Arts in the Parks

The Chicago Park District’s Arts in the Parks initiative highlights the cultural assets available to Chicago’s citizens and the professionals working within them. From the dance student to the park attendant, the ceramics instructor to the cultural center supervisor, the Arts Partner in Residence to the Night Out in the Park performers, Chicago’s parks are full of vibrant experiences and resources in dance, theater, visual arts, and music.

We honor our parks as hubs for unique arts & culture opportunities through the following areas:

  • a celebration of park district arts offerings
  • the creation of a public story archive about our parks
  • a deeper look at the impact of park Cultural Centers in their distinct neighborhoods

Learn more about each of these areas below.  We hope they inspire you to become involved in one of the many Arts in the Parks opportunities within Chicago's parks.


Arts in the Parks: Visual and Media Arts

Learn more about the unique artists, classes and cultural events offered throughout the district’s 580 parks. We will feature a new arts discipline quarterly.

Visual and Media Arts:  August - October

The Chicago Park District provides visual and media art opportunities for all-ages and abilities with over 900 classes in parks throughout Chicago.  Our experienced instructors and committed community partners offer visual and media arts instruction in a variety of genres and skill-levels. The district houses specialty studios and equipment for ceramics, jewelry/lapidary, and woodshop in addition to spaces dedicated to multipurpose arts experiences. Chicago's parks are the settings for a world-class collection of nearly 300 fountains, monuments, and sculptures. There are 11 official museums on park land and 9 Visual and Media Arts Partners in Residence.

For program and event information, check out the Visual Arts & Media brochure


Chicago Artist Month Feature Exhibit: Art in the Parks: The People’s Studio

This October experience the work of citizens from across the city who make the parks their canvas, their stage, their space for creative dialogue. Full exhibit and event details http://chicagoartistsmonth.org/


Arts Disciplines Covered Each Quarter:

Dance: February - April 
Theater & Performance: May - July
Visual & Media Arts: August - October
Music: November - January

Park Portraits

Listen to the unique arts and culture experiences of our park artists, instructors, patrons, and arts partners.

Featured above:  Talonna Sharp is currently the Cultural Program Coordinator at the South Shore Cultural Center. Hear how she leads her community with her creativity.

Visit the Chicago Park District's Inferno Studio SoundCloud site to hear this story and others.



Arts Partners in Residence: Visual and Media Arts

The Arts Partners in Residence Program develops long term collaborations between neighborhood parks and professional arts organizations to serve local neighborhoods’ cultural interests. Partnerships are requested at the local park level based on available space.  Learn more about Arts Partners in Residence.  

eatured Visual and Media Arts Partners in Residence:

Arts in the Parks is brought to you by the Chicago Park District Arts & Culture Unit.
The Chicago Park District’s Arts & Culture Unit envisions parks and cultural centers as vital spaces that encourage all Chicagoans to explore the arts and their power to enhance quality of life, neighborhood development, and community dialogue.
The Arts & Culture Unit connects Chicagoans to arts experiences in their local parks through events and programs that help develop understanding, knowledge and appreciation of a wide variety of art forms and processes, and their diverse and unique cultural expressions. By integrating arts and culture into all Chicago neighborhoods we strive to encourage a life-long commitment to arts learning, neighborhood expression, and cultural advocacy.