May 14, 2019

Mayor Emanuel Joins Chicago Public Schools and Ingenuity Announce $1.5 Million in Grants and Celebrate Progress in Arts Education

More Than 20,000 Students at 152 CPS Schools Benefit from Arts Programming Funded through $1.5 Million in Creative Schools Grants; Since 2011, More Than 100,000 More CPS Students Receiving Recommended Arts Minutes, Attending Schools with Strong or Excelling Arts Ratings
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO – Mayor Emanuel joined Chicago Public Schools and Ingenuity today to celebrate the continued investments in CPS arts education and their impact on CPS students, and announce that 152 schools were awarded more than $1.5 million in Creative Schools Fund grants to supplement arts education for over 20,000 students in Chicago schools. Since the grant program began in 2013, more than $12 million has been distributed in over 300 CPS schools to provide enriching opportunities inside the classroom and through partnerships with arts organizations.

Since Mayor Emanuel took office, 65,000 more students have access to arts education, 105,000 additional students are receiving the recommended 120 minutes of arts education per week, and more than 100 additional arts organizations are working with CPS students, according to a comparison of data in Ingenuity’s Annual State of the Arts Report between the 2012-13 and 2017-18 school years.

“We know that exposure to the arts is just as critical as math and sciences to a 21st century education,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Prioritizing arts education in CPS schools provides students with a creative outlet, which will help ensure that the next generation of Chicagoans are able to contribute to our city’s rich and creative culture.”

“Arts education plays a pivotal role in student growth and development by providing students an opportunity to tap into their creativity, explore other cultures, and build self-confidence,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “We are grateful for the continued support from Ingenuity and the City of Chicago as we work to provide all students with an arts education that will help them create, innovate, and follow their passions.”

Mayor Emanuel’s Commitment to Arts Education

When comparing Ingenuity’s State of the Arts report to the beginning of Mayor Emanuel’s tenure, over 100,000 more CPS students are enrolled in schools with arts education programs that have a “Strong” or “Excelling” rating than six years ago, and CPS has doubled the number of schools with these ratings. External partnerships also continue to grow, with more than 100 additional arts organizations actively partnering with CPS schools than six years ago.

Creative Schools Fund Grants

This year, 152 schools have been awarded more than $1.5 million in Creative Schools Fund grants to supplement arts education for more than 20,000 students in Chicago schools. Since the grant program began in 2013, more than $10 million has been distributed in over 300 CPS schools to provide enriching opportunities inside the classroom and through partnerships with arts organizations. This is the first year that Chicago Public Schools and the City of Chicago are contributing to the Creative Schools Fund, with the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, and Ingenuity all contributing approximately $500,000 each.

“Our long-term goal is to ensure every child, in every grade, in every CPS school has access to the arts as part of their ongoing education,” said Ingenuity Executive Director Paul Sznewajs. “CPS as a district has led the nation in advancing this goal over the past six years. These critical investments in teachers and classrooms are a great step towards closing the arts gap for all CPS students.”

Each of the 152 schools will receive on average $10,000 in grant funds for teacher-designed projects that build capacity for arts programs, provide classrooms with art supplies and materials, and leverage Chicago’s cultural resources to enhance arts education. In addition to providing schools with resources, grants are intended to help schools increase the sustainability of arts education in schools by supporting professional development and curriculum development.

This year’s grant recipients include:

  • Columbus Elementary School, which is partnering with Lookingglass Theater to focus on enhancing collaborative communication skills in grades K-8 through story development and infusing real-world techniques in theatre to aid in the creation of new works, which students will perform on stage at the school.
  • Park Manor Elementary School, which is partnering with Project Osmosis to integrate arts and STEM core curricula using media arts, visual arts, story-telling, and a design thinking approach.
  • Manierre Elementary School, which is working with Changing Worlds to create robust arts programs through creative writing, spoken word, and culturally-relevant visual artists.
  • Doolittle Elementary School, which is collaborating with Lead Guitar to establish permanent, sustainable classical guitar classes through curriculum and professional development.
  • Kelvyn Park High School, which is partnering with Silk Road Rising to conduct an Empathic Playwriting Intensive Course residency focused on cultivating student leadership in building a culture of empathy the school.

The Creative Schools Fund was created in 2013 as part of the CPS Arts Education Plan — a larger effort to build and sustain arts education across the district. Launched with private donations raised through the Creative Schools Campaign and an investment from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Creative Schools Fund is the only funding effort in Chicago that exclusively grants directly to schools for programs designed by teachers to increase arts access. The Fund awards grants to elementary and high schools in all CPS Networks, with priority to Networks that are under-resourced in the arts. It awards grants to all artistic disciplines, focusing on those which are under-represented in the district.

Chicago Public Schools serves 361,000 students in 644 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district

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