Recently, Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events ( DCASE ) Commissioner Mark Kelly, Grammy- and Oscar-winning artist Che "Rhymefest" Smith and other civic, arts and music leaders recently announced plans to designate 2020 as the "Year of Chicago Music."
This citywide, yearlong focus on music is one of the first of its kind in the United States.
Preliminary plans include:
Major sector-building grants to the local music industry via the Chicago Cultural Grants Program,including support for live music on the South and West Sides, increased general operating support for arts nonprofits and new merit-based awards for musicians;
A 17-day celebration of music starting Memorial Day weekend across Chicago, including the Chicago House Music Festival, the Chicago Gospel Music Festival, the Chicago Blues Festival, and free and ticketed performances at venues across the city;
Public programming including a special focus on Chicago music at the 40th Annual Taste of Chicago, the Millennium Park Summer Music Series co-programed for the first time with record labels, venues and media companies, the ten-day Chicago Jazz Festival and 17-day World Music Festival Chicago;
Professional support for musicians, including career development opportunities and a Chicago Musicians Roster;
Support for neighborhoods and venues, including programs presented in conjunction with the city's major music festivals; pop-up performances in vacant, underutilized and nontraditional spaces on the South and West Sides and permanent venue space development programs; and
A major advertising and public relations campaign based on a new marketing brand for Chicago music, including media promotional events around the world and music-themed media tours led by Choose Chicago.
Additional details will be announced soon.
For more information about the Year of Chicago Music and Chicago's music industry, visit the websites of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, at Chicago.gov/DCASE; Choose Chicago, at ChooseChicago.com; and the Chicago Independent Venue League ( CIVL ), at CIVLChicago.com .