DCASE Homepage > Year of Chicago Theatre
The City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres have designated 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre.
This citywide, year-long focus on theatre is the first of its kind in the U.S.
The initiative includes performances and special events throughout the city – including theatre-themed events in all 77 community areas, as part of the Chicago Park District’s ‘Night Out in the Parks’ series. The City of Chicago and its partners will also launch a marketing campaign; provide additional financial grants to theatre projects; encourage dialog around inclusion and equity; and call on civic, philanthropic, arts and business leaders to support the theatre community. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there’s a seat waiting for you at one of our 200+ theatres.
For more details on Year of Chicago Theatre happenings, visit ChicagoPlays.com.
Monday, May 13; Tuesday June 11; Tuesday, July 9; and Tuesday August 13, 8:30–9pm (staging begins at 7:30pm)
Theatre artists and organizations are invited to lead one of the four Arts in the Dark Lantern Processions produced by LUMA8 (Light Up My Arts) on the Chicago Riverwalk this summer. The processions will be held in conjunction with the Chicago Riverwalk Season Kickoff on Monday, May 13, and "2nd Tuesdays on the Riverwalk" (June 11, July 9 and August 13). In honor of the Year of Chicago Theatre, DCASE will provide a $2,500 commission to four local theatre companies to create themed, spectacle lanterns to lead each of the four processions. The series will give theatres a chance to connect with a new audience in an unexpected venue. Commission applicants must select a spectacle theme and commit to at least twenty-five procession participants. LUMA8 will connect selected companies with local lantern artists, musicians and other resources to help achieve their vision. To learn more about this opportunity and to apply, contact Sharene Shariatzadeh of LUMA8 at sharene@LUMA8.org.
Open House Chicago Theatre Opportunity
Do you have a theatre venue and are looking for new audiences? Are you interested in connecting to the Year of Chicago Theatre in a simple and exciting way, right in your own neighborhood?
Join fellow theatres in participating in Open House Chicago, a citywide program for thousands of visitors to discover unexpected and beloved neighborhood spaces across the city! Gain the opportunity to attract new and captive audiences - and through a special collaboration with the Chicago Architecture Center for the Year of Chicago Theatre, participating theatres will get special visibility and promotion during 2019 Open House Chicago (Oct 19-20)! Download FAQ here for more info.
Year of Chicago Theatre Teen Engagement Program Funding Opportunity
Applications due Monday, July 15 at 5pm
As part of 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre and supported by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Teen Arts Pass (a program of Urban Gateways) is looking to present a series of unique teen engagement programs celebrating Chicago theatre this fall! Organizations working with teen populations are invited to propose teen-focused programs offering one-of-a-kind, hands-on opportunities for young people to engage with theatre across the city. Non-theatre youth organizations can apply if in partnership with a theatre venue or group.
The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCASE), in partnership with the League of Chicago Theatres, has designated 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre (YOCT). A key component of the mission of the YOCT is to build inclusivity and expand the geographic scope of Chicago theatre. As part of this work, YOCT will conduct a survey of theatre assets on the south and west sides. Led by artists, YOCT will map cultural ‘assets’ – documenting the people, organizations, facilities, businesses, and place-based and place-based histories that support and inform the development of theatre on the south and west sides of the city. Individual artists, artist teams and arts organizations are invited to apply to lead these cultural asset mapping projects.
Saturday, October 19, 6–8pm on State St., from Lake St. to Van Buren St.
Be a part of the dazzling event that delights audiences with unique floats, spectacle puppets and creative performances. Now in its fifth year, the Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade produced by LUMA8 (Light Up My Arts) draws together more than 100,000 guests and participants for a magical evening parade that celebrates Halloween as the "artist's holiday." In honor of the Year of Chicago Theatre, DCASE will provide a $2,500 commission to 10 local theatre companies to create a float or walking contingent for the parade. Commission applicants must select a spectacle theme and commit to at least twenty-five parade participants. LUMA8 will connect each selected theatre with float companies, artists, musicians and other resources to help achieve their vision. To learn more about this opportunity and to apply, contact Sharene Shariatzadeh of LUMA8 at sharene@LUMA8.org.
For other key initiatives supporting the local theatre industry, visit LeagueOfChicagoTheatres.org.
Throughout the year, we'll be asking questions related to our local theatre scene, and as patrons and practitioners, you're invited to give us YOUR stories and personal reflections. We've partnered with Gather Voices, Inc. to collect short, public-generated video testimonials as part of our year–long marketing campaign.