Chicago Film Office — Claudia Cassidy Theater Public Programming

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Claudia Cassidy Theater

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The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) offers in-kind support to individuals and organizations to host free film programs in the Claudia Cassidy Theater at the Chicago Cultural Center throughout the year. Events can include but are not limited to screenings, panels, discussions, series, and film festivals. Please go to to complete an intake survey for in-kind use of the Claudia Cassidy Theater.


Criteria for in-kind use

- Events must serve to enrich Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy

- Events must be free and open to the public (no donations or fee-based admission)

- Events must be original (i.e. not replicating events already taking place elsewhere in the city)

- Events must promote quality, diverse, and all-age appropriate content.

- Events must take place during building hours (M-F. 10am–7pm, Sat./Sun. 10am–5pm). For events that run beyond normal building hours, some costs may be incurred around after-hours staff and security.

- Events wishing to have reception or use additional space in the Cultural Center in conjunction with event may do so at the market rate for providing space and support services. The film office will connect you with event staff and work with you through this process.

- Reoccurring independent events (such as film festivals) must provide a plan for autonomous sustainability and strategic growth freestanding from DCASE support. DCASE is proud to act as an incubator but does not have the capacity to sustain independent events on a reoccurring annual basis.

o The exception to this is reoccurring events that are supplementary offerings to larger organizational initiatives (for example: the WTTW Screening Series, or Chicago International Film Festival Summer Screening Series)

- All marketing materials for in-kind supported events must include the DCASE logo and the following language: "Co-presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events”. The DCASE logo can be downloaded at Please share materials with our office for review.


DCASE provides the following in-kind support:

- Access to a 300-seat theater with theater sound, mics/podium and digital projection (DVD, Blu-ray, 16mm, and digital file ONLY. No 35mm or DCP projection available).

- Additional space access to the theater lobby and adjacent GAR Hall and Rotunda

- Projection booth staff and technical support

- House manager and building security

- Marketing on DCASE website and Chicago Cultural Center brochures (space permitting)


Theater Guidelines for Public Programs

- Admission for programming at the Chicago Cultural Center is always free and open to the public. RSVP’s accepted however ticketing is prohibited.

- No food or beverages in the Claudia Cassidy Theater.

- Claudia Cassidy Theater is ADA accessible.



If you are interested in being considered for a film program, please go to to complete a survey for in-kind use of the Claudia Cassidy Theater. You will need to be prepared with:

- Statement of Purpose: explain your interest in producing an event at the Chicago Cultural Center and describe how your event meets the above programming criteria.

- Logistical + Technical Considerations: include information regarding how you plan to utilize the space. Equipment that is required from our AV team — technical information regarding your film format, as well as what is needed for your presentation and panel discussions: tables, chairs, podium, microphones, etc.


Submission Timeline

Submissions are evaluated on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Due to the high volume of submissions for programs in the Chicago Cultural Center, please submit your request at least 4 months prior to your event date. Questions regarding our submission policy and process can be directed via e-mail to

Please do not contact us about the status of your submission and we will notify you if you have been selected. The schedule and bookings for film programs are publicized on


Date Availability

Claudia Cassidy availability is subject to other events previously scheduled in the Chicago Cultural Center and we are unable to guarantee availability with your requested dates and times. We will work with you to the best of our abilities to find a date and time that works for your event.


Private Rental

Please note that the Claudia Cassidy Theater is also available for private use. For more information on renting the theater for your private event, please contact Lara Ziemba at, 312.744.2080.



For organizations interested in hosting receptions in conjunction with theater use, please note the following:

• Receptions will have associated costs for additional staffing and support.

• Receptions cannot be guaranteed and need to be booked by DCASE in addition to the theater.

• Partnering Organizations must be working with the Chicago Film Office on a screening and/or presentation that is free & open to the public, even if the reception is invite-only.

• Reception may not exceed 2 hours of event time.

• If Partnering Organizations wish to serve alcohol, there will be additional costs for off-duty Police Officers.

• If Partnering Organizations wish to use a caterer not on the DCASE Recommended Catering List, the MBRE Private Events Office will need to grant approval, as to be in-line with City Rules & Regulations.

• All operational costs, indemnification and liability will be passed onto the Partnering Organization and a private events contract will be issued.