Join us this fall as we once again gather in celebration of our expansive creative landscape and remind ourselves and the world that Chicago is a cultural powerhouse!

In our ninth year, we have truly reached a tipping point.  We were delighted that Wanderlust Magazine named us one of the top 6 Halloween events across the globe.  Choose Chicago, Chicago’s destination marketing organization, will be actively marketing Arts in the Dark to attract visitors from all over the world, and we anticipate an audience approaching 100,000, including many new participants.  Finally, we are pleased to announce that, thanks to a Chicago Presents Grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, we have additional resources to support our creative contingents in order to improve our capacity to bring creative artistry to the street.  We have no doubt that the 2023 Arts in the Dark parade will be our greatest year to date!

In order to help us take the parade to the next level, we have added three critical resources and processes:

First, we are pleased to announce that Steve Abrams will be serving as the Creative Producer of the 2023 parade. He will be working directly with the participants to help them elevate their parade productions.

Second, thanks to a Chicago Presents Grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, we are able to increase the funds we give to parade groups in order to help offset the production costs for parade contingents with ambitious plans but limited capacity.

Third, with more applicants than parade slots, we will be more selective, ensuring that all of our parade participants are bringing artistry and creativity to the street.

To realize these changes we are adding an additional component to the application process.  Before your application is accepted, Krista Wolter, Director of Programs, will contact you to schedule a virtual meeting with her and Steve Abrams, Creative Director.  They will let you know if there are any additional details they need to receive from you, and if you are eligible to receive a grant.  If so, they will send you a link to the grant application.

important dates and deadlines

JUNE 15: 2023 Applications are open on a rolling admission basis.  Applications will be evaluated in the order received so we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

AUGUST 15: Parade and grant application deadlines.

AUGUST 31: All additional details that were requested must be received by this date unless otherwise specified in your meeting with Steve Abrams and Krista Wolter. Approved participants will be notified and receive the parade handbook.

SEPTEMBER 8: Funding decisions will be made and communicated to applicants.

SEPTEMBER 13: Social media marketing toolbox will be sent to all participants.

OCTOBER 18: Parade logistics meeting.  All parade groups must have a representative at this meeting. It will take place from 5:30 pm -7:30 pm in a downtown location (TBD).