The City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres have designated 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre. This citywide, year-long focus on theatre is the first of its kind in the U.S. The initiative includes performances and special events for the public at hundreds of cultural venues, theaters, parks and neighborhood locations throughout the city. The City of Chicago and its partners will also launch a marketing campaign; provide additional financial grants to theatre projects; encourage dialog around inclusion and equity; and call on civic, philanthropic, arts and business leaders to support the theatre community. DCASE is excited to offer the following related opportunities for local theatre artists and organizations.
2019 CityArts Program Grants for Nonprofit Organizations
Application Deadline is TOMORROW – Thursday, February 28, at 5pm CST
This year’s CityArts program will include opportunities for nonprofit organizations of all sizes to apply for general operating grants across all artistic disciplines, as well as project grants in alignment with the Year of Chicago Theatre. Project grants will support initiatives that have the potential to impact the Chicago theatre sector at large. Eligible organizations of all sizes can apply for both general operating grants and project grants. To view guidelines and apply, please visit ChicagoCulturalGrants.org.
Millennium Park Theatre Series
Weekly Residencies July to October in Millennium Park
Application Deadline is Monday, March 25, at 5pm CST
As part of the Year of Chicago Theatre, DCASE is seeking proposals from Chicago’s diverse theatre and performance community – including street theatre, stage combat, musical performance, improv and immersive theatre – to present original works at Millennium Park. Companies will have the opportunity to develop site- -specific theatre performances that engage the unique architecture, design, public art and Cloud Gate Plaza as the ultimate stage. Between July–October 2019, DCASE will commission up to 12 theatre companies to complete a one week residency in Millennium Park and produce a minimum of three performances that are free and open to the public. For application information, visit MillenniumPark.org. To apply visit
Year of Chicago Theatre Playwright Program
Saturdays, April 6-May 18, 1-4pm, at the Green Line Performing Arts Center, 329 E. Garfield Blvd.
Application Deadline is Monday, March 25, at 5pm CST
As part of the Year of Chicago Theatre, DCASE and Definition Theatre Company are thrilled to announce a new Introduction to Playwriting program for emerging theatre creatives. Lead instructors Marsha Estell and Isaac Gomez will teach the fundamentals of writing plays focusing on Principles of Dramatic Structure, world building and character development with the completion of a 10-minute play as the final project for this course. The seven week program will take place at the Green Line Performing Arts Center on consecutive Saturdays starting on Saturday, April 6, 2019, with the final presentation on Saturday, May 18, 2019.
There are no prerequisites to apply, though space is limited. Selected applicants will be required to attend every course. To apply, visit surveymonkey.com/r/B6QDHH3.
Year of Chicago Theatre Microgrant Program for Nonprofit Organizations
Application Deadline is Friday, April 5, at 5pm CST
As part of the Year of Chicago Theatre, nonprofit organizations are invited to apply for microgrants to support projects which increase diversity and access in Chicago’s theatre sector, with a focus on Chicago’s South and West sides. Funded projects might include productions, performances or initiatives taking place in underrepresented neighborhoods, devising theatrical works in collaboration with Chicago residents, and building the capacity of culturally specific organizations. Microgrants will range in size from $500 – $5,000. For more information, including guidelines, eligibility criteria, and information about application assistance workshops, please visit chicagoculturalgrants.org.
LUMA8’s Arts in the Dark Lantern Processions on the Chicago Riverwalk
Monday, May 13; Tuesday June 11; Tuesday, July 9; and Tuesday August 13, 8:30-9pm (staging begins at 7:30pm)
Theatre artists and organizations are invited to lead one of the four Arts in the Dark Lantern Processions produced by LUMA8 (Light Up My Arts) on the Chicago Riverwalk this summer. The processions will be held in conjunction with the Chicago Riverwalk Season Kickoff on Monday, May 13, and “2nd Tuesdays on the Riverwalk” (June 11, July 9 and August 13). In honor of the Year of Chicago Theatre, DCASE will provide a $2,500 commission to four local theatre companies to create themed, spectacle lanterns to lead each of the four processions. The series will give theatres a chance to connect with a new audience in an unexpected venue. Commission applicants must select a spectacle theme and commit to at least twenty-five procession participants. LUMA8 will connect selected companies with local lantern artists, musicians and other resources to help achieve their vision. To learn more about this opportunity and to apply, contact Sharene Shariatzadeh of LUMA8 at sharene@LUMA8.org.
LUMA8’s Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade
Saturday, October 19, 6-8pm on State St., from Lake St. to Van Buren St.
Be a part of the dazzling event that delights audiences with unique floats, spectacle puppets and creative performances. Now in its fifth year, the Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade draws together more than 100,000 guests and participants for a magical evening parade that celebrates Halloween as the “artist’s holiday”. In honor of the Year of Chicago Theatre, DCASE will provide a $2,500 commission to 10 local theatre companies to create a float or walking contingent for the parade. Commission applicants must select a spectacle theme and commit to at least twenty-five parade participants. LUMA8 will connect each selected theatre with float companies, artists, musicians and other resources to help achieve their vision. To learn more about this opportunity and to apply, contact Sharene Shariatzadeh of LUMA8 at sharene@LUMA8.org.