Building Community With a Cicada Invasion

All questions regarding purchase, pickup, display, or distribution of sculptures, or the Cicada-Parade-A fundraiser for The Insect Asylum in Chicago, should be made to The Insect Asylum at or 312-961-7219.

What is it?

Cicada Parade-a is a large-scale collaborative art project that will be on display in and around Chicago starting in May and running through the end of summer 2024. This project celebrates once-in-221-year re-emergence of Broods XIII and XIX, Illinois’ 17-year and 13-year cicada broods. The periodic cicadas returned by the trillions to Illinois during spring and summer 2024 to re-emerge, sing, and meet others.

Artists get sculptures for FREE if they agree to display them publicly! The number of cicadas available for artists is based on donations and sculpture sales.

As we wait for the first 2024 Chicago sculptures to emerge, here are some photos from several of our 600 Cicada Parade-a Baltimore (2021) sculptures.

Emerging from the Dark

The last time Brood XIX emerged was in 2007—what feels like a lifetime ago by now. The Cicada Parade-a represents an emergence from a long period of darkness to sing, make noise and fall in love with the world again. This theme of transformative change will be explored in each piece, not just in the sculptures, but in a collection of stories about looking back and acknowledging the changes and transformations that occur in and around us over long cycles as well as exploring deep cycles on different scales—cycles that repeat over and over in the rhythms of life, from the orbit of an electron around an atom, the cycle of blood around the body, the earth around the sun, the cycle of the tides, election cycles, and even greater to cycles longer than a human lifetime.

The Original Cicada Parade-a Story

Cicada Parade-a was conceived by artists in Baltimore, Maryland during the darkest parts of the Covid-19 pandemic in Spring 2020. We were all stuck inside with scant knowledge about what was happening around us and what was to come. The only sure things were that it wouldn’t last forever, and in a year the 2021 cicadas would return. A small grant was funded by a Maryland State Arts Council giving us just enough money to develop prototype sculptures, but sadly, not enough to realize our initial goals… or so we thought. Somehow, the themes of the project resonated with the local community. Within a few days sponsorship from DAP Products as well as many individual donations funded the first round of sculptures. First 50, then 150 and by the end 600 sculptures.

Thank You DAP Products For Your Continued Support!

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