The Chicago Cultural Center knows how to provide visceral and engaging Chicago-created content. Last year the city celebrated the Year of Chicago Dance, which highlighted our thriving and diverse dance community. During that time, the Chicago Cultural Center Dance Studio installed a new dance floor and provided space, time, and funding for Chicago dancemakers to […]
‘Utopia is a place that accommodates every body’
Last October, the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) and Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) appointed multidisciplinary artist Ariella Granados as its first Central West Center artist in residence. Supported by the MOPD, the National Endowment for the Arts, and DCASE, the residency offers studio space and funding for Granados […]
Was ‘We Will Chicago’ the People’s plan?
The public comment period closed November 1, but some Chicagoans are still asking whether south and west side residents actually helped shape the plan.
Ballet, salsa, and trivia
If you’re downtown and want a little lunchtime terpsichore, head over to the Daley Center Plaza (50 W. Washington) today at noon for a free hour-long performance by Ballet 5:8, a company, whose mission is “to engage communities in Chicago, the Midwest and across the nation in conversation of life and faith through innovative storytelling […]
The Reader’s guide to the 2022 Chicago Jazz Festival
In a less imperfect world, Millennium Park would be hosting the 44th annual Chicago Jazz Festival right about now. As of 2019, the festival had been held in downtown parks for an unbroken string of 41 years. Thanks to COVID-19, though, it was canceled in 2020 and 2021. The first summer of the pandemic, the […]
‘Black dance is American dance’
On August 27 in Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, the eight companies representing the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project—Ayodele Drum and Dance, Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Forward Momentum Chicago, Joel Hall Dancers and Center, Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago, Najwa Dance Corps, and Red Clay Dance Company (joined also by Creation […]
Taking the drama and dance outdoors
I spent most of the 90s in the Bay Area, where outdoor theater in the summer is a given, and the weather generally cooperates (if you’re not facing the threat of forest fires, that is). But in Chicago, extreme heat and thunderstorms go with the territory. Despite Mother Nature and other logistical challenges, outdoor theater […]
Moving beyond performance
Following years honoring public art, creative youth, theater, and music, the city of Chicago has designated 2022 the Year of Chicago Dance in recognition of an art form that is ubiquitous, burgeoning, diverse—and precarious. “The pandemic took a particularly devastating toll on our performing arts industry as shows were canceled, venues were closed, and artists […]
Arts folk: what would you do with $20 million?
How bad is COVID-19 damage to the arts sector? Arts Alliance Illinois says it’s been researching that question and will be releasing the results any day now. I didn’t have them by press time, but it’s safe to assume they’ll be brutal. The heads of both the AAI and Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and […]
Streaming and dreaming
Here’s a brief history of the last 40 years of the film industry in Chicago, reflections from IATSE organizers, and a look toward the future of work for people who are thinking of getting in on the action.
The Reader’s guide to Chicago in Tune
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events originally planned to celebrate the Year of Chicago Music in 2020. Then the pandemic diminished those festivities to the point that the city declared 2021 the Year of Chicago Music too. The ongoing surge of the Delta variant means the U.S. won’t be rid of the pandemic […]
Chicago house reshaped pop around the globe
House-music culture developed in Chicago’s Black gay clubs in the 1970s, and it owes as much of its soul to the people who gathered to dance as it does to the DJs whose innovative mixes of disco, funk, R&B, and pop kept late-night partiers moving till long after sunrise. In the seven years or so […]
How DCASE helped Chicago music survive the pandemic shutdown
When COVID-19 swept the country, music venues were among the first to shutter, throwing tens of thousands of live entertainment professionals out of work and sidelining artists who depend on touring income. The National Independent Venue Association formed in April 2020 and currently represents more than 3,000 performance halls, promoters, and festivals; it’s done much […]
Arts 77 shores up the city’s creative infrastructure
Chicago’s new Arts 77 program will spend $60 million on cultural facilities and art.
Rethinking public art with the Chicago Monuments Project
With 41 pieces flagged as potentially problematic, the city seeks input about next steps.