In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Chicago has joined the State of Illinois in issuing a Stay at Home order effective Saturday, March 21st at 5pm CT. In addition, City of Chicago facilities are closed to the public. Staff are prioritizing essential services to protect the health and safety of our residents and employees. As such, we may be delayed in responding to non-essential inquiries and service requests. To stay up to date on the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 response, please visit the City Coronavirus Response Center site.
"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
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
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.
Chicago Park District
Friday, March 6, 7–9pm
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.