Year of Chicago Music
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In support of Chicago’s thriving music industry, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events have designated 2020 and 2021 as the “Year of Chicago Music.” This citywide focus on music is one of the first of its kind in the U.S. The City of Chicago and its partners working with the local music industry will launch a marketing campaign for Chicago music; provide additional financial grants for musicians and music projects; encourage dialog around inclusion and equity; and call on civic, philanthropic, arts and business leaders to support the music industry.
YOCM Initiative Highlights:
- A new brand, “Music in The Key of Chicago,” that positions Chicago as one of the greatest world music capitals;
- Major grants to the local music industry via the Chicago Cultural Grants, and Individual Artist Program Grants, including new Esteemed Artist Awards;
- Direct support of INVEST South/West initiatives – including the newly developed pilot Neighborhood Access Program, and permanent venue space development programs;
- Professional support for musicians – including career development opportunities and a Chicago Music Roster;
- Chicago Presents – a new grant program to activate cultural programs in neighborhoods;
- Youth programs – including a Teen Arts Leadership Summit, the Youth Music Exchange, and youth partnerships across agencies;
- New Memorable Spaces Walking Tour – showcasing legendary music spots in the Loop;
- Public and partner programming including free and ticketed performances across the city in our historic venues and clubs, festivals and special events placing a spotlight on Chicago music, Night Out in the Parks music programs, Art on theMART Year of Chicago Music commissions and much more;
- Chicago In Tune (August 19 – September 19) is a new citywide festival celebrating Chicago’s diverse and legendary music scene and the 2021 Year of Chicago Music. This month of music will bring iconic neighborhood venues, presenting organizations, and musicians from across the city together to celebrate all music genres and forms — with both free and ticketed events at clubs, concert halls, and beyond. DCASE will present four special evenings at Jay Pritzker Pavilion made possible by the Millennium Park Foundation honoring music born and innovated in Chicago: Gospel music (September 3), Jazz (September 4), House (September 11), and Blues (September 18) — all at 5:30-8:30pm.
- Music in the Key of Chicago “Sounds of the Riverwalk” is a new eight-week music series featuring musicians from the Chicago Band Roster. These free, public performances start on August 22 and will continue every Sunday at 1pm at the Confluence, located between Lake St. and Franklin St. on the Chicago Riverwalk (ChicagoRiverwalk.us). Visit our website for the full schedule.
Ways to Participate:
Chicago Band Roster
In honor of the Year of Chicago Music, DCASE presents the Chicago Band Roster, a selection of nearly 200 singers, songwriters, DJs, solo artists and ensemble musicians based in Chicago performing a variety of music styles including Blues, House, Hip-Hop, Rock, jazz, Gospel, Classical and more. Artists on the Chicago Band Roster were selected by a panel of music industry professionals based on artistic excellence, work samples and performance history at private and public events.
In an effort to increase meaningful performance opportunities for Chicago-based musicians, the Chicago Musician Roster can be used as resource for residents, producers, venues and organizations looking to present high-quality music programs. View the Chicago Band Roster.
Chicago Presents Funding Program
DCASE will also launch Chicago Presents - a new funding program to support cultural presenters activate cultural programs that comply with public health guidelines in neighborhoods throughout Chicago in Summer 2021. Emerging and established cultural presenters are invited to submit proposals for free live, in-person concerts and events, spanning across all genre’s music, performance and dance that activate Chicago’s streets, plazas and parks. Additionally, presenters may select up to two solo musicians and/or bands from the Chicago Band Roster to play at their event. More information is available online.
Chicago In Tune Events
Venues, organizations and artists may submit Chicago In Tune events by visiting Do312.com/ChicagoInTune.
Tag Your “Music In the Key of Chicago”
Download the Year of Chicago Music marketing toolkit. Whether you’re an artist, a music venue or an arts organization, tag and share your events as part of “Music In the Key of Chicago.” Download the toolkit.