Chicago’s 2024 Cicada Art Project

Cicada Parade-a is a large-scale collaborative art project created by Formstone Castle Collective 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. We hope the sculptures create joyful encounters that can spark transformative conversations and promote social change.

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.