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.


(Updated June 26, 2020)


Based on Chicago's key health metrics, the city is currently in Phase 4 (Gradually Resume) – allowing additional businesses and public amenities to open with limited capacities and appropriate safeguards. Although progress has been made in order to move to phase four, all residents should continue to abide by important guidance including: physically distancing and wearing a face covering; limiting non-business, social gatherings to 50 persons for indoor events and 100 for outdoors; staying at home if you are considered vulnerable, feel ill or have come into contact with someone with COVID-19; and getting tested if you have symptoms. Please refer to the Chicago Department of Public Heath’s website,, for the latest local updates on the response to COVID-19.

The COVID-19 outbreak is having an enormous economic impact on our local arts community. The City of Chicago and DCASE are proud partners and contributors to the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund – providing financial relief to workers and organizations in the creative industries impacted by COVID-19. Please also visit DCASE's COVID-19 Arts Community Resources – a partial list of the many local and national efforts to support our artists and arts organizations.

Following the City and State guidelines for Phase 4 reopening, DCASE has announced the following:

  • A slate of more than 150 new and reimagined summer events will include at-home dance parties, drive-in movies, virtual concerts, farmers markets and community meals for frontline workers. Many of these programs support the local music industry during the Year of Chicago Music — now extended into 2021.
  • All permitted special events are cancelled through Labor Day (September 7, 2020). Regrettably, this includes many of Chicago’s annual summertime traditions: Chicago SummerDance, Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza in Grant Park; the Chicago Air and Water Show at North Avenue Beach; the Chicago Jazz Festival in Millennium Park; the majority of programming at the Chicago Riverwalk, the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park; Maxwell Street Market through Labor Day; the Jumping Jack Program; and other festivals, parades and athletic events — some of which have already been cancelled.
  • Millennium Park cautiously reopens on Monday, June 15. The park is open daily, 8am to 9pm, for groups of 10 persons or fewer who practice physical distancing and wear face coverings. Visit for information about where to enter/exit the park and which facilities are open.
  • The Chicago Cultural Center, the Clarke House Museum, Expo 72 and the City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower are closed to the public until further notice.
  • Chicago City Markets will open in June and July to increase neighborhood access to fresh and healthy food. DCASE will take necessary precautions to encourage social distancing and protect the safety of customers and vendors.
  • The Chicago Film Office will begin permitting film crews in accordance with the Restore Illinois Film Production Guidelines and the City of Chicago's Be Safe Film and Television Production Guidelines. Some city services and city property may not be available.
  • Additional industry guidelines for Museums; Performance Venues; and Movie Theaters can be found in multiple languages at the Be Safe Chicago Industry Guidelines page under the Arts & Culture tab in multiple languages.


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Department Office Locations:

Cultural Affairs and Special Events
Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St., 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

Maxwell Street Market
800 S. Desplaines St.
Chicago, IL 60607


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