"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!
Year of Creative Youth
The Year of Creative Youth is a citywide initiative to celebrate Chicago's young artists and the mentors who inspire them! Check out the Year of Creative Youth website for more arts events and programs featuring and for young Chicagoans all year long: cityofchicago.org/yocy
YAS Fest! - the youth arts showcase - will be the largest celebration of young artists in Chicago history, featuring the works of hundreds of creative youth showcased in dozens of events throughout the Millennium Park Campus.
Visit Michigan Avenue Galleries in the Year of Creative Youth to explore artwork guest exhibited by four organizations working with youth in the arts! Exhibits will feature youth work curated by Changing Worlds, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, and Puerto Rican Arts Alliance.
Maxwell Street Market, 800 S. Desplaines St.
The Maxwell Street Market is a Chicago tradition of bargains and bargaining with an international flavor. The market offers an eclectic mix of merchandise—from tools to tires, plus fresh produce, furniture, clothing, rare finds and collectibles—and some of the best Mexican and Latin street food in Chicago. 2018 schedule of youth performance (subject to change):
- October 14 - Segundo Ruiz Belvis Collective
- October 28 - Day of the Dead / Día de los Muertos
Art on theMART will be a first-of-its-kind, curated digital art installation across 2.5 acres (two football fields) of theMART's river façade, adding to Chicago's vibrant public art scene. The large-scale public launch event will reveal four contemporary, digital artworks using 34 projectors to illuminate the river façade of theMART.
Arts in the Dark is a magical nighttime parade that draws together world-renowned institutions like the Art Institute of Chicago, celebrated Chicago organizations like Lookingglass Theatre Company, important programs like After School Matters and aspiring artists in every field. It is a magical evening parade that delights the audience with unique floats, spectacle puppets and creative performances that will be exceptionally dramatic in the parade's new location on historic State Street.
The DuSable Museum of African American History located in the historic Hyde Park area of Chicago in Washington Park unites art, history and culture. Admission is FREE to all every Tuesday!
3015 W. Division St.
The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (NMPRAC) is devoted to the promotion, integration and advancement of Puerto Rican arts and culture, presenting exhibitions and programming created to enhance the visibility and importance of the rich Puerto Rican arts tradition. The NMPRAC prides itself on truly being a community museum, open to all and do not charge admission. Please visit NMPRAC’s website for more information.
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 October, but be sure to check out their website (or download the app!) for a full listing of events!
Saturday, October 6, 2-6pm
Piotrowski Park, 4247 W. 31st St.
Join the Chicago Philharmonic in rehearsing and performing a free concert! Community musicians can sign up to play alongside the pros at chicagophilharmonic.org/side-by-side-with-the-chicago-philharmonic.
Saturday, October 20, 6-10pm
Maggie Daley Park, 337 E. Randolph St.
Join us for a family fun party after the Arts in the Dark Parade. Fun games, trick or treating, Halloween fun on the ribbon. Open to children ages 6 months to 12 years old.
Thursday, October 25, 6-7:30pm
Harrison Park, 1824 S. Wood St.
Chicago-based Latin-Fusion band A Flor de Piel will have the audience dancing and interacting with them through their music. This is a family-friendly event.
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.
Thursday, October 4, 6-7pm
Albany Park, 3401 W. Foster Ave.
MANDALA South Asian Dance Arts presents Masks and Myths, the traditional dance of Sri Lanka commemorating the 125th anniversary of the World's Fair, where the American audiences had met the arts of Sri Lanka first. You will enjoy "Devil Dancers", Sri Lankan dance artists who present their voice, history and culture, loud and clear. Q&A session will be followed.
Thursday, October 11, 10:30-11:30am
Bucktown-Wicker Park, 1701 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The program starts with a read aloud of Ada's Violin, a picture book telling the story of Paraguay's recycled orchestra. Afterwards children will get a chance to make their own recycled instruments.
Wednesday, October 31, 5:30-7pm
Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St.
YOUmedia's weekly Open Mic is a space for teens to express themselves through music, art, poetry, and more! Come share your skills or witness the future of art in Chicago! Weekly on Wednesdays from 5:30-7pm in the YOUmedia space at HWLC! Open to teens in high school.