Organizers announce plans for Halloween celebration unlike Chicago has ever experienced

The Halloween Gathering will bring together Chicago's cultural community for a celebration that triggers the imagination and appeals to the kid in all of us

Aug 04, 2015, 10:00 ET from Chicago Cultural Mile Association

CHICAGO, Aug. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chicago Cultural Mile Association today announced its plan to sponsor a first-of its-kind Halloween spectacle on the Chicago Cultural Mile. The Halloween Gathering, scheduled for Saturday, October 24, 2015, will gather Chicago's vast and diverse creative communities for an all-day festival, culminating with a festive nighttime parade to which the City of Chicago and neighboring communities are invited.

Drawing together world-renowned institutions, such as the Field Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Columbia College Chicago and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, as well as unique local organizations such as  Louder Than a Bomb, the Silent Theatre Company and guilds of artists in assorted fields, this dramatic display will activate Halloween as the "artist's holiday" along one of the most prestigious cultural avenues in the world.  

The Halloween Gathering was announced at a news conference at The Art Institute of Chicago and featured JR Davis, Chairman and President, and Sharene Shariatzadeh, Executive Director of the Chicago Cultural Mile Association, Mark Kelly, Halloween Gathering Artistic Director and VP of Student Success at Columbia College Chicago, Michelle Boone, Commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, David Thurm, COO of The Art Institute of Chicago and Mwata Bowden, Artistic Director of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians' Great Black Music Ensemble.  "We are calling on all members of the cultural community to participate in what we believe will become an iconic annual event," according to J.R. Davis. "It is our hope that he Halloween Gathering will celebrate the power and scope of Chicago's artistic community and ignite the imagination of an audience of all ages."

The Halloween Gathering event will officially begin at 2:00pm with The Halloween Gathering Festival.  "Parks and institutions along the Chicago Cultural Mile will be alive with family-friendly activities including mask-making workshops, free dance and theatre performances, pop-up installations, interactive experiences and more," explained Sharene Shariatzadeh.  "Festival attractions will include a children's costume parade around the ribbon at Maggie Daley Park; children's workshops in Millennium Park and a Zombie Thriller Dance Performance on the Summer Stage, which attendees will be encouraged to join."

Additionally, street performances and art displays will pop up during the afternoon at points along the Chicago Cultural Mile, The event will culminate at The Halloween Gathering Procession, beginning at 6:00pm on Columbus Drive and travelling north from Balbo to Monroe.  The Procession will delight the crowd with spectacle, illumination, music and performance, and will be led by the Halloween Gathering Creative Spirit Fellows.  "These Creative Spirit Fellows are being honored for their contributions to Chicago's artistic landscape," Kelly said. "Chicago is a city with unparalleled depth of artistic communities and endeavors.  This event seeks to harness their energy and celebrate the contributions they make to Chicago and to the world.  This will be a parade like no other," says Kelly.  "Imagine dramatic lighting framing the street, hundreds of lanterns in the procession, masks, costumes, moving performances, sonic delights, and creative contingents ablaze with emotion, attitude, whimsy, and spectacle."

A partial list of Chicago Cultural Mile Association Creative Spirt Fellows includes: film maker and documentarian Steve James; artist, writer and teacher Dawoud Bey; poet and founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival and Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors, Kevin Coval; theatre director Anna Shapiro; musician Lupe Fiasco; Metro Club owner Joe Shanahan; founder and president of the National Museum of Mexican Art, Carlos Tortolero; co-founder and director of the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Lane Alexander; and radio personality Terri Hemmert.      

Chicago Cultural Mile Association partner organizations include: Adler Planetarium, American Rhythm Center, Art Institute of Chicago, Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Blue Plate Catering, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Chicago Athletic Hotel, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, Chicago Trolley and Double Decker, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Choose Chicago, Chuck's Manufacturing, City of Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, The Cliff Dwellers, Coalition Energy, Columbia College Chicago, Comfort Suites, David's Tea, The Field Museum, the Fine Arts Building Studios, Gene Siskel Film Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, Harris Theater at Millennium Park, Hilton Chicago, Hilton Garden Inn Chicago, Hostelling International, Italian Village Restaurants, Mercat a la Planxa, Metropolitan Towers, Millennium Garages, Millennium Park, Modern Classics, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, National Louis University, Ossia Musical Forum, Pritzker Military Library, Park Grill Millennium Park, Renaissance Blackstone Hotel, The Residence at 330, Roosevelt University, Schaffner Communications, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Seven Lions, Skydeck Chicago, SouthLoop Living,Tesori, Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago, William Harris Lee & Co., Women's Business Development Center, World Chicago.   

John Pastuovic

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SOURCE Chicago Cultural Mile Association