Chicago's parks will be alive with the sights and sounds of music, theater, dance, movies, the circus and many other cultural events this summer.
In an announcement being made ast the Garfield Park Conservatory on Tuesday, Mayor Emanuel will herald plans for 750 citywide performances and other activities as part of the expanded programming under the umbrella title of "Night Out in the Parks." Devised by the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, in collaboration with many local arts organizations, the summer programming will build on the success of traditional activities like Movies in the Park and last summer's hugely successful inaugural season of Shakespeare in the Park. The goal is to expand access and exposure to the arts, as well as "to make community parks a safe haven and a hub of activity." Many of the events are offered with free admission.
As first announced by Mayor Emanuel in January, an additional $2 million in NATO Summit legacy funds is being invested in neighborhood parks and cultural programs, with $750,000 of those private funds to expand cultural and arts programming throughout the city. Those funds will help pay for the expansion of these summer programs.
In a prepared statement, Chicago Park District Superintendent Michael P. Kelly said: "We welcome Chicagoans and visitors alike to save a trip downtown and visit their local park to enjoy the breadth of world-class cultural programming that we will be offering in their community." The hope is to reach more than 20,000 people throughout the summer.
Among the new programs that will be part of the programming are: Grant Park Music Festival choral performances; the Juicebox series for children; The Hypocrites' "Romeo and Juliet"; the Eye on India festival; Collaboraction's "Crime Scene: Let Hope Rise"; Elastic Arts' Culture Coach; and the Chicago Children's Theatre and Redmoon's "The Elephant and the Whale."
The "Night Out in the Parks" series also includes the expansion of many programs regularly presented at Chicago parks, such as Movies in the Parks, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks (in partnership with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, whose production this year will be "The Comedy of Errors"), Circus in the Parks featuring the Midnight Circus, JazzCity (in partnership with the Jazz Institute of Chicago), and Dance in the Parks.
For more information, visit www.nightoutintheparks.com or call 312-742-PLAY.