We invest in sector capacity and strive to improve access to quality arts learning for preK-12th grade Chicago students while fostering an appreciation for the arts.
We believe that students deserve equitable access to a full range of arts learning opportunities. Furthermore, we believe that arts learning plays a pivotal role in student engagement and student academic outcomes, but is also essential in and of itself as part of a high-quality preK-12 education.
Recently, Chicago has undergone a number of pivotal transformations in arts education that have informed CFP’s grantmaking approach. In 2012, the Chicago Cultural Plan was created and arts education was identified as the number one cultural priority. The first CPS Arts Education Plan was established in the same year, making the arts a core subject in CPS schools. To hold schools accountable to the Arts Education Plan, the Creative Schools Certification was created and is now included on every school’s CPS report card to show school performance in the arts. However, despite these advancements, there is still work to be done to ensure that students have equal access to arts learning opportunities. Currently, less than 25% of CPS elementary schools have the capacity to provide their students with the recommended 120 minutes of weekly arts instruction, and almost 50% of schools provide their students with less than the ideal ratio of students to instructors.
To address this uneven access to arts learning across CPS schools, our portfolio supports arts organizations that strive to provide a variety of high-quality arts learning opportunities to students in arts deserts. We also invest in organizations that provide teachers in low-income schools with opportunities for meaningful professional development in the arts or in arts integration instructional methods, as well as organizations that enhance the overall efficacy of the sector.
Goals for Arts & Culture portfolios include:
- Sector Building: Advance policies and strengthen organizations to better ensure access to quality arts education and appreciation in Chicago.
- In-School Arts Learning and Integration: Develop and deliver quality in-school arts education and/or integration programs to Chicago students.
- Out-of-School Arts Education: Develop and deliver out of school arts education programs to Chicago students.
- Arts Experience and Exposure: Provide culturally rich experiences that deepen arts education programming and/or cultivate arts appreciation.
- Teacher and School Leader Effectiveness: Build the capacity of teachers and school leaders to implement high quality arts education programs in Chicago schools and support Chicago's museums and cultural institutions in providing rigorous teacher professional development opportunities that capitalize on museum resources.
- Arts Resources: Expand under-resourced school and community access to arts materials and equipment.
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