Year of Chicago Theatre
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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.
- Mayor Emanuel Designates 2019 as the 'Year of Chicago Theatre' (September 17, 2018)
- Mayor Emanuel Announces $1 Million In Foundation Support and New Programming for the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre (February 11, 2019)
Free Public Events:
- Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks (July 18–August 18, 2019)
- ACTIVATE: Backstage, a series of four summer nights inspired by the art of performance (June 6, July 18, August 22, September 26, 2019)
- Art on theMART, featuring theatre-themed digital art projections (Wednesday – Sunday, ongoing)
- Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade, featuring theatre groups and artists (October 19, 2019)
- Arts in the Dark on the Riverwalk Lantern Processions, celebrating local theatre (summer 2019)
- Chicago Cultural Center Exhibition: Chicago! The Play, The Movies, The Musical...The Murders (through June 23, 2019)
- Chicago Cultural Center Exhibition: goat island archive–we have discovered the performance by making it (through June 23, 2019)
- Design Museum of Chicago at Expo 72 Exhibition: Setting the Stage, details to be announced soon (June 29, 2019 – January 5, 2020)
- Millennium Park Summer Film Series, co presented by local theatres (Tuesdays, June – August, 2019)
- Millennium Park Theatre Series, details to be announced soon (July – October, 2019)
- Night Out in the Parks, including theatre performances throughout Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods (ongoing)
For more details on Year of Chicago Theatre happenings, visit ChicagoPlays.com.
Opportunities for Artists and Organizations
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.
Year of Chicago Theater Question of the Month: I love Chicago theatre because...
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.
The City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres are grateful for the generous support of these partners.