your own maze. Then challenge other teens to program a Finch Robot™ to find their way through. Open to teens 13-18.


Chicago Public Library One Book One ChicagoThe Music Teachers of Hyde Park Artist Series

Wednesday, March 21, 6:30-7:30pm

Blackstone, 4904 S. Lake Park Ave.

Music Teachers of Hyde Park is an alliance of independent private music teachers serving Chicago's Hyde Park, Kenwood, and South Shore neighborhoods.The Artist Series is presented by the artist members of Music Teachers of Hyde Park.

This program is presented as part of the 2017-2018 One Book, One Chicago season, exploring the theme "Music: The Beat of Our City" through Greg Kot's book I'll Take You There.


Navy Pier


February 16 - April 15

Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.

Prismatica is Navy Pier's latest free, temporary public art installation. This dynamic art experience is comprised of 25 six-foot pivoting prisms - resembling giant kaleidoscopes - that transform Navy Pier's Polk Bros Park into a field of bold colors and bright lights. The prisms reflect every color in the visible spectrum and transmit blissful sounds upon interaction, allowing for infinite interplay with this unique art installation. For more information, visit the website.


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