Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade Request for Proposals: “Year of Chicago Theatre” Opening Spectacle

Arts in the Dark is a magical evening parade that celebrates Halloween as the “artist’s holiday”. The event draws together important institutions like the Chicago History Museum, celebrated Chicago organizations like Lookingglass Theatre Company, important programs like After School Matters and aspiring artists in every field. Now in its fifth year, this extraordinary parade has delighted hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors with unique floats, spectacle puppets and creative performances that are exceptionally dramatic, all set against the backdrop of historic State Street.

The vision for Arts in the Dark was created by Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Commissioner Mark Kelly, and is produced by LUMA8, an independent not for profit, in partnership with DCASE.

Arts in the Dark takes place on Saturday, October 19th from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on State Street moving south from Lake to Van Buren. This event is free and open to the public.
The City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres have designated 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre (YOCT). This citywide, year-long focus on theatre is the first of its kind in the U.S. and features performances and special events throughout the city. In celebration of YOCT, LUMA8 has designated several opportunities for Chicago theaters and the Chicago theatre community to participate in this year’s Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade.

LUMA8 will commission the design and production of a dramatic, opening spectacle that showcases the spirit of Chicago theatre and allows for participation from the theatre community. The spectacle design will be the centerpiece of the opening contingent that will lead the parade down State Street. The most successful proposals will include both large and small spectacle elements, audio and/or musical components, and allow for individuals to participate with a theme or costume. The design can include a float, other approved motorized vehicles, bikes, puppets, lighting, costumes, elements that are carried or other creative design props.

We will be inviting participation from various individuals and stakeholders throughout the theatre community. The goal of the opening spectacle is to place a spotlight on Chicago Theatre, but not represent one theatre in any particular way.

This opportunity is supported through funding provided by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

As part of its support for the entire theatre community during YOCT, LUMA8 will commission a designer to create the opening spectacle. This opportunity is available to all interested Chicago-based designers.

Budget and Process:
A committee will review the conceptual designs and ask a limited number of designers to develop a more detailed design and make an in-person presentation. These finalists will be given an honorarium of $500 each. The selected designer will be given a budget of $18,000 to complete the commission. This includes all costs associated with design, fabrication, installation and participation in the parade. (Parade participants will be members of the local theatre community and secured on a volunteer basis by LUMA8.)

Applicant Requirements:
• Resident of Chicago or the greater Chicago-land area
• Strong Professional Portfolio

Design Requirements:
• Be innovative, unique and safe.
• Floats must have rail for riders (LUMA8 can recommend float rental companies or other vendors if needed.)
• Design should be created with 25-50 participants in mind.
• Design should capture the soul and essence of the Chicago theatre experience.

Submission Requirements:
• One-page concept narrative
• Budget
• 10 images of representative past work
• 2-3 Concept Images showing the design at scale and with context
• More than one concept may be submitted.

• Preliminary designs are to be submitted to by July 15, 2019.
• Design finalists will be contacted by July 19, 2019.
• The selected designer will be notified by August 2, 2019.