MAYOR EMANUEL, CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT KICK OFF THIRD SEASON OF ‘NIGHT OUT IN THE PARKS’; More than 1,000 events to be held this summer, most with free admission

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More than 1,000 events to be held this summer, most with free admission


As part of inauguration weekend, Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined Chicago Park District Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly, local arts organizations, performers and community members to kick off the third season of Night Out in the Parks at Kennicott Park. The program launched today with 100 theater, dance and other events held across the city, representing the largest number of events held in the same day in the program’s history. The 2015 series will include more than 1,000 cultural events and activities at parks across the city featuring 101 neighborhood arts organizations and artists; nearly all events are offered with free admission.


“Chicago prides itself on offering residents and visitors growing access to the arts and culture, and the incredibly popular Night Out in the Parks program brings hundreds of events each year to neighborhoods all across the city – and for most events, the price of admission is only a lawn chair,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This year, we’ve doubled the number of featured neighborhood organizations and artists to highlight even more of Chicago’s vibrant arts scene.”


New this year is the launch of the My Chi ParksTM mobile application, which is available to download on Apple and Android devices. Through this app, patrons will have access to all 1,000+ Night Out in the Parks events on the go, helping them to plan a spontaneous night out. Exciting features of the app include a full event list, park list and geolocation to help users identify nearby activities.


“We are excited to be collaborating with the Chicago Park District again this summer to expand access to the arts—including dance, theater, music and more,” said Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Commissioner Michelle T. Boone. “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.”


Launched in 2013, 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. Through this plan, the City and Chicago Park District are making investments in public art, music festivals, films, concerts, exhibitions and performances.


“On the heels of two incredible summers bringing cultural events and activities to Chicago’s parks, we’re elated to debut our third season, said Superintendent Kelly.


“Night Out in the Parks has become synonymous with Chicago summers. It provides wonderful opportunities for families to enjoy quality time together, while connecting with neighbors in a fun social setting. There’s something for everyone, and most times at little to no cost.”


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


Movies in the Parks

June 4 – September 3


The Chicago Park District will bring big-screen entertainment to local parks for the 16th year of Movies in the Parks. The jam-packed 2015 summer lineup will feature 120 different titles in more than 200 screenings in more than 150 parks. The roster will include a something-for-everyone array of contemporary, cult classic and classic films like Annie (2014), The Boxtrolls, Jurassic Park, Clue and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Throughout the summer, superheroes and supervillains will rule then night as The Avengers save Manhattan (The Avengers), Batman protects Gotham (Batman Returns), Baymax teams up with Hiro (Big Hero 6), Peter Quill guards the galaxy (Guardians of the Galaxy), Maleficent discovers her bad side and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles take the fight for good to the streets … and the sewers.


Movies in the Parks is supported by Bank of America. All movies begin at dusk, weather permitting. Call 312.742.1134 for daily listings and weather-related cancelations.


Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase

July – August


The Chicago Park District’s celebration of local films and filmmakers returns in 2015 for a second installment of the Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase to introduce Chicagoans to some of the incredible filmmakers who are working, producing and creating in our own backyard. The Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase is part of the Chicago Park District’s popular Movies in the Parks program and will feature homegrown talent in hometown parks on Sunday nights through July and August.


Movies in the Parks is supported by Bank of America. All movies begin at dusk, weather permitting. Call 312.742.1134 for daily listings and weather-related cancelations.


Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks

July 19 – August 16


Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks returns this summer, bringing Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits—a music-infused mash-up of Shakespeare’s most memorable scenes and characters, to 17 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.  The 2015 season introduces a new location, Steelworkers Park on July 19. Located in the Calumet community, Steelworkers Park was previously a steel mill. The famous mud to parks transformation occurred in the early 2000s, and this will be the first theater performance ever in this space.


Theater on the Lake

Theater on the Lake: The Chicago Summer Theater Festival June 17 – August 16 Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 6:30 p.m.


Theater on the Lake continues to take the shows on the road to three park locations while the historic lakefront facility undergoes renovation.Performances will be held at Berger Park Cultural Center (6205 N. Sheridan Rd.), Washington Park Refectory (5531 S Martin Luther King Dr.) and Austin Town Hall Cultural Center (5610 W. Lake St.). Among the riveting performances is Oracle Production’s “This House Believes the American Dream is at the Expense of the American Negro,” August 5 – August 16 at Washington Park Refectory and August 12 – August 15 at Austin Town Hall. For ticket information visit, or call 312-742-7994.


Dance in the Parks

July 15 – August 9


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!


Old Town School of Folk Music

June 19 – 28


Iron Heart Chicago takes you on a trip around the world – without ever leaving Chicago’s extraordinary neighborhoods. After over 30 concerts at CTA ‘L’ Stations, Old Town School of Folk Music presents six local heroes of folk music in six Chicago Parks. Sample a slice of the juju that makes Chicago the global music capital.


Chicago Philharmonic

August 1, Ping Tom Memorial Park (1700 S. Wentworth Ave.) August 29, Columbus Park Refectory (5701 W Jackson Blvd.)


Join musicians from the famed Chicago Philharmonic for a unique outdoor concert experience — as an audience member or performer! Music lovers of all ages are invited to bring their instruments and play alongside professionals, creating an orchestra for a fun symphonic concert. Or just come and enjoy great music in Chicago’s backyard.


Collaboraction: Let Hope Rise 2015

August 6 – 28

Hamilton Park (513 W. 72nd St.), Garfield Park Conservatory (300 N. Central Park Ave.), Loyola Park (1230 W. Greenleaf Ave.), Austin Town Hall (5610 W. Lake St.)


Collaboraction returns to Night Out in the Parks for a third summer with the latest installment of their Let Hope Rise 2015 tour.  Crime Scene Chicago: The Next Chapter couples nonfiction source material such as interviews, articles, and online comments with true stories of Chicago crimes to raise critical questions surrounding segregation, poverty, media and pop culture in order to incite thought, dialogue and change.


Ayodele Drum & Dance and Red Clay Dance

July 18, Hamilton Park, (513 W. 72nd St.) August 22, Sherman Park, (1301 W. 52nd St.) August 29, Fuller Park, (331 W. 45th St.)


Two Arts Partners in Residence team up again this summer to present Rhythmic Fusion: An African | Afro-Contemporary Dance. Dance to the drums and DJ Nick Nonstop during a workshop; then experience an African Contemporary exhibition with Ayodele Drum and Dance and Red Clay Dance. There’s even art activities for the wee ones in the Kidz Korner for a total family-fun event.


Taylor Moore and Friends

June 14 – August 21


Taylor Moore & Friends, often known to her audiences as the Princess of Percussion, returns to entertain Night Out audiences with a variety of music ranging from jazz standards to contemporary tunes, while incorporating audience participation and providing an oral history of the music.



July 13, Kilbourn Park, (3501 N. Kilbourn Ave.) July 16, Maggie Daley Park, (337 E. Randolph St.) July 21, Russell Square Park, (3045 E. 83rd St.)


MPAACT Theatre presents the BROCCOLI: THE MUSICAL, the story of Broccoli’s adventure out of the vegetable crisper and into land of unhealthy foods that live on the refrigerator’s higher shelves. Using music from different genres and decades, this musical offers young people the historical and nutritional food information they need to help them learn the value of healthy eating.


RAGE (Residents Association of Greater Englewood) – So Fresh Saturdays June 20 – August 29


Residents Association of Greater Englewood (RAGE) returns for a third year featuring So Fresh Saturdays in Englewood parks.  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.


Toddler Tunes and Turtles

June 9 – September 17


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: 9th Annual 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(1440 N. Sacramento).


Midnight Circus in the Parks

August 29 – October 18


Midnight Circus is coming to eight parks citywide presenting a true “Big Top” tent extravaganza. Celebrating community and rebuilding parks, one circus at a time.

For more information, visit or call 312.742.PLAY.




The Chicago Park District is the 2014 Gold Medal Award winner, recognized for excellence in park and recreation management across the nation. For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,300 acres of parkland, 585 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 12 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312/742.PLAY.


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