Publish Date
Your Night Out at Home Virtual Experience Kicks Off July 27.
Your Night Out at Home Virtual Experience Kicks Off July 27. Photo: Chicago Park District

More than 40 of Chicago’s best local artists to perform in a virtual version of “Night Out in the Parks,” a celebration of Chicago’s rich tapestry of culture, available on-demand, starting Monday, July 27

The Chicago Park District is launching the 8th season of Night Out in the Parks on a virtual and social media platform. Starting Monday, July 27, “Your Night Out at Home” will feature more than 40 artists and neighborhood organizations in a series of digital performances available for the public to view on demand.

The season will kick off with quality entertainment from the Jabberwocky Marionettes, Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Synapse Arts, About Face Theatre, and more. New cultural experiences, recorded across the city, will be posted every week throughout the summer at www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/night-out-at-home and youtube.com/chicagoparkdistrict. Night Out in the Parks is supported by ComEd.

In addition to digitally spotlighting Chicago’s rich cultural landscape and artistic diversity, the Chicago Park District in partnership with WTTW Channel 11 will present a curated collection of the incredible breadth of the city’s talent. Starting July 31st, WTTW will air “Night Out in the Parks: The Stars in Your Backyard” at 5:30 pm.  The broadcast series will feature seventeen of our Night Out in the Parks artistic performers every Friday through August 28th.  Las Bompleneras of the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, Midnight Circus in the Parks, A Flor de Piel, The Rosina Project of the Chicago Fringe Opera, Walkabout Theater, Tsukasa Taiko and Kalapriya are among the first scheduled performances.

“We’re creating new opportunities to safely celebrate and support Chicago’s diverse arts community and vibrant culture by bringing live performances and entertainment from our neighborhood parks into your backyard, balcony or living room,” said Chicago Park District Superintendent & CEO Michael P. Kelly. “Everyone is invited to connect virtually and enjoy dance, jazz, theater and world music by established companies and emerging artists from the comfort of their own homes.”

Summer favorites like Movies in the Parks return to park locations with an abbreviated lineup of blockbuster picks through September 11th.  In accordance with public health official guidelines for safe and healthy interactions in outdoor spaces and attractions, facemasks and a 100 person capacity will be strictly enforced to ensure the health and safety of all who attend. All movie patrons should review the “Health Guidelines for Movies in the Parks 2020 Movies” before heading to their local park. Movies in the Parks is supported by Xfinity and ComEd.

Launched in 2013, Night Out in the Parks is a key component of the Chicago Cultural Plan and the Mayor's citywide vision for art and culture. With the continued support from the City of Chicago and our sister agencies, especially the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Night Out in the Parks has become a signature park program. This year’s digital series is presented as a part of the City of Chicago’s Year of Chicago Music.

In response to COVID-19 public health guidelines, “Night Out in the Parks” features a sampling of the family- friendly, quality entertainment that Chicagoans would typically enjoy in our neighborhood parks. A complete list of the 120 artists selected to perform as part of “Night Out in the Parks” this season prior to the release of COVID-19 health and safety guidelines is available at www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/night-out-at-home.

This year’s virtual, on-demand, social media and live offerings include events and performances by new and returning partners:

Movies in the Parks
through September 11

Movies in the Parks returns for a 20th season full of blockbuster outdoor entertainment on warm summer evenings. All movies begin at dusk, weather permitting. Follow Chicago Park District: Movies in the Parks at www.facebook.com/ChicagoParks.Movies or call 312.742.1134 for daily listings and weather-related cancelations.

SummerDance in Place
July 29, 5:30- 7 pm

Line Dancing

Music: DJ Chico (Adrian Kirkland)

Dance Instruction: Fre2Dance

In collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, residents will enjoy a free dance lesson, then dance the night away. Following the traditional SummerDance model, each program will start with a 30-minute dance lesson, followed by 60 minutes of music performed by local artists. Dance and music styles include House, salsa, swing, Bollywood and more. All programs can be viewed at youtube.com/ChicagoDCASE.

Dance in the Parks

July 31 & August 1

Dance in the Parks is bringing free, professional, outdoor dance concerts to social media. The digital performances will debut July 31st and August 1st on Dance in the Parks’ Facebook.com/DanceintheParks and IGTV at 5:30 pm. An amazing cast of nine dancers will highlight the incredible talent of our youth partners and feature works by Ashley Deran and Emily Loar, Joe Musiel, Jackie Nowicki, Fernando Rodriguez, Michel Rodríguez Cintra, and Sarita Smith-Childs.

Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks: Virtual Tour

August 10-August 28 at 5:30 pm

Chicago Shakespeare Theater embarks on a Virtual Tour to eighteen neighborhoods, highlighting one park and its surrounding community each day on the Theater’s website (www.chicagoshakes.com) and on social media (@chicagoshakes). Starting August 10th, every day at 5:30 pm the Theater will stream a performance from a local artist, continuing the longstanding tradition of a “Green Show” before what was typically a like Shakespeare performance in the park. This year, community members are invited to bring moments from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to life in their own parks, greenspaces, balconies, and backyards by using the theater’s online toolkit and recording their open-air renditions of lines and scenes from the play then sharing on social media with #MyMidsummerCHI. On August 28 at 5:30 pm, viewers can tune into a Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks broadcast special on WTTW Channel 11.

Chicago Onscreen: Local Film Showcase

Virtual festival: August 29 – September 19

In-person screenings: August 29, September 5 & 12

Drive-in screenings: September 1 & 3

The Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase returns with a fresh batch of locally-made and Chicago-focused films. This year’s film selections will be screened virtually, in-person and in drive-ins. The official selections include shorts and feature-length films, documentaries, narratives and animated films. This showcase puts the incredible talents of Chicago’s filmmakers on display in free screenings, making hometown films accessible to Chicago audiences on multiple platforms.