Publish Date

Online submissions accepted through December 10, 2023; 
Chicago Onscreen Local Film Festival accepting entries through November 27, 2023

Calling all local arts performers, collectives, and organizations, the Chicago Park District is looking to partner with Chicago-based organizations and individual artists to be a part of the 12th season of the Night Out in the Parks cultural and arts event series. Applicants should apply at by December 10, 2023. The 2024 Night Out in the Parks season will run from June 2024 to December 2024. 

Night Out in the Parks seeks to continue to discover partners that find creative ways to celebrate art, nature and the great outdoors, highlight the parks’ historic and natural assets through site-inspired pieces, and engage patrons in the arts through their incredible programming and community engagement. Projects have varied from traditional musical performances to hands-on workshops, nature-based programs, interactive dance, and there is always a place for new and creative concepts. 

The Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks partnership offers support in four key ways, including grant awards, a platform to perform in Chicago’s parks, promotion of the performances widely through various outreach channels, and production assistance as available. 

In its 12th year, the Chicago Park District is spotlighting Chicago’s multi-disciplinary performances and events, and will seek out proposals that highlight Chicago’s robust cultural landscape, celebrate local artists in their neighborhood parks, and support Chicago-based artists with new audiences, resources, and opportunities to grow. 

Projects are highly encouraged to submit that include an accessibility plan that includes mobile access, bi-lingual narratives, ASL interpretation, audio description, and additional means of inclusiveness. 

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is a proud partner and a primary funder of this year-round, citywide initiative.

“Night Out in the Parks continues to be the lead in bringing arts performances into neighborhoods citywide and providing a platform for artists to showcase their talents and reach new audiences,” said Chicago Park District Superintendent and CEO, Rosa Escareño. “We are proud to offer these opportunities at no cost to our park visitors, while uplifting a robust community of artists and cultural organizations.” 

To be eligible to participate in the free, city-wide event series, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a Chicago-based organization or artist (residency within the city of Chicago);
  • Program/event must be offered to the community for free, follow the local, state and federal Covid-19 guidelines, and be accessible and inclusive;
  • Partners must commit to commit to building a relationship with the park;
  • Organizations must have $1 million general liability insurance naming the Chicago Park District an additional insured for all events;
  • Have the ability to travel to and from a scheduled park with all equipment, performers and staff;
  • NOITP events where artists have physical interactions with the general public are subject to fingerprint clearance/background check;
  • Must be flexible in terms of scheduling.  NOITP events may happen seven days a week, mostly in the evening. Due to the outdoor venues, there may be a need to reschedule events;
  • If selected, you must confirm a performance schedule by mid-March, 2023.

Non-profit status is not a requirement for interested participants. Eligible Chicago-based arts organizations and artists can apply at All proposals are due by 11:59 pm, Sunday, December 10, 2023. 

Chicago Onscreen 

The Chicago Park District’s Chicago Onscreen Local Film Festival is also seeking proposals from interested filmmakers to apply for the celebratory 11th season of the movie showcase. Qualifying entries must be submitted by Monday, November 27, 2023 to Chicago Onscreen Submissions.

Chicago Onscreen supports and highlights the Chicago filmmaking community with free, public screenings of Chicago-made and locally-focused films in Chicago parks. Filmmakers of all ages, skill level and professional experience are encouraged to submit work for consideration. Selected films will be screened in outdoor screenings in local parks in late summer 2024.

Over a decade, Chicago Onscreen has screened more than 145 local films in dozens of parks for thousands of audience members across the city – bringing Chicago’s hometown talent face to face with movie lovers in every neighborhood. All selected films will receive an honorarium up to $500 in addition to the public screenings. Selected entrants will be notified directly in April 2024.