2021 dancing and live music series features Reggae, Steppin’, Line Dancing, Cumbia, House and Salsa — at Chicago Park District locations across Chicago
Akasha, Stacy “Jukeboxx” Letrice and members of Funkadesi; DJ Mellow Khris, Majestic Gents and Chicago Poetry Center; DJ Chico, Fre2Dance and Chicago Poetry Center; Quinto Imperio, Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council Ballet Folklorico and Fernando Ramirez; DJs Torin Edmond, Rae Chardonnay and DJ Kobe One Kenobi with Ronda Flowers, Dana Divine and Boogie McClarin; Chicago Latin Groove, Latin Street, See Chicago Dance and Chicago Cultural Alliance — and presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the Chicago Park District
Chicago SummerDance in the Parks (ChicagoSummerDance.org) returns in-person this summer, presented with the Chicago Park District. Dancers of all ages and skill levels are invited to take part in family and creative activities from 4:30–5:30 p.m. and introductory dance lessons by professional instructors followed by live music and dancing from 5:30–7:30 p.m. except where noted. Free admission.
WHERE: Various Chicago Park District locations across the city
WHEN: Select dates, August 18 – September 15
Wednesday, August 18
Willy B. White Park, 1610 W. Howard St. (Reggae) with music by Akasha, dance instruction by Stacy “Jukeboxx” Letrice and “Mindfulness Through Rhythm, Sound and Breath” workshop with members of Funkadesi
Wednesday, August 25
Ogden Park, 6500 S. Racine Ave. (Steppin’) – with music by DJ Mellow Khris, dance instruction by Majestic Gents and “Participatory Walk” workshop led by Chicago Poetry Center
Wednesday, September 1
Palmer Park, 201 E. 111th St. (Line Dancing) — with music by DJ Chico, dance instruction by Fre2Dance and “Participatory Walk” workshop led by Chicago Poetry Center
Wednesday, September 8
Davis Square Park, 4430 S. Marshfield Ave., presented with Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council (Cumbia) — with music by Quinto Imperio, dance instruction by Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council Ballet Folklorico and a variety of on-site activities, including art making and portrait drawing with Fernando Ramirez
Sunday, September 12
(Note the time: 1–6pm) at Rainbow Beach Park, 3111 E. 77th St. (House) — presented as part of the House City series with DJs Torin Edmond, Rae Chardonnay and DJ Kobe One Kenobi; hosted by Ronda Flowers and Dana Divine; dance instruction with Boogie McClarin
Wednesday, September 15
Portage Park, 4100 N. Long Ave. (Salsa) — with music by Chicago Latin Groove, dance instruction by Latin Street and an Arts Village with See Chicago Dance and Chicago Cultural Alliance, including pop-up performances in the park
ASL will be provided for all dance lessons and main stage programs.
Five of the six Chicago SummerDance in the Parks events are part of the new, citywide “Chicago In Tune” festival (August 19 – September 19, Do312.com/ChicagoInTune) celebrating Chicago’s diverse and legendary music scene and the 2021 Year of Chicago Music.
DCASE programming is supported by the Chicago Transit Authority.
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Year of Chicago Music
In support of Chicago’s diverse and legendary music industry, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) have designated 2021 as the “Year of Chicago Music.” This citywide focus on music is one of the first of its kind in the U.S. The City of Chicago and its partners working with the local music industry will present “Chicago In Tune” (August 19 – September 19), a new annual music festival; launch a major marketing campaign for Chicago music; provide additional financial grants for musicians and music projects; encourage dialog around inclusion and equity; and call on civic, philanthropic, arts and business leaders to support the music industry. Learn more at chicago.gov/music.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. For more information, visit chicago.gov/dcase.