Cultural Affairs & Special Events banner
Supporting Information Facts


People We Serve:

Programs & Initiatives:

City Services

Newsletter Signup


Follow us on:

facebook twitter YouTube Instagram

DCASE Press Room

Press Releases

Image Gallery

Become a Partner



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


Taste of Chicago


Taste of ChicagoWednesday, July 5-Sunday, July 9

Grant Park, Jackson & Columbus

Taste of Chicago is the nation's premier outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago's dining community. The delicious array of food served at Taste of Chicago is complemented by music and exciting activities for the entire family. Every summer since 1980, Chicago's beautiful Grant Park on the city's magnificent lakefront has been home to the world's largest food festival.

For more information, visit


Millennium Park - Family Fun Festival


Family Fun Festival Through Thursday, August 24, 10am-2pm

Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St. 

Families are invited to join the fun all summer long with activities, including music and arts and crafts, for kids of all ages, at the Family Fun Festival, June 19-August 20, 10am-2pm. The series is presented by the Millennium Park Foundation (grant support provided by Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, managed by the Millennium Park Foundation), under the tent at Chase Promenade North.

For the full schedule and more information, visit


Chicago SummerDance-Off

Chicago SummerDanceWe are searching for Chicago’s best amateur footwork and steppin’ dancers!  Come watch or compete in the new dance-off competitions, part of the SummerDance in the Parks program. Regional winners will compete in Millennium Park on August 26th!  Registration details will be posted  at in the coming weeks.

Footwork Dance-Off

Saturday, July 8, 2-5pm

Garfield Park Golden Dome, 100 N. Central Park Ave.


Steppin’ Dance-Off

Saturday, July 15, 2-5pm

Washington Park Refectory, 5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr.


Footwork Dance-Off

Saturday, July 22, 2-5pm

Hamilton Park Cultural Center, 513 W. 72nd St.


Steppin’ Dance-Off

Saturday, July 29, 2-5pm

Austin Town Hall, 5610 W. Lake St.

Daley Plaza Market


Strawberries at the Daley Plaza Farmers Market Thursdays, May 11 - October 26, 7am-3pm

50 W. Washington St.
Daley Plaza Market is the longest running farmers market in Chicago! Chicago's Farmers Markets bring vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers to neighborhoods throughout the City of Chicago. Check the website for the full schedule and to find a market near you!



Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!


Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!Thursday, July 27, 7-9pm

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

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, NPR's Peabody Award-winning quiz show, is returning to Millennium Park as part of its 20th season. Host Peter Sagal and Judge and Scorekeeper Bill Kurtis will lead a panel of comedians, humorists and journalists, listener contestants and a special celebrity guest through a comic review of the week's news, all in front of a live audience at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

For more information, visit


Year of Public Art


Sounding Bronzeville (Photo by: Sandra Steinbrecher, 2016) Sounding Bronzeville

Saturday, July 22, 1-4pm

39th at Lake Shore Drive at the Burnham Wildlife Corridor

Freestyle dance workshop and sounds of the djigeridoo.

For more information, visit


The Wall of Respect: Vestiges, Shards and the Legacy of Black PowerThe Wall of Respect: Vestiges, Shards and the Legacy of Black Power

Through Sunday, July 30
Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago Rooms, 2nd Floor North, 78 E. Washington St.

Guest curated by Romi Crawford, Abdul Alkalimat and Rebecca Zorach, this exhibition chronicles how the the Organization of Black American Culture's Visual Artists Workshop designed and produced a seminal mural for and within Chicago's Black South Side communities. The Wall was ultimately painted over and virtually forgotten after damage by a fire in 1971, but its legacy has reemerged today as one of the most significant projects in Chicago's storied public art history.

For more information, visit


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 July, but be sure to check out their website (or download the app!) for a full listing of events!


Sounds of Summer w/ DJ Monty at Rowan MusicSounds of Summer w/ DJ Monty at Rowan Music

Thursday, July 6, 12-4pm

Rowan Park, 11546 S. Avenue L

BackSpin Mobile Entertainment present Sounds of Summer with DJ Monty.

For more information, visit



Dance in the Parks at Calumet DanceDance in the Parks at Calumet Dance

Friday, July 14, 6-7:30pm

Calumet Park, 9801 S. Avenue G

Dance in the Parks brings professional dance concerts to outdoor venues in the parks. In its 9th season, Dance in the Parks brings an all-ages show of modern, jazz, contemporary, and tap works created and performed by Chicago artists. Each show features guest youth performers from neighborhood dance programs and ticket giveaways.

For more information, visit


Midsommer FlightMidsommer Flight at Touhy

Saturday, July 22, 6-8pm

Touhy Park, 7348 N. Paulina St.

Enjoy a production of Shakespeare's - "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" in the park. Midsommer Flight is a Chicago theatre collective dedicated to producing outdoor performances of Shakespeare's plays. Come out for a picnic and enjoy a free performance in the fresh air of a Chicago summer.

For more information, visit


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. Here are a few stand-out events happening in May, but be sure to check out their full event calendar for programming at your local library!


Chicago Public Library Summer Learning ChallengeThe Last Dragon: A Heroic Puppet Show with Jabberwocky Marionettes

Wednesday, July 5, 2-2:45pm

Brighton Park, 4314 S. Archer Ave.

Jabberwocky Marionettes presents a theatrical fantasy comedy adventure with original music featuring hand-made table-top rod puppets and intricately manipulated marionettes.

For more information, visit



Writing and PoetryWriting Workshop

Tuesday, July 11, 6:30-7:45pm

Edgewater, 6000 N. Broadway

Interested in getting feedback and support for your writing endeavors? Then join us! Held in conjunction with the Community Writing Project, we'll have an experienced facilitator on hand to guide a writing feedback discussion.

For more information, visit


Chicago Public Library YouMediaOpen Mic!

Thursday, July 20, 5-7:30pm

Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St.

Have some music to perform or a poem that needs to be shared? Come check out our brand new Open Mic. Also, learn about how you can hang out, mess around and engage in fun programs that make a positive difference both in your life and in your community as part of the Teen Services summer initiative, Elevate Your Voice!

For more information, visit




MCA Chicago220 E. Chicago Ave.

The MCA is making it easier to access thought-provoking exhibitions and programs by opening the museum free of charge to all visitors 18 and under. In addition, Illinois residents are free on Tuesdays. Pass it on!
For more information, visit





Navy Pier's 101st Birthday


Navy PierSaturday, July 15

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

Navy Pier is turning 101! Join Chicago's iconic cultural destination for its official birthday celebration, featuring a full day of live music and dance performances, a community picnic and more.

For more information, visit



Department of Defense Warrior Games


Warrior GamesFriday, June 30 - Saturday, July 8

Locations throughout the City of Chicago

The 2017 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games will be held June 30 - July 8 in Chicago, Ill. Approximately 265 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans representing teams from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), as well as the United Kingdom Armed Forces and the Australian Defense Force will participate in the competition.

The Warrior Games exist to provide an opportunity for athletes to grow physically, mentally and spiritually from the sportsmanship and camaraderie gained by representing their respective service teams in a friendly and spirited competition. It is an opportunity for athletes to showcase their enduring warrior spirit in the presence of their families and a grateful nation.
For the full schedule and more information, visit