Guide To: Bucktown Arts Festival

August 23, 2012 2:00 PM


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By Lauren Wulf

Bucktown Arts Festival

Senior Citizens Memorial Park
2300 N. Oakley/2300 W Lyndale
Chicago, IL

When: August 25th & August 26th

Admission: Free!

The Bucktown Arts Fest is a non-profit, all volunteer-run, neighborhood celebration of the arts. Admission is free and all proceeds from the fest go to develop and support arts and education programming at Holstein Park and in the Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhoods.

Now in its 27th year, the Bucktown Arts fest has grown to become a neighborhood tradition and one of the city’s premier arts festivals showcasing close to 200 participating artists, plus countless musicians, dancers, poets, performers and attracting more than 30,000 visitors annually.

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All About The Art

From photographs, prints, ceramics, jewelry and decor, the park will be filled with treasures to take home. Here are a few of the many artists you’ll find this year:

• Green Heart Gallery
• Lady Smith Jewelry
• Earth Cadets
• Jewelry By Venus
• Red Belly Studio
• Printed Canvas
• Daly Watercolors
• Mimi Designs
• J2 Gallery
• Dolly Bird Design
• Bliss Cards
• Pottery Boys

Check out the full list here!

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Instead of depending on national touring acts and marquee names to attract teeming crowds, the Bucktown Arts Fest’s music stages – the Main Stage (at Belden and Oakley) and the New Jazz Roots Stage (at Lyndale and Leavitt) – are proud to put the spotlight on the remarkable musicians who live in and perform around Bucktown and its surrounding neighborhoods. The diverse music lineup offers a range of music from blues to bluegrass, jazz to indie rock. Here are a few artists performing at each stage:

Main Stage Line-Up (Located at Belden & Oakley):

• Naomi Ashley Band
• Tim Menard and the Flying Nowakowski Brothers
• Bunkertown
• Wussy
• The Puffins
• Meet the Head
• About a Girl
• For Pilots

Jazz Roots Stage (Located at Lyndale & Leavitt)

• The Whitney Young High School Jazz Combo
• Robbie Doctor
• Katie Ernst Trio
• The Marquis Hill Blacktet
• Y-Phi
• The Lane Tech High School Jazz Combo
• Justefan
• Rajiv Halim’s Good Music Ensemble

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Poetry, Theater, Dance & More


Through poetry programming at the fest, you can enjoy poetic performance from some of the city’s most dynamic, visible poets. Hear poetry from Jamila Woods, Faylita Hicks, Billy Tuggle, Andi Kauth, Kenyatta Rogers, Marty McConnell, Real Talk Live‘s JW Basilo and Laura Yes Yes, the West Side School for the Desperate‘s Nate Olison, and the Encyclopedia Show‘s Shanny Jean (who just let out her first book, I Love Science!) and Tim Stafford.


During the fest weekend, you can experience a broad selection of theater and dance presented by talented, Bucktown residents. Sit in the front row of a Shakespearian play, learn Tai Chi and Salsa or be thrilled by whirling, twirling performers in fabulous costumes from far off lands. You might even leave the fest with some sweet new dance moves.

Kids Tent

The Bucktown Arts Fest is the place to get you and your little ones creative juices flowing. Stop by the Kids’ Tent, conveniently located next to the playground, to make your own art and enjoy the sights and sounds of this year’s entertainers.

Lauren Wulf, CBS Chicago

Lauren Wulf writes about living in Chicago on a budget on her website, A Poor Girl’s Guide Chicago.

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