Attractions, Events and Exhibitions

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) offers more than 2,000 high-quality free exhibitions, concerts, theatrical and dance performances, films, lectures and discussions, family events and other programs each year at the historic Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, Grant Park, and other venues throughout the city. 

The Visual Art Program at the Chicago Cultural Center is dedicated to presenting compelling exhibitions of fine art in all media, encompassing historic as well as contemporary art. Special emphasis is placed on emerging and underrepresented artists, particularly those who live and work in the Chicago area. Visit our Visual Art Program page for more information.

DCASE also presents some of Chicago’s most popular Festivals and special events, including Taste of Chicago, Chicago Blues Festival, Chicago SummerDance, Chicago Jazz Festival, World Music Festival and others. Visit our Chicago Festivals page for more information.

Several attractions and venues managed by DCASE are also available for private rental. Visit our Rental Services page for more information.


Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago Cultural CenterDrawn by its beauty and the world-class free public events, hundreds of thousands of visitors come the Chicago Cultural Center every year, making it one of the most visited attractions in Chicago. Every year, the Chicago Cultural Center presents more than 700 free music, dance and theater events, films, lectures, art exhibitions and family events, providing a showcase where the public can enjoy and learn about the arts.

Visit the Chicago Cultural Center website for more information.

Millennium Park

Millennium Park

Millennium Park is an award-winning center for art, music, architecture and landscape design. Among the park's prominent features are the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the Crown Fountain, the Lurie Garden and the Cloud Gate sculpture. Hundreds of free concerts, performances, art exhibitions, and family events are presented on the Pritzker Pavilion stage and in other parts of the park each year. Free winter ice skating is also offered.

Visit the Millennium Park website for more park and event information.

Clarke-Ford House

Clarke-Ford House (photo credit: Michael Beasley)Henry B. and Caroline Clarke/Bishop Louis Henry and Margaret Ford House

Built in 1836, the Clarke-Ford House is Chicago’s oldest house. It was renamed in 2022 by former Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, 3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell, and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) to affirm the profound role of Bishop Louis Henry and Margaret Ford in preserving the house as a significant part of Chicago’s history — and to recognize the contributions of Caroline Palmer Clarke.

Visit the Clarke-Ford House website for more information.