Free, Free, Free! Chicago Arts + Events

Free Free Free! Chicago Arts + Events

"Free, Free, Free!" is an e-newsletter and website that provides a monthly curated list of free programs, events and activities happening throughout the city in our libraries, museums, cultural centers and parks. We encourage you to express your culture through the arts and take advantage of the many opportunities the City of Chicago provides you to engage, create and participate!


(events are subject to change)

Year of Chicago Music


Year of Chicago Music2020, Citywide

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.


Chicago Cultural Center

Porchlight Music Theatre (Photo credit: Michael Courier)Juicebox with Porchlight Music Theatre

Friday, March 6, 11–11:45am
Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall, 3rd Floor South, 78 E. Washington St.
Saturday, March 7, 1111:45am
Garfield Park Conservatory, Horticulture Hall, 300 N. Central Park Ave.
Chicago's musical theatre center for almost 25 years, Porchlight Music Theatre will guide kids through a famous musical told storybook style. Participants will learn music, sing, dance and even help the performers bring the story to life. For full schedule of Juicebox events happening through May, visit our website.


February 29-March 1, 1–pm
Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall, 3rd Floor South

Immerse yourself in a universe of sound and light, and celebrate the 50th anniversary of John Cage and Lejaren Hiller's HPSCHD with NON:op Open Opera Works. Reimagined for 21st century Chicago, the two afternoon performances feature 7 harpsichords, 52 channels of computer-generated sound, and 100s and 100s of still and moving images. Building on the abundance embodied by its predecessor, MUSICIRCUS, Cage drew on the cultural currency and imagery of the NASA space program and its promise of a multiplicity of newly discovered worlds. Now, after 50 years, we have come to understand the multiplicity and abundance within our own lives and within the places where we live our lives.


The Doc Talk Show: Music Videos (Claudia Cassidy Theater pictured)The Doc Talk Show: Music Videos

Friday, March 20, 5:30pm Reception, 6pm Screening
Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater, 2nd Floor North, 78 E. Washington St.
The Doc Talk Show is a monthly non-fiction film showcase that features diverse filmmakers in Chicago. The filmmakers share their clips, trailers, and shorts and enjoy a facilitated Q&A with the audience. Chicago's most innovative film creatives stretch their wings in the music video genre. Come see their eye-popping work and hear how these next gen filmmakers bring their vision to life. For more information, visit


Chicago Park District

Chicago Park DistrictJazz City at Garfield Conservatory

Friday, March 6, 79pm

Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave.

Women of Chicago Jazz: Featuring bassist Marlene Rosenberg with guitarist Scott Hesse, pianist Franchesca Romero and drummer Xavier Breaker, and pianist Jo Ann Daugherty with saxophonist Rajiv Halim, bassist Joshua Ramos and drummer Ryan Bennett. JazzCity is a free concert series initiated in 1997 by the Jazz Institute of Chicago in collaboration with the Chicago Park District to bring people together from across the city to listen to Chicago's top jazz musicians.


Chicago Park DistrictThe Plasticity of Fashion at NPV

Saturday, March 28, 2–3:15pm

North Park Village Nature Center Park, 5801 N. Pulaski Rd.

Perceptual Motion, Inc. collaborates with visual Artist Toby Zallman and North Park Village Nature Center to present a workshop on plastic art and fashion. Participants will learn how to make clothing from recycled plastic and see a performance of Lin Shook's latest dance "The 3 R's".


Chicago Public Library

Chicago Public Library YouMediaOpen Mic @ Little Italy

Thursday, March 12, 3:30–5pm

Little Italy Branch, 1336 W. Taylor St.

Calling all teen musicians, poets, dancers and comedians: Bring your talent and friends to Little Italy YOUmedia's open mic! Each participant will have a max of 5 minutes to perform a song, dance, poem or stand-up routine. Snacks will be provided. Open to teens in grades 7 through 12.


Art, Movies and PerformancesMusic with Little Parade/Musica con Little Parade

Saturday, March 14, 10:45–11:30am

Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St.

Join Little Parade for an interactive bilingual Spanish and English music program filled with singing, moving and dancing. This program is best suited for children up to 4 years old.


Art, Movies and PerformancesOriginal Sixty-Fourth Street Beach Drummers

Saturday, March 21, 11:30am–1pm

Whitney M. Young, Jr. Branch, 415 E. 79th St.

The Original Sixty-Fourth Street Beach Drummers will bring the soul stirring rhythms and beats of communication to our urban community.



Museum of Contemporary Art ChicagoAdler Planetarium

Illinois Resident Discount Days: March 9–12

1300 S. Lake Shore Dr. – South Loop/Museum Campus

Countless galaxies, unfathomable distances, exploding stars, diamond planets, black holes, there's no way around it, space is freaking awesome! Come learn more at the Adler Planetarium during our Illinois Resident Discount Days-where Illinois residents receive FREE Museum Entry to the museum. Museum Entry provides access to all exhibitions and experiences (excluding the historic Atwood Sphere experience and sky shows.*)

*On Illinois Resident Discount Days, Illinois residents may also upgrade to a Museum Entry +2 pass at a discounted price and gain access to the Atwood Sphere experience and any of our breathtaking sky shows.


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