Publish Date
The 2022 Night Out in the Parks season will run from June 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022. 
The 2022 Night Out in the Parks season will run from June 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022. 
Photo: Chicago Park District

Online submissions accepted through December 8, 2021; 
Chicago Onscreen Local Film Festival accepting entries through November 21, 2021

Calling all local arts performers and community organizations, the Chicago Park District is looking to partner with Chicago-based organizations and talented individual artists to be a part of the 10th edition of the Mayor’s Night Out in the Parks cultural and arts programming event series. Applicants should apply at www.nightoutintheparks.com by December 8, 2021. The 2022 Night Out in the Parks season will run from June 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022. 

Night Out in the Parks seeks to continue to uncover 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 youth in the arts through their incredible programming and community engagement.

In its 10th year anniversary, the Chicago Park District is spotlighting Chicago’s vibrant dance and choreography community as well as the Queering the Parks (QTP) initiative. QTP will seek to uplift Chicago’s diverse culture and LGBTQIA+ community through playful activations and all-inclusive events in parks across the city.  In addition, the Night Out in the Parks initiative will seek out proposals that highlight the great outdoors and the natural areas, flora, fauna, scientific practice and artistic inspiration in our parks. Experiential, walk-through, installation-based and roaming performances will also be considered in 2022. 

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

“After a successful decade, we are excited to reflect on the strides taken by the Night Out in the Parks initiative to create spaces for culture and arts to live and thrive in our neighborhood parks,” said Chicago Park District Interim Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareño. “In 2022, we aim to build on that foundation, and continue to foster creativity and inclusive, cultural celebration in Chicago’s 77 community areas by nurturing local talents and spotlighting them on stages across the city.” 

During the past ten years, projects have varied from traditional musical performances to hands-on workshops, nature-based programs, interactive dance and more. Still, there is always a place for new and creative concepts in Night Out in the Parks, while adhering to state, local and federal Covid-19 safety protocols. 

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, 2022.

Non-profit status is not a requirement for interested participants. Eligible neighborhood arts organizations and artists can apply at www.nightoutintheparks.com. All proposals are due by midnight, Wednesday, December 8, 2021. 

In addition, Night in the Parks is accepting submissions for the 9th season of the local film festival, Chicago Onscreen. Entries must be submitted by Sunday, November 21, 2021 to chicagoonscreen.com/submissions. Filmmakers of all ages, skill level and professional experience are encouraged to submit work to be considered for the locally-made and Chicago-focused films. Selected films will be screened in safely-distanced outdoor screenings in local parks from August 30, 2022 to September 3, 2022.

Over eight seasons, Chicago Onscreen has screened more than 130 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. This year’s sixteen official selections featured filmmakers from all corners of the city. Their unique styles, visions and viewpoints on Chicago’s current moment, cultural history and dynamic population were showcased during neighborhood screenings and virtual showcases. In 2021, Chicago Onscreen was part of the Chicago Park District’s 20th season of Movies in the Parks.

Last year, in response to Covid-19 public health recommendations, Night Out in the Parks transitioned into Your Night Out at Home, a cultural experience that invited Chicagoans to engage the arts on a virtual platform in their own homes and backyards. More than 80 cultural performances and activities are available to watch virtually now on-demand at chicagoparkdistrict.com/night-out-at-home.