May 15, 2014

Mayor Emanuel Announces Encore Season of ‘Night Out in the Parks’

Building on Last Year’s Success, Second Season Features More Than 1,000 Events, New Community Based Performers

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Park District Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Commissioner Michelle Boone, local arts organizations, performers and community members today announced the encore season of Night Out in the Parks at Douglas Park in the Lawndale community. The 2014 series will include more than 1,000 cultural events and activities at parks across the city featuring 50 neighborhood arts and theater organizations; more than 90 percent of the events are offered with free admission.

“Chicago is known around the world for the vibrancy of its arts and culture and we are bringing this creative spirit and energy to neighborhoods all across the City through Night Out in the Parks,” said Mayor Emanuel. “By expanding the number of events offered in the second year of this successful program, we’re enabling more residents to check out the best of what Chicago has to offer right in their own backyard while also supporting local artists.”
Launched last year, Night Out in the Parks is part of Mayor Emanuel’s citywide vision for art and culture. It is also a key component of the Chicago Cultural Plan, which was launched by Mayor Emanuel and DCASE in 2012 and is the first plan of its kind in more than 25 years. Through the Cultural Plan, the City is making investments in public art, music festivals, films, concerts, exhibitions and performances.

“‘Night Out in the Parks will elevate and amplify the cultural assets of neighborhoods across Chicago, facilitate neighborhood planning of cultural activity and help the City integrate culture into daily life—all of which are key components of the Chicago Cultural Plan,” said DCASE Commissioner Boone. “By collaborating with the Chicago Park District, DCASE can help to expand access to the arts—including music, theater and dance—across Chicago communities.”
“After last year’s incredible inaugural season of Night Out in the Parks, we are excited to bring even more cultural opportunities to our city’s neighborhoods, said Park District Superintendent Kelly. “Night Out in the Parks provides wonderful opportunities for families to enjoy quality time together but also connect with their neighbors in a fun and social setting.”

This year’s offerings include events and performances by new and returning partners. Highlights include:

Theater on the Lake
June 18 – August 10
Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 6:30 pm
This year, Theater on the Lake will take the show on the road to three park locations while the historic lakefront facility is undergoing renovation, performances will be held at Berger Park, Washington Park Refectory, Union Park. For ticket information visit or call 312.742.7994.

Movies in the Parks
June 12 – September
The Chicago Park District’s 14th annual Movies in the Parks series will feature classics like The Goonies and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and contemporary favorites like Despicable Me 2, The Lego Movie and Life of Pi. Among the many screenings of the Jackie Robinson biopic, 42, we will feature this movie at the park that bears the baseball legend’s name – Jackie Robinson Park. In keeping with tradition, The Wizard of Oz returns to Oz Park this year and the South Shore Cultural Center will host an annual screening of The Wiz.
New this summer is the debut of the Chicago On Screen Local Film Showcase, featuring work from local filmmakers, and a special series of Family Fun movies suitable for kids of all ages. All movies begin at dusk, weather permitting. Call 312.742.1134 for daily listings and weather-related cancellations.

Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks
July 20 – August 17
Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks returns this summer and brings Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream to 18 neighborhood parks across Chicago. A specially equipped truck rolls into each park, a stage unfolds, and a company of professional actors shares the delight of Shakespeare with families and neighbors of all ages.

RAGE (Residents Association of Greater Englewood) - So Fresh Saturdays
June 7 – August 30
Residents Association of Greater Englewood (RAGE) provides youth and families a safe place for creative expression and a balanced look at issues that divide us: showcasing various artistic expressions and educational workshops that focus on youth, entrepreneurship, hip hop, media, social networks and more.

About Face Theatre
July 10 – August 1

About Face Theatre creates innovative, adventurous plays to advance the national dialogue on gender and sexual identity, and to challenge and entertain audiences across the globe. Their summer production of “Checking Boxes: Immigration and Stories of Being Undocumented in the Queer Community” highlights the struggles and triumphs of people in this complex societal subsection. 

Dance in the Parks
July 16 – August 8
Dance in the Parks brings free, professional, outdoor dance concerts to Chicago’s parks! The all-ages performances feature works created and performed by professional Chicago dance artists in a wide range of styles and themes and offers showcase opportunities to local youth companies. Bring your picnic dinner and enjoy the show!

Toddler Tunes and Turtles
June 3 – Sept. 9
This free outdoor nature program provides families the opportunity to meet live animals, sing along to family friendly music and encourage the little ones to experience and play with nature.

Jazz City: Latin Jazz Festival
July 18 and 19
In collaboration with the Jazz Institute of Chicago, this community celebration brings Latin Jazz greats from around the country and right here at home to the beautiful Boathouse in Humboldt Park.

Free Street Theatre
July 10 – August 18
Free Street Theater's youth ensembles will create short performances that recreate and/or transform real-life events from each park’s history. Using a variety of aesthetic forms - tiny puppet shows, musical numbers, comedic scenes, Free Street will present work that is specific to a particular park’s history and place in the community.

Grant Park Music Festival
June 11 – August 16
This year, the Grant Park Music Festival will continue to work together with the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks program and expand Festival Connect, its comprehensive initiative aimed to increase music education and engagement opportunities for audiences of all ages. Festival Connect will bring a renewed focus to the neighborhoods with performances by the Grant Park Chorus, Project Inclusion and Apprentice Chorale. Christopher Bell and the Grant Park Chorus will reach new audiences by bringing Choral Splendor, a program of a cappella music, to two Chicago Park District facilities: the South Shore Cultural Center and the Columbus Park Refectory.
For more information, visit or call 312.742.PLAY.