The Chicago Park District (CPD) is looking to partner with Chicago-based organizations and talented individual artists to be a part of the ninth edition of Night Out in the Parks cultural and arts programming event series to be held May 1 to Dec. 31, 2021.

This year, in response to COVID-19 public health recommendations, Night Out in the Parks transformed 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 70 cultural organizations and artists from all disciplines participated in the modified version of the annual event series. These performances and activities are available to watch virtually, on-demand at the CPD website.

“Night Out in the Parks has enlivened our neighborhood parks and spotlighted our diverse, home-grown talent for eight vibrant seasons,” said General Superintendent and CEO Michael P. Kelly.

“Next year may look a little different, but in all its iterations, this initiative remains steadfast in its mission to support our talented artist communities and serve as a vital platform to elevate the arts and the curatorial efforts of our cultural partners citywide.”

Night Out in the Parks continues to build on its tenants to support artists, facilitate community-based partnerships and programs, cultivate civic engagement and ensure equity in access to the arts for all Chicagoans by providing opportunities to support Chicago’s diverse arts community. Through both virtual and in-person events, Night Out in the Parks seeks to celebrate Chicago’s vibrant culture while keeping artists and audiences safe.

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, while adhering to state, local and federal COVID-19 safety protocols.

Proposals for live performance with an audience will be accepted with guidelines in place including adherence to state, local and federal COVID-19 safety guidelines; active audience management strategy; and mandatory COVID-19 safety training.

The Night Out in the Parks initiative will support the Year of Chicago Music campaign by seeking out performance opportunities for artists featuring music.

In addition to music, the CPD is spotlighting For the Love of Nature and Queering the Parks, a youth-centered committee of stakeholders that will work in conjunction with Night Out in the Parks organizers to craft all-inclusive performances. Experiential, walk-through, installation-based and drive-in performances will also be considered in 2021.

Night in the Parks is also accepting submissions for the eighth season of the local film festival, Chicago Onscreen. Filmmakers of all ages, skill levels 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, Aug. 30 to Sept. 4, 2021, as well as featured in a three-week virtual film festival in September.

Over seven seasons, Chicago Onscreen has screened nearly 100 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 and online virtual film festival screenings.

This year’s 19 official selections featured 20 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 drive-ins, neighborhood screenings and virtual showcases.

Entries must be submitted by Sunday, Dec. 6, at

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

•Be a Chicago-based organization or artist with residency within the city of Chicago.

•Offer the program for free to the community.

•Must be flexible in terms of location, scheduling and amenities. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, there may be a need to reschedule events.

•Must commit to a community relationship with your park partners for the duration of the season.

•Organizations must have $1 million in 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.

•Night Out in the Parks events where artists have physical interactions with the general public are subject to fingerprint clearance/background check.

•If selected, must confirm a performance schedule by mid-March.

•All performances, rehearsals, and preparations for event must follow COVID-19 local, state and federal guidelines.

Non-profit status is not a requirement for interested participants.

All proposals are due by midnight, Friday, Dec. 11.

For more information or to apply, visit