CPS, Mayor announce $10 million investment in 2015 arts education

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]ayor Rahm Emanuel, Board of Education President David Vitale and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett recently announced a $10 million investment in Arts Education for the 2015-2016 School Year dedicated to helping schools meet the district’s first-ever comprehensive Arts Education Plan.

“The value in arts education goes beyond learning to play an instrument or perform on stage, because when you invest in the arts, you invest in the potential of a child,” said Emanuel. “These experiences help students find their voices, enhance their educations and tap into their undiscovered talents, and this $10-million commitment will help infuse arts into more of our schools.”

The 2014 Creative Schools Fund will direct $1 million in funding to 100 schools this year to support arts partnerships, arts supplies, materials and other resources. Every school that earned Creative Schools Certification last year received “Arts Essentials” funding ranging from $750 to $1,000. A total of eight schools will receive Creative Schools Awards for up to $15,000 each, and 92 schools will receive Arts Advance grants for up to $10,000 each.

Schools were selected to receive funds by Ingenuity based on SY 13-14 Creative Schools Certification designations, and are diverse in geography. Funds are awarded to schools with Arts Liaisons, a designated school leader who is charged with fostering relationships with cultural institutions and community partners that will enrich students’ understanding of the arts. Nearly 600 schools possess a designated Arts Liaison this year, one of the prerequisites for a school to achieve a Creative Schools Certification.

To keep this momentum going and to strengthen the program district-wide, the $10 million will support schools unable to meet the recommended weekly arts minutes. These funds will allow schools to build robust art programs, by expanding access to visual arts and music as well as theatre and dance, across grades K-12.

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