Your membership enables us to continue our mission in the face of rising costs and lacking governmental support. The Bucktown Arts Fest is a 501c3 organization, and your donation is tax deductible.

All proceeds from our volunteer-run fest are used to fund, develop, and support arts education opportunities at Holstein park and in local classrooms. We fund music, drawing, and painting classes at Holstein Park for the Fall, Winter, and Spring sessions each year — with a small fee that goes to fund the park. In the Summer session, we provide arts education to the 200 kids of Holstein Park’s Summer Day Camp. Learn more about our programming.

We help teachers by providing arts supplies, band instruments, and books for their classrooms. And we are sure to save enough money to put on Chicago’s favorite fest — which offers art of every kind free to the public, with no admission fee.

Some of our favorite neighbors who provide our artists and committee with a delicious Saturday morning breakfast each year!

Buckaroo – $25

BuckOwens – $50

SwashBuckler – $75

Daddy WarBucks – $100


The Bucktown Arts Fest is a neighborhood tradition that began in the community, by the community. It was the early ’80s when four neighborhood artists (Bob Smeltzer, Joe Kotzman, Tony Cachapero, and Rodney Patterson) decided to have an art fair — a picnic in the park. Rodney suggested that it might be a good opportunity for local artists to show and share their work to each other and to their neighbors.

Since 1988, when we became a 501c3 organization, we have grown into an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization that produces one of the city’s – and the country’s – premier arts festivals, showcasing close to 200 participating artists, as well as countless musicians, dancers, poets & performers, and attracting more than 30,000 visitors annually.

Each year, we have three main objectives:

  1. Provide participating artists with an excellent venue to share and sell their works at an affordable price. (We currently have one of the lowest artist entrance fees of any fest in Chicago.)
  2. Allow the community access to art, theater, music, poetry, and dance without a fee.
  3. Utilize all of our profits to develop, support, and implement arts and education programming at Holstein Park and in the Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhoods.


Click here.  We need adult and youth volunteers!


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