Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Summer In The City -- Parks Programs In/Around Uptown

Learn to spin fire, juggle, walk a tightrope, and perform Asian dances. (Not at the same time, but hey, knock yourself out.) Be part of the world's biggest swimming lesson. Enjoy live theater, or create your own play and perform it. Take your kids to learn crafts. Listen to local musicians and DJs.

Yes, it's Chicago Summer in the Parks, and there's a lot going on. It's all free, of course. Here is what we've found going on in Uptown and immediately outside our borders.  The complete citywide schedule is here.

Music and Theater
  • "Sound Da Alarm" Hip Hop Theater Fest by Kuumba Lynx. Nine independent theatre artists will showcase their original theatrical works. With nine shows at 20-60 minutes each, five days are needed for each show to be presented. Clarendon Park, 4501 N Clarendon. Wednesday, June 15, 7pm-9:30pm; Thursday, June 16, 10am-9:30pm; Friday, June 17, 10am-9:30pm; Saturday, June 18, 1pm-5pm; and Sunday, June 19, 1pm-5pm.
  • The Sounds of Summer with DJ Monty. Chase Park, 4701 N Ashland, Friday, June 17, 6pm-8pm
  • Make Music Chicago. Rush Hour Concerts presents Make Music Chicago, a day-long, citywide, DIY music festival that celebrates the musician in us all and encourages all Chicagoans to make music regardless of age, ability or preferred musical style. Clarendon Park, 4501 N Clarendon. Tuesday, June 21, 5:30pm-8pm.
  • Let Hope Grow. A series of PEACEBOOK cultivation events created to help you grow as a performing artist. Clarendon Park, 4501 N. Clarendon. Saturday, June 25, noon-2pm.
  • It's For Real. About Face Theatre presents a hilarious and poignant collection of stories that connects issues around race, class, sexuality, age, gender, self-esteem, and family. Based on the true experiences of the performers in the show, the audience is encouraged to ask the actors about their stories and share experiences. Chase Park, 4701 N Ashland, Wednesday, August 3, 1pm-2pm.
  • DJ Mike P Plays the Parks. Margate Park, 4921 N Marine. Friday, August 5, 6pm-8pm.
  • Peacebook. Collaboraction, Chicago's social issue driven contemporary theatre, presents PEACEBOOK, a new collaborative citywide festival of theatre, dance, music, visual art and spoken word. all focused on cultivating peace in Chicago. Clarendon Park, 4501 N Clarendon. Friday, August 26 & Saturday, August 27, 6:30pm-8:30pm.
  • BYOT 24-Hour Theater Festival. 24 hours. 5 New Plays. Endless Possibilities. Over the course of 24 hours, five writers, five directors and 15-20 actors will gather to create 5 brand new plays and then perform them for a live audience. To be involved in this festival, simply meet at Chase Park at 7pm the day prior, August 26. All ages welcome! Chase Park, 4701 N Ashland. Saturday, August 27, 7pm-9pm.
Dancing, Drumming
  • Full Moon Jam at Foster Beach. Monthly professional fire performances celebrating the full moon, featuring fire dancing and drumming. "We are focused on creating celebratory gatherings, building and enhancing community connections, and promoting conscientious and professional fire performance practices." If you plan on spinning fire, you must show up at 6pm for a Safety Training Orientation session. Lakefront south of Foster, in the big field. June 22, July 20, August 17, September 15, 7:30pm-10pm; October 16, 7:30pm-9:45pm. Much more information is here.
  • Yin He Dance Company presents Dance to China, introducing audiences to Chinese culture through dance. Learn and play through performances, cultural lessons, and hands-on activities. Margate Park, 4921 N Marine. Wednesday, July 13, 6pm-7pm.
  • Tsukasa Taiko is the largest multigenerational community ensemble of Japanese drumming in the Midwest. The ensemble aims to strengthen Japanese-American/Asian-American communities and to reflect a shared culture through infusion of contemporary expressions. Margate Park, 4921 N Marine. Saturday, August 20, 6pm-8pm.
Circus Arts
  • Test your circus abilities at these open circus stunt workshops. CircEsteem workshops are open to everyone of every ability. Workshops include tight wire walking, gym wheel, juggling, plate spinning, clowning, rolla bolla and diabolo. Buttercup Park, 4901 N Sheridan. Wednesdays, 6pm-7:30pm, July 6, 20, August 3, 17.
Community Activities
  • It's Your Park Day. Help get the parks ready for summer activity at a city-wide clean-up. Community volunteers will be mulching trees, replacing fibar on playgrounds, and cleaning our parks' green spaces. Volunteers should visit the Chicago Parks Foundation website to register. Volunteers will receive It?s Your Park Day t-shirts, tools and supplies provided by Home Depot, KIND snacks, and water. Buttercup Park, 4901 N Sheridan. Saturday, June 18, 10am-2pm.
  • The World's Largest Swimming Lesson. Join hundreds of kids and families at 75 Chicago Park District swimming pools around Chicago and thousands around the globe for The World's Largest Swim Lesson. We are looking to break the Guinness World Record to spread the word that Swimming Lessons do Save Lives. We broke the record last year. Don't miss out on the opportunity to break the record again this year. This event is open to all ages and for all swim levels (Non Swimmers, Beginners and Swimmers) Children under 6 need to be accompanied by an adult in the water. Participants can register online through June 24th. Onsite registration will be available at 5pm, only if available spots remain. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of the event to complete the necessary participant release waiver. The lesson will promptly begin at 6pm and will be 60 minutes in length. Chase Park, 4701 N Ashland. Friday, June 24, 6pm-7pm.
Kids' / Family-Friendly Activities
  • The Kidsmobile brings free and fun-filled creative arts and play activities to children and families. Each Tuesday and Thursday between 2pm and 4pm at Andersonville Playlot Park, 5233 N Ashland (at Farragut). July 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28, August 2, 4, 9, 11.
  • The Craftmobile, a touring four-wheeled wonder, is filled with fun art projects and activities for children ages 4-11. It will be at Cedar Playground Park Thursdays between 11:30am and 12:30pm. 5311 N Winthrop, at Berwyn. July 7, 14, 21, 28, August 4, 11
  • Under the Orange Tree. Fehinty African Theatre Ensemble's Under the Orange Tree is an ensemble storytelling performance of African folktales enlivened with drumming, singing, and dance. Gill Park, 825 W Sheridan. Saturday, August 20, 5pm-6:30pm.

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