November 5, 2019

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Announces 2020 Program Dates

2020 initiatives highlight the “Year of Chicago Music,” Chicago’s Music Legacy and thousands of public programs in downtown Chicago and across the city’s neighborhoods

Christine Carrino, christine.carrino@cityofchicago.org, 312.744.0573    Mary May, mary.may@cityofchicago.org, 312.744.0576

Jamey Lundblad    jamey.lundblad@cityofchicago.org, 312.744.2493

City of Chicago Event and Festival Photos

 

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is pleased to announce the 2020 dates of its marquee festivals, events and exhibitions (highlights only, subject to change). The year 2020 has been designated the “Year of Chicago Music” by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). Among the year’s many initiatives will be an expansion of the Chicago House Music Festival, Chicago Gospel Music Festival and the Chicago Blues Festival into a 17-day celebration of music across the city. DCASE’s public programming will include a special focus on Chicago music at the 40th Annual Taste of Chicago, the Chicago Jazz Festival, the World Music Festival Chicago and the Millennium Park Summer Music Series, co-programmed with Chicago industry institutions and tastemakers.

Annually, DCASE presents 2,000 free-admission cultural programs for an audience of well over 25 million residents and visitors. Cultural programming takes place throughout Chicago, including art exhibitions, film screenings, music concerts and theater and dance performances at iconic downtown venues including Millennium Park, the Chicago Cultural Center and the Chicago Riverwalk. The Chicago House Music Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival and World Music Festival Chicago will also include free programming at music venues across the city. Additionally, DCASE facilitates over 700 neighborhood festivals, sporting competitions and special events and awards funding grants to artists and arts organizations in support of cultural activations and programming.

For information and updates, visit cityofchicago.org/dcase, like us on Facebook (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), and follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@ChicagoDCASE).

 

Note To Media: Media requesting credentials to cover our music festivals, Millennium Park summer music series, the Chicago Air and Water Show and Taste of Chicago must submit requests in advance, no later than two weeks prior to the event. Please visit the press room at cityofchicago.org/dcase to select the festival you wish to cover.

 

New 2020 Initiatives

Year of Chicago Music

January–December 2020

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events have designated 2020 as the “Year of Chicago Music.” The citywide, year-long initiative includes the launch of a marketing campaign for Chicago music, financial grants for music projects, an industry dialog around inclusion and equity, and a call for civic, philanthropic, arts, and business leaders to support the music industry.

 

Lakefront Festivals and Special Events

22nd Annual Chicago Kids and Kites Festival

May 2, 2020

Up, up and away. Kids of all ages will get swept up by this timeless spring tradition. Free kite kits are provided for children to decorate (while supplies last) along with other family activities such as professional kite flying demonstrations, face painting and balloon artists.

Cricket Hill in Lincoln Park (Lake Shore Dr. and Montrose Dr.)

 

Chicago Memorial Day Parade and Wreath Laying Ceremony

May 23, 2020

The City of Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade honors all men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country. The parade is preceded by a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the eternal flame on Daley Plaza.

State St. from Lake St. to Van Buren St.

 

5th Annual Chicago House Music Conference & Festival

May 21–23, 2020

DJs and live performances showcase the various sounds and styles of house music, the musical form born in Chicago that has gone on to revolutionize dance music internationally.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) and other citywide locations

 

35th Chicago Gospel Music Festival

May 26–30, 2020

Celebrating the music style’s deep Chicago roots with traditional choirs and contemporary urban gospel music, the Chicago Gospel Music Festival features local and national artists at the largest free, outdoor gospel music festival of its kind.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) and other citywide locations

 

37th Annual Chicago Blues Festival

June 5–7, 2020

With a diverse lineup celebrating the Chicago Blues’ past, present and future, the Chicago Blues Festival shares the extolled Chicago-born music tradition with the world and shines a spotlight on its contributions to hip hop, R&B, rock, pop and more.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Millennium Park Summer Music & Film Series

June–August, 2020

Grab a seat in the pavilion or bring a picnic for the Great Lawn and enjoy the free outdoor movies and concerts at Chicago’s architectural gem – the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

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

 

24th Annual Chicago SummerDance

Wednesdays–Sundays, June 25–August 22, 2020

Swing, waltz, cha-cha...or simply enjoy the music at the biggest outdoor social dancing series in the United States. Dancers of all ages and skill levels are invited to take part in introductory, one-hour dance lessons by professional instructors followed by live music and dancing. The series culminates at the SummerDance Celebration, highlighting the city’s diverse dance community in Millennium Park on Saturday, August 22, 2020.

Grant Park, Spirit of Music Garden (601 S. Michigan Ave.) and other Chicago Park District locations

 

40th Annual Taste of Chicago

July 8–12, 2020

A cultural experience for all your senses, Taste of Chicago is the nation’s premier free-admission food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s dining scene, alongside a smorgasbord of cooking demonstrations, music concerts, dance performances, art activations and family fun.

Grant Park (Jackson St. & Columbus Dr.)

 

62nd Annual Chicago Air and Water Show

August 15 & 16, 2020

Featuring military and civilian flight aerobatics, historic aircraft, simulated water rescues and parachute teams, the Chicago Air and Water Show is one of the largest and longest-running free admission events of its kind.

North Avenue Beach (1600 N. Lake Shore Dr.)

 

42nd Annual Chicago Jazz Festival

August 28–September 6, 2020

The Chicago Jazz Festival showcases the greatest jazz artists from Chicago and around the world across the city during extended festival dates. The festival is produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.), Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) and other citywide locations

 

22nd Annual World Music Festival Chicago

September 11–27, 2020

Enjoy global grooves from around the world at the city-wide World Music Festival Chicago, featuring award-winning artists and ensembles representing countries and regions of the world at venues across Chicago.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.), Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) and other citywide locations

 

¡Súbelo! – A Celebration of Pan Latin Music and Culture

September 11 & 12, 2020

Celebrate the diverse music genres and sounds of the Latinx community from Chicago and around the world.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

107th Annual Christmas Tree and Holiday Celebrations

November–December 2020

Celebrate the holiday season at the official Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting, shop for creative gifts at the Millennium Park Art Market, sing holiday favorites at Caroling at Cloud Gate on Friday evenings and glide across the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Family Events

Juicebox

1st & 3rd Fridays (Chicago Cultural Center) and 1st & 3rd Saturdays (Garfield Park Conservatory), 11am Winter, Spring & Fall

With engaging music and dance performances in a kid-friendly setting, the free Juicebox programs are geared for the stroller set, but enjoyable for the whole family.

Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) and Garfield Park Conservatory (300 N. Central Park Ave.)

 

22nd Annual Chicago Kids and Kites Festival

May 2, 2020

See information above.

Cricket Hill in Lincoln Park (Lake Shore Dr. and Montrose Dr.)

 

Chicago Riverwalk Summer Programming

Late May–October 2020

From daytime fishing to evening fireworks, the Chicago Riverwalk offers a full slate of free summer fun along the 1.25-mile active waterfront environment and cultural destination in the heart of the city. The Chicago Riverwalk is presented by the City of Chicago with programming produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Fleet and Facility Management, Choose Chicago, the Chicago Park District and the vendors and boat tour operators along the Chicago Riverwalk.

Chicago Riverwalk, Lake Shore Dr. to Lake St.

 

40th Annual Taste of Chicago

July 8–12, 2020

See information above.

Grant Park (Jackson St. & Columbus Dr.)

 

107th Annual Christmas Tree and Holiday Celebrations

November–December 2020

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Theater, Dance and Performance

Chicago Cultural Center Programming

Year-Round

Originally completed in 1897 as Chicago’s first central library, the stunning landmark Chicago Cultural Center is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, as well as a year-round schedule of free art exhibitions, performances, tours, lectures, films, family activities, music and more.

Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

 

24th Annual Chicago SummerDance

Wednesdays–Sundays, June 25–August 22, 2020

See information above.

Grant Park, Spirit of Music Garden (601 S. Michigan Ave.) and other Chicago Park District locations

 

4th Annual SummerDance Celebration

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Get moving at this full day of participatory dance competitions, lessons, social dancing for all ages and skill levels, as well as a showcase of local professional dance companies.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Music

Chicago Cultural Center Programming

Year-Round

Originally completed in 1897 as Chicago’s first central library, the stunning landmark Chicago Cultural Center is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, as well as a year-round schedule of free art exhibitions, performances, tours, lectures, films, family activities, music and more.

 

5th Annual Chicago House Music Conference & Festival

May 21–23, 2020

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.), Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) and other citywide locations

 

35th Chicago Gospel Music Festival

May 26–30, 2020

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) and Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

 

37th Annual Chicago Blues Festival

June 5–7, 2020

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Millennium Park Summer Music Series

Select Mondays & Thursdays, June–August 2020

See information above.

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

 

24th Annual Chicago SummerDance

Wednesdays–Sundays, June 25–August 22, 2020

See information above.

Grant Park, Spirit of Music Garden (601 S. Michigan Ave.) and other Chicago Park District locations

 

40th Annual Taste of Chicago

July 8–12, 2020

See information above.

Grant Park (Jackson St. & Columbus Dr.)

 

42nd Annual Chicago Jazz Festival

August 28–September 6, 2020

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.), Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) and other citywide locations

 

22nd Annual World Music Festival Chicago

September 11–27, 2020

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.), Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) and other citywide locations

 

¡Súbelo! – A Celebration of Pan Latin Music and Culture

September 11 & 12, 2020

See information above.

Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Caroling at Cloud Gate

Fridays, November 27–December 18, 2020

Bundle up and belt out some holiday classics as local choral groups lead hundreds of celebrants in song at these festive part concerts, part sing-alongs.

Millennium Park, Cloud Gate aka “The Bean” (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Films

Chicago Cultural Center Programming

Year-Round

Originally completed in 1897 as Chicago’s first central library, the stunning landmark Chicago Cultural Center is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, as well as a year-round schedule of free art exhibitions, performances, tours, lectures, films, family activities, music and more.

 

Millennium Park Summer Film Series

Tuesdays, June–August, 2020

See information above.

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

 

Exhibitions and Visual Arts

NKAME: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayon (1967–1999)

February 29 – May 24, 2020

The first U.S. retrospective of the work of Belkis Ayon, the late Cuban visual artists who mined the founding myth of the Afro-Cuban fraternal society of Abukua to create an independent and powerful visual iconography. Curated by Cristina Vives and organized by the Belkis Ayon Estate, Havana, Cuba, with the Station Museum of Contemporary Art.

Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

 

Art and Race Matters: The Career of Robert Colescott

June 20, 2020–September 27, 2021

As the first comprehensive retrospective of Robert Colescott (1925-2009), one of America’s most compelling and controversial artists, this exhibition will present 80 total works throughout 53 years of his career that both bring to the surface and challenge racial stereotypes. The exhibition is curated by Lowery Simms and organized by the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati OH.

Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)

 

Markets

Chicago City Markets

May–October 2020

Across Chicago at locations downtown and throughout the city’s neighborhoods, the markets managed by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) sell fresh fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers. Some neighborhood markets also feature music programming, prepared foods and local artisan (non-food) vendors.

Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St.) and citywide locations

 

Maxwell Street Market

Sundays, 9am–3pm

You never know what you’re going to find at the historic Maxwell Street Market’s eclectic mix of foods and finds—including handmade crafts, housewares, clothing, fresh produce, garden plants, collectibles and rare items, plus live music, family-friendly activities and the best, authentic Mexican- and Latin-style street food in Chicago.

Maxwell Street Market (800 S. Desplaines St.)

 

Millennium Park Art Market

November 20-22, 2020

Shop one-of-a-kind items, including jewelry, fashion, painting, sculpture, prints, drawings and more created by over 150 student artists.

Millennium Park, Chase Promenade North (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

Recreation

Chicago Riverwalk Summer Programming

Late May–October 2020

See information above.

Chicago Riverwalk, Lake Shore Dr. to Lake St.

 

Millennium Park Summer Workouts

June–August 2020

Jumpstart your day with tai chi, yoga, Pilates and Zumba® classes on Millennium Park’s Great Lawn. Grant support provided by the McDonald’s Active Lifestyles Endowment, managed by the Millennium Park Foundation.

Millennium Park, Great Lawn (201 E. Randolph St.)

 

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink

Mid-November 2020–Mid-March 2021

Swish, twirl and glide at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, a Chicago winter tradition in the heart of the city. Admission is free, with skate rentals available for a fee. Free skating lessons are offered throughout the season. Grant support provided by the McDonald’s Active Lifestyles Endowment, managed by the Millennium Park Foundation.

Millennium Park (Michigan Ave. between Washington St. and Madison St.)

 

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

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. For information about programs presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, visit cityofchicago.org/dcase, like us on Facebook (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events) and follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@ChicagoDCASE)

 

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