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Chicago Ideas Launches "Platforms in the Park," a City-Wide Initiative in Partnership with Xfinity and the Chicago Park District
[June 20, 2019]

Chicago Ideas Launches "Platforms in the Park," a City-Wide Initiative in Partnership with Xfinity and the Chicago Park District

CHICAGO, June 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- This summer, in advance of Chicago Ideas Week (Oct 12-17), Chicago Ideas—a nonprofit platform producing premium, accessible programming and content—is excited to announce "Platforms in the Park," an initiative to connect and empower communities through local, community-led experiences. Residents, visitors, community leaders and nonprofit organizations can use the yellow "Platforms in the Park" to share their ideas through spontaneous performances, direct address, town hall-style meetings and other types of events.

Platforms in the Park by Chicago Ideas, in partnership with Xfinity

"Platforms can now be found in a dozen designated parks throughout the city and will bring together people from all walks of life, all neighborhoods and all backgrounds for free events throughout the summer," said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "This unique initiative is being presented in collaboration with the Chicago Park District by Chicago Ideas and Xfinity." 

Inspired by Chicago Ideas Brain Trust Member Wendy Abrams, Chicago Ideas will also partner with community leaders and nonprofit organizations to hold events at each of the platforms.

"Through 'Platforms in the Park,' our goal is to remind all Chicagoans that ideas can have great impact, and it is important to share them," said Chicago Ideas CEO Jessica Malkin. "We hope these yellow platforms serve not only as a reminder that ideas are for everyone, but also a place for every person to share their story."

"The Chicago parks are hubs of cultural opportunities intended to encourage exploration, enrichment and expression," said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly. "We are thrilled to partner with Chicago Ideas and Xfinity to broaden our offerings through 'Platforms in the Park.' We look forward to residents activating these platforms with impromptu performances that reflect the unique diversity of our great city."

Scheduled programming will begin on June 26, and everyone is encouraged to participate spontaneously on the platforms, which will be up through the end of August. The kick-off event will celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Pride with an all-out extravaganza of poetry and performance in collaboration with the Center on Halsted. Additional events will explore an array of themes ranging from music as healing and morning workouts to a spotlight on small business and entrepreneurship and a special Navy Pier activation curated by Xfinity.

"By bringing people in Chicago's 77 neighborhoods together each and every day via the Internet, Xfinity strives for impact across the city," said Matthew Summy, Comcast's regional vice president of External Affairs. "'Platforms in the Park' builds on our presence by giving people a way to connect personally with their friends and neighbors and share ideas that will benefit and celebrate our city."

To learn more about "Platforms in the Park" and to get updates about Chicago Ideas and community-led events, please visit Explore the program lineup* where speakers from local community organizations will take the stage—and see where to find "Platforms in the Park" this summer:

  • June 26: Pride in the Park: A Celebration of Chicago's Queer History | Revere Park: (2509 W. Irving Park Rd. Chicago, IL 60618) /li>
  • June 27: Hip-Hop in the Park: Rhythm, Peace, and Healing with Pride ROC | Nichols Park: (1404 E. 53rd St. Chicago, IL 60615)
  • July 10: Wake Up in the Park: A Morning of Movement with aSweatLife | Shedd Park: (3660 W. 23rd St. Chicago, IL 60623)
  • July 11: Mandala in the Park: A Celebration of South Asian Culture | Ping Tom Park: (236 W 19th St, Chicago, IL 60616)
  • July 16: Special Event | Navy Pier: (600 E Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611)
  • July 17: Reading in the Park: Interactive Storytime with Open Books and Chicago Poetry Center | Pasteur Park: (5701 S. Kostner Ave., Chicago, IL 60629)
  • July 23: Leadership in the Park: Building Chicago's Future Entrepreneurs | Dvorak Park: (1119 W. Cullerton St., Chicago, IL 60608)
  • July 25: Music in the Park: An Interactive Concert Experience | Berger Park (6205 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60660)
  • End of July: Storytelling in the Park: Empowering Communities with Kusanya Cafe | Hamilton Park: (513 W 72nd St, Chicago, IL 60621)
  • July/Aug: Placemaking in the Park: How Culture Impacts Legacy | Douglas Park: (S. Sacramento Dr. & W. Douglas Blvd., Chicago, IL 60623)
  • July/Aug: History in the Park: How the South Side became Chicago | Calumet Park: (9801 S. Avenue G, Chicago, IL 60617)
  • Aug: Poetry in the Park: An Oral History of the South Side | Washington Park: (740 E 56th Pl, Chicago, IL 60637)

Chicagoans are encouraged to email to get their own planned events on the schedule, and share content from their participation using #PlatformsinthePark on social media.

*Program dates and themes are subject to change. Please check for the most up to date event listing.

Chicago Ideas is a nonprofit platform built on one core belief: When audiences of every background have access to thought leaders and innovative ideas, people have the power to spark change in the world. Chicago Ideas is hosting Chicago Ideas Week, October 12-17, which is the largest affordable ideas festival in the world, connecting attendees to more than 150 world-renowned speakers—but Chicago Ideas' efforts extend much further. Whether it's the year-round programming, over 100 Labs that offer exclusive looks into Chicago-based businesses and cultural institutions, a Youth Program that promotes leadership and personal development among under-represented Chicago high school students or a digital content platform that highlights innovative people and organizations, Chicago Ideas is helping make visionary ideas accessible to everyone. Chicago Ideas is a 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more about becoming a member at

Follow @ChicagoIdeas on Instagram and Twitter.

Comcast Corporation is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses:  Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky.  Comcast Cable is one of the United States' largest video, high-speed internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses.  It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand.  NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts.  Sky is one of Europe's leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services.  It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed internet, phone, and wireless services.  Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights.  Visit for more information.

With more than 6,000 local employees, Comcast's Greater Chicago Region ( serves customers in central and northern Illinois, including the Chicago area, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan. "Like" Comcast's Greater Chicago Region on Facebook by visiting @Comcast. "Follow" Comcast's Greater Chicago Region on Twitter at @ComcastIllinois.

Vanessa Buenger
Chicago Ideas

Myriha Burce
Edelman Chicago

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