January 30, 2011
Today Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Ingenuity Incorporated announced the launch of ArtLook, an interactive online mapping system that provides up-to-date information about the extent of arts programming in every school throughout Chicago. The tool will be a powerful resource for both schools interested in bolstering their arts education as well as organizations seeking to connect with schools to provide arts programming for students. By identifying those schools most in need of additional arts education, this map will help organizations target their resources where they can have the greatest impact.
“In addition to the focus on core subjects like reading, math and science, the Full School Day will also provide schools with the opportunity to add time in subjects like art and music,” said CPS Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard. “In this economic climate, when we are doing all we can to drive resources to the classroom, this is a great way to help us maximize our own arts resources, as well as enable schools to take advantage of partnerships that will benefit students.”
ArtLook will help schools leverage the wealth of cultural resources our city has to offer to provide students with creative and educationally rich art instruction and afterschool programs. Arts partnerships with CPS schools take on many forms such as: one-time field trips, in-school performances, year-long classroom “residencies” that provide rich weekly arts programs and after school programs. More than 200 arts organizations and institutions provide some form of programming to CPS schools. The partnerships are provided by major cultural institutions as well as grassroots community arts organizations.
Examples of these current partners include:
- Chicago Children’s Choir (Music, serving 51 schools)
- Hubbard Street Dance Company (Dance, serving 12 schools)
- Ravinia Festival (Music, serving 52 schools)
As it gets underway, ArtLook provides two important pieces of information that have not been readily available before; the presence of Certified Arts Instructors on staff at each CPS school, and the presence of community arts partnerships at each school. Overall, eight in 10 schools within CPS have at least one arts organization offering programs, and 88% of CPS schools have a certified arts instructor on staff.
“As we roll out the full school day, it’s exciting to see that with certified arts instructors in 88% of our schools we already have a strong infrastructure in place to accommodate expanded arts learning programs for students,” said Mario Rossero, CPS’ new Director of Arts. “This map is a key step in building stronger and more strategic partnerships with our community partners to provide students with a richer, more robust arts education.”
Rossero knows the Chicago Public Schools well, having served in a variety of capacities from 2004 through 2010, including Director of Magnet Schools and Programs, Administrator for the Fine and Performing Arts Magnet Cluster Program, and as a visual arts classroom teacher.
Ingenuity Incorporated is a Chicago-based arts and advocacy organization and a leading source of information and research on arts education. Ingenuity supports the Chicago Public Schools and their teachers, arts institutions and cultural organizations, teaching artists, and others who recognize the educational value of bringing the arts to each child, in every school, every day.
“In addition to connecting arts organizations with schools, ArtLook will also allow parents to understand the extent of resources available at each school, explained Paul Sznewajs, Executive Director of Ingenuity Incorporated. “Our goal is to build a strong arts infrastructure in the city’s public schools, and this map is a huge milestone as we work toward meeting that goal.”
Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.