Mayor Brandon Johnson and DCASE Announce Headliners for Millennium Park 20th Anniversary Celebration, July 18-21

March 14, 2024

DCASE Communications

Jill Hurwitz, / Ron Hall,

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Award-winning Artist Common Joins Grant Park Orchestra, July 20 Fruko y Sus Tesos Leads ¡Súbelo!, July 18


DCASE Also Announces 2024 Millennium Park Organizations-In-Residence: Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project, Vocalo, Collaboraction Theatre with Teatro Vista, Experimental Sound Studio, and Old Town School of Folk Music


Millennium Park 20th Anniversary Season (May – December) to Feature Music, Dance, Theatre, Film, Workouts, and Special Events


CHICAGO—Today, Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced the first round of special programming for the City’s Millennium Park 20th Anniversary Celebration (July 18–21). Scheduled to take place almost exactly 20 years since the Park’s official opening on July 16, 2004, this four-day free celebration features award-winning headliners, activities for families and youth, workouts, new public art, dance performances, and concerts— presented by DCASE with the Grant Park Music Festival, Millennium Park Foundation, and others. This special anniversary programming will be in addition to the annual music festivals, film and music series, workouts, family programming and more offered season-long in Millennium Park—the #1 attraction in the Midwest and among the top 10 most-visited sites in the United States.

“Millennium Park is where we showcase the best of our city’s vibrant arts, culture, and talent from across the globe,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “I look forward to celebrating the Park’s milestone anniversary and its unrivaled art, architecture, and cultural events with unforgettable free programming all summer long.”


Millennium Park 20th Anniversary Celebration

July 18-21

  • Kicking off the 20th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, July 18 is the ¡Súbelo! festival to be headlined by Fruko y Sus Tesos, the popular Latin music group from Colombia, presenting, “Fruko: 60 Years Of Making The World Dance,” performing his hit songs from Sonora Dinamita, Latin Brothers, Afrosound, and Fruko y Sus Tesos. ¡Súbelo! brings an evening of musical tapestry woven together by many different aspects of Latine culture on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage.
  • Friday, July 19 will feature the Grant Park Orchestra in Star Wars and More: the Music of John Williams. The music from your favorite films come to life when guest conductor Anthony Parnther leads the orchestra in favorites from Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and more.
  • Saturday, July 20 offers free arts programming starting at 11am across the Park, culminating in an evening concert by Academy Award, Emmy and Grammy-winning artist, actor, author, activist and South Side native Common performing alongside the Grant Park Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Parnther at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at 7:30pm. Tickets to the July 20th concert at 7:30pm are free, but online reservations are required for this concert. Reservations will become available this spring. To receive the latest updates and ticket alerts, the public can sign up for the DCASE newsletter and/or Grant Park Music Festival newsletter, or follow Millennium Park on Instagram, Facebook, X (Twitter). Note: Reserved tickets are not required for the other Millennium Park events, only the Common concert.
  • Sunday, July 21 the four-day Anniversary Celebration will conclude with The S&S Chicago Experience from 4-7pm on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage, curated by Steve “Silk” Hurley and Shannon “Skip” Syas. Presenting a diverse and inclusive presentation of House Music, this initiative will bring global talent to create immersive experiences and unforgettable moments of Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect in Millennium Park. Four-time GRAMMY® Nominee Steve "Silk" Hurley of S&S Chicago has worked with likes of Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, J-Lo, Janet Jackson, Ozzy Osbourne, and a list of others, and will take attendees on a musical journey highlighting an array of special guests encapsulating the spirit of House Music.
  • Additional programming details for the Anniversary Celebration to be announced in the coming weeks. Visit for updates.

“Since its opening in 2004, Millennium Park has been home to the Grant Park Music Festival and bolstered our 90-year legacy of presenting free concerts for all Chicagoans. We are honored to expand our partnership with the City of Chicago as we celebrate the Park’s 20th anniversary and the visionary leaders who created this magnificent space in the heart of the city,” said Paul Winberg, President and CEO of the Grant Park Music Festival.

The Millennium Park 20th Anniversary Celebration is supported in part by the Millennium Park Foundation; and a $450,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism.


Millennium Park Residency Organizations

Returning for its second year, the Millennium Park Residency Program has announced five Chicago cultural organizations selected to present free dynamic programming as part of Millennium Park’s 20th Anniversary Summer Season: Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project, Vocalo, Collaboraction Theatre with Teatro Vista, Experimental Sound Studio, and Old Town School of Folk Music.

“It is an honor to partner with these five extraordinary Chicago organizations to bring new and innovative stories and inspiration to the thousands of locals and visitors who will experience the Park’s 20th Anniversary Season,” shared DCASE Deputy Commissioner, Programming Nancy Villafranca. “We’re excited to build on the success of last year’s inaugural Residency Program and welcome this new cohort.”

With the support of the Pritzker Foundation and the Millennium Park Foundation, DCASE has granted each organization up to $150,000 to develop and produce its own unique programming at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and throughout the Park, as part of the milestone 20th Anniversary Season.

The companies and dates are listed below. Visit for the latest programming updates.

Experimental Sound Studio
the urban+nature sonic pavilion
Saturday, July 13, 1-4pm
Thursday, August 15, 5-8pm
Millennium Park’s Great Lawn

The urban+nature sonic pavilion is an auditory exhibition that explores how the sounds of nature are hidden and embedded in the soundtrack of the city. Bringing together 10 multichannel compositions from an international roster of sound artists, this program invites visitors to actively listen to the nature rooted in the urban, and to reconsider the obsolete notion that the human and non-human cannot be beautifully reciprocal and entwined.

Free and open to the public, this immersive experience will take place on Millennium Park’s Great Lawn beneath the world-renowned latticed speaker system of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Interactive curatorial discussions will offer additional insights into the creative concepts of the artists.

This exhibition is curated by Giovanni Aloi and Chris Hunter of the Antennae Project, a leading international peer-reviewed publication on the subject of nature in contemporary art, in collaboration with Experimental Sound Studio (ESS).


Collaboraction and Teatro Vista present the return of Sandra Delgado’s La Havana Madrid
Starring Sandra Delgado, Directed by Cheryl Lynn Bruce
Friday, August 23
DJ Julio Bishop at 6pm; La Havana Madrid starts at 6:45pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Collaboraction and Teatro Vista present the return of Sandra Delgado’s La Havana Madrid, bringing back to life the eponymous 1960's Lakeview nightclub, where Latine immigrants new to Chicago found refuge to gather, sing, dance, find love and discover their destinies, hailed as “heartfelt and fascinating…bursting with music and warmth” (Chicago Tribune). This staged concert version of the smash hit play, directed by Cheryl Lynn Bruce, recreates a special time and place in Chicago history by immersing audiences in live music, dancing and stories inspired by real stories of Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Colombian newcomers.

Throughout, La Havana Madrid reveals how and why these new Chicagoans originally migrated to the shores of Lake Michigan, only to be pushed further west – away from the lake – by the forces of gentrification and racism. And alongside the stories, a live band led by Roberto “Carpacho” Marin, chronicles the history of Caribbean Latine music, from boleros, to mambo, to the birth of salsa. By the end of the show, audience members need little encouragement to get on their feet and dance right along. This special performance will kick off with a DJ Julio Bishop spinning salsa classics to get the party started.


Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project
Divination: The Dancing Souls of Black Folk
Saturday, August 24 at 5:45pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Returning to Millenium Park following a wildly successful 2022 engagement, the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project presents ten dynamic companies in a concert exploring the divine, mystical and spiritual ways our ancestors communicate and celebrate with us.

The companies performing include: The Chicago Multicultural Dance Company and Hiplet Ballerinas, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, The Era Footwork Collective, Forward Momentum Chicago, Joel Hall Dancers & Center, M.A.D.D. Rhythms, Move Me Soul, Muntu Dance Theatre, NAJWA Dance Corps, and Praize Productions Inc.


Vocalo Presents: Summer Finale with Pivot Gang, Marquis Hill, KAINA and more
Friday, September 20 from 6-9pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Vocalo is Chicago’s only urban alternative station, the first of its kind in the country, founded to reflect Chicago’s distinct cultural and creative fabric through music discovery — both on and off the airwaves. On Friday, September 20, Vocalo presents the Summer Finale, a special one-night-only free concert to wrap up the summer, featuring an incredible lineup of Chicago talent: Pivot Gang, a hip-hop collective of independent artists (Saba, Joseph Chilliams, Frsh Waters, MFnMelo and DaeDae) based out of Chicago’s West Side; internationally acclaimed trumpeter and South Side native Marquis Hill; beloved multi-genre singer-songwriter KAINA, and more.


Old Town School of Folk Music
Global Carnival
Sunday, September 22 from 6-9pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion and throughout the Park

A dynamic, immersive performance experience that will feature Afro-Brazilian carnival block Ilê Aiyê and New Orleans Black Masking Indian artists Flagboy Giz & the Wild Tchoupitoulas. With additional performances by local ensembles such as the Windy City Ramblers, Muntu Dance Theatre, Azania Drum, Team Jukeboxx Mas Band, and the Epic Steel Orchestra! Using various areas of Millennium Park as well as a main stage performance, Old Town School’s Global Carnival will weave together performances found in celebrations across the Black Atlantic. Carnival season is a well-known tradition throughout the Caribbean Basin and Latin America, with famous celebrations in Brazil, New Orleans, and Trinidad. While Chicago boasts sizable populations from the regions that participate in the Carnival tradition, large-scale outdoor celebrations are often difficult in the traditional lenten season in winter. The celebratory feeling found in Carnival celebrations engage the healing possibilities of releasing pain, stress, frustration and creating opportunities to embrace freedom, liberatory joy and revelatory experiences with your shared neighbors and community. Global Carnival will bring an evening of these experiences to Millennium Park, following Old Town School’s commitment to the folk tradition: sharing stories and performances from one culture to another.


Additional Millennium Park Summer Programming

As previously announced as part of the 2024 Summer Dates release, 2024 also welcomes the return of the City’s iconic annual music festivals and special events including the Chicago Gospel Music Festival (June 1), Chicago Blues Festival (June 6–9), and Chicago Jazz Festival (August 29–September 1) at Millennium Park and citywide. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of House Music, a genre born in Chicago, the Chicago House Music Festival takes place June 2 in Millennium Park. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will headline the annual Chicago Air and Water Show (August 10–11), awing locals and tourists alike one weekend earlier due to the Democratic National Convention. Taste of Chicago will once again showcase the city’s diverse culinary offerings alongside free concerts and family programming in Grant Park (September 6–8) in addition to three Taste neighborhood events throughout the summer. For more information, visit or

Additionally, the Grant Park Music Festival (presented by the Grant Park Orchestral Association with support from the Chicago Park District and DCASE) takes place Wednesdays, Fridays and most Saturdays, June 12–August 17 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Details at


Artist & Cultural Organization Bios

Academy Award, Emmy and Grammy-winning artist, actor, author, and activist, Common continues to break down barriers with a multitude of critically acclaimed roles, and continued success in all aspects of his career. Common can currently be seen starring in Apple TV+’s “Silo” as Robert Sims. This winter, he made his Broadway debut playing Junior in BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY. His latest album, A BEAUTIFUL REVOLUTION Part 2 was released in September 2021 and served as an inspiring follow up to his previous album, A BEAUTIFUL REVOLUTION Pt, which was released in March 2020. In 2019, Common released his hit album LET LOVE, inspired by his work and experiences writing his New York Times best-selling second memoir, LET LOVE HAVE THE LAST WORD. He has dedicated countless hours and has been deeply engaged in social justice and advocacy work around mass incarceration, mental health and voting. He launched the nonprofit Imagine Justice, and through his Common Ground Foundation, Common is dedicated to empowering high school students from underserved communities to become future leaders.


Fruko y Sus Tesos
Fruko y Sus Tesos is a salsa group from Colombia which enjoys immense popularity throughout Latin America. It was formed in 1970 by Ernesto Fruko Estrada who modeled it after the New York salsa sound of the Fania All-Stars, one of the leading salsa groups at the time. A favorite of Salsa DJ's around the globe, some have referred to Fruko y Sus Tesos as “Colombia's most important export.” Among the group's best known hits are “Pura Candela,” “Los Charcos,” “El Preso,” “Cali de Rumba,” “Son de la Loma,” “El Patillero,” “Tania,” “Charanga Campesina,” “El Arbol” and “Cachondea.” "El Preso" in particular is one of Colombia's most widely recognized and beloved songs.


Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project
The Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project (CBDLP) is a multi-year project that celebrates the historic impact of Black dance in Chicago and beyond. CBDLP brings dance companies together to learn from each other, and to leverage the resources of The University of Chicago’s Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, where the project is housed. Launched in 2019, the project has made a big impact in just a few short years. CBDLP has encouraged the development of its members, strengthening their organizational capacity through the support of University and other citywide partners, and by creating a forum for exchange. With the goal of increasing the visibility of Chicago’s rich Black dance tradition, CBDLP has presented numerous high-impact group shows at Chicago’s Navy Pier, Millennium Park, Art on the Mart, the Ravinia Festival, and more. The project has been featured in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Ebony, and many other publications. Currently working with its second cohort of companies, the project aims to fortify and amplify the impact of Black dance for generations to come. Visit and follow us on Instagram and Facebook @chicagoblackdancelegacyproject for more.


Collaboraction is a 27-year-old non-profit arts organization that builds knowledge, empathy, dialogue and action around oppression and inequity through live theater, film, radio and online interactive programs that leverage the power of storytelling and community to cultivate positive social change. Collaboraction has been recognized as an industry leader using theater, storytelling, community building and digital media (film, radio/podcast) and has been awarded two Emmy Awards, a Distinguished Service to the Arts Award, DCASE’s Foster Innovation Award and a Silver Gavel Honorable Mention from the American Bar Association, among others. Notable examples of Collaboraction’s recent work include two-time Emmy-award winning The Lost Story of Emmett Till: Trial in the Delta, Collaboraction Radio, live, every Saturday at 4pm CST on WCPT-820 AM, Moonset Sunrise, A Blue Island In the Red Sea, The Light youth ensemble and the annual Peacebook Festival. In addition to live performances, radio, community building and video production, Collaboraction centers and presents its work in Chicago neighborhoods historically overlooked like Englewood, Austin and Lawndale. To learn more about Collaboraction, visit or follow the company on Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.


Teatro Vista Productions (TVP)
Teatro Vista Productions is a non-profit multimedia theater company dedicated to multidisciplinary artists of color whose artistic expression on stage and beyond is rooted in the transformative power of storytelling. The award-winning, critically acclaimed theater company operates as the only Equity Latino/e theater company in the Midwest. In the past 2 years, Teatro Vista productions have garnered 17 nominations and 11 Jeff Award wins, including 2 for Best Production. The organization continually employs and builds the resumes of 50 to 80 artists per season, a majority artists of color, providing them opportunities to further their careers in a supportive and collaborative environment. Teatro Vista Productions has served the Latino/e community for 33 years and is celebrating its 34th season, having presented over 65 productions, including 20 world premieres and 15 Midwest premieres, since its inception in 1991. For more information visit or follow TVP on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.


Experimental Sound Studio
Founded in 1986, Experimental Sound Studio ( is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization dedicated to artistic evolution and the creative exploration of sound. As an international hub for sonic experimentation, ESS nurtures artists, heralds new works, and builds a broad, supportive community of makers, enthusiasts, and creative partners through production, presentation, education, and preservation.

Founded in 2006, Antennae Project ( is an experimental platform dedicated to innovative curation and publishing. One prominent outcome is Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, a leading international peer-reviewed academic journal. Antennae’s independent status has given a voice to underrepresented artists and scholars worldwide. Spanning over 62 issues and thousands of pages of editorial inquiry, the Journal provides a unique space in which groundbreaking academic fields including environmental humanities, posthumanism, Anthropocene studies, and critical plant studies can flourish.


Old Town School of Folk Music
Old Town School of Folk Music, founded in 1957, is the largest non-profit community school of the arts in the U.S., and committed to celebrating American musical traditions and global cultures. Old Town School brings people of all ages together from across Chicago and around the world to learn, create, perform, and enjoy music and dance at campuses in Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park. More info at


Vocalo is a multi-platform urban alternative music destination and a pillar of Chicago Public Media's arts and culture expansion. True to its founding principles, Vocalo continues to reflect Chicago’s distinct cultural and creative fabric through music discovery. We are proud to serve as a catalyst for expression and participation by amplifying local art, culture, and music.


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Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) supports artists and cultural organizations, invests in the creative economy, and expands access and participation in the arts throughout Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. As a collaborative cultural presenter, arts funder, and advocate for creative workers, our programs and events serve Chicagoans and visitors of all ages and backgrounds, downtown and in diverse communities across our city — to strengthen and celebrate Chicago. DCASE produces some of the city’s most iconic festivals, markets, events, and exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, and in communities across the city — serving a local and global audience of 25 million people. The Department offers cultural grants and resources, manages public art, supports TV and film production and other creative industries, and permits special events throughout Chicago. For details, visit and stay connected via our newsletters and social media.


Millennium Park
Celebrating its milestone 20th anniversary season, Millennium Park delivers a world-class collection of architecture, landscape design and art that provides the backdrop for hundreds of free cultural programs including concerts, exhibitions, interactive art and family activities. In Millennium Park, you’ll find a spectacular gathering spot located in the heart of the city, a destination for all Chicagoans and visitors alike. In addition to the more than 80 free events to be presented throughout the summer, a special four-day 20th Anniversary Celebration will take place July 18-21 across the Park featuring award-winning headliners, activities for families and youth, workouts, new public art, dance performances, concerts, and fireworks — presented by DCASE with the Grant Park Music Festival, Millennium Park Foundation, and others.

Millennium Park is the #1 attraction in the Midwest and among the top 10 most-visited sites in the U.S. It is also the anchor of an urban cultural campus (Millennium Park Campus) that includes the Chicago Cultural Center, Maggie Daley Park and The Art Institute of Chicago. Millennium Park is located on Michigan Avenue, bordered by Randolph St. to the north, Columbus Dr. to the east and Monroe St. to the south. The Park is open daily from 6am to 11pm. Plan your visit at; follow us on Facebook (@MillenniumParkChicago), Twitter and Instagram (@Millennium_Park); and join the conversation on social media using #MillenniumPark.