A recent NYTimes poll shows that the majority of Chicagoans feel divided by class and race, fearful of the growing rate of crime, and that we’ve lost faith in police, our schools and in our leaders. Ouch. What can we do?

Pivot Arts is an arts organization and while we don’t have the answers to Chicago’s major issues we are doing what we can to make a difference. Last year we became increasingly concerned about the racial divide in our neighborhood, Edgewater. We decided to create the “Celebrate Community!” Parade as part of the annual Pivot Arts Festival in an effort to bring diverse people together and do our part to bridge the race/class divide.

In 2015 we placed puppet artists in Swift Elementary School and this year a dance artist is teaching the entire fourth grade a dance to perform at the parade event. Over 50 languages are spoken at Swift and our hope is that by reaching out to the children, we can also be inclusive of their families.

We can’t do this alone. We need YOU! If you’re concerned about community, if you’re concerned about the growing divide and gun violence in our city then come out on June 4 and be a part of our diverse community parade. In addition to Swift School, there will be neighborhood schools, organizations, arts groups and businesses marching in the parade. The parade includes large-scale puppets, CircEsteem, Merry Music Makers, Dream Big Performing Arts Workshop, and multiple performances of music, dance, theater on Swift’s playground. For complete line-up: click here.

In addition to the parade, there is a 10 day Pivot Arts Festival of music, theater and dance events. The Festival Launch features a community dinner and performance on June 2, there’s a Hip Hop celebration on June 3 and 10 days of excellent events all the way through June 12.

Chicago, let’s do this. Be a part of a community by coming to festival events and the June 4 parade. It’s a tiny step towards creating a more equitable society, but it’s a start.

WHERE: Swift School Playground. Corner of Thorndale/Winthrop. If it rains, we parade inside! 5900 N. Winthrop.


12:30PM Free Puppet-Making Workshop

1:00PM Merry Music Makers performs

1:30PM PARADE (from Thorndale/Winthrop to Ardmore to Broadway and back to playground)

2PM TO 3:30PM Performances of dance, theater, music on playground (or inside Swift School 5900 N. Winthrop if it’s raining!)