May 15, 2013
Mayor Rahm Emanuel was joined today by internationally-renowned cellist and Chicago Symphony Orchestra Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma to announce that the City is committing $1 million towards implementing the first Arts Education Plan for the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) next school year, ensuring that all students have high-quality arts instruction. The announcement was made during the annual Chicago Children’s Choir Paint the Town Red concert.
“Every child in this city deserves a quality education, no matter where they live. Incorporating the arts into all levels of education is an essential piece in helping our children thrive,” said Mayor Emanuel. “For the first time, our schools have a comprehensive Arts Education Plan that aligns them with Chicago’s Cultural Plan and opens new possibilities for our children.”
The CPS Arts Education Plan outlines goals to ensure that every child has access to the arts in school, along with strategies to realize them. The funding the Mayor announced today will help support implementing these strategies starting in the 2013-2014 school year. They include:
- Dedicated weekly arts instructional time: 120 minutes/week for elementary school students and increased arts credit options for high school students;
- Significant increases in professional development and training for teachers, principals and arts partners;
- Increased community partnerships for schools, tapping the resources of Chicago's cultural institutions and community organizations; and
- Increased funding assistance and strategies to ensure arts instruction in every school, including diversifying the types of arts offerings in schools and increasing dedicated supplies and resources.
“Chicago is leading the way in supporting the arts education and the CSO and I are delighted to join the Mayor in these efforts,” said Yo-Yo Ma. “Riccardo Muti, Deborah Rutter and I believe deeply in the essential role the arts can and must play in nurturing healthy individuals, families, schools and communities. The arts and arts integration are also the best way to foster the four critical skills necessary for our children to succeed in the 21st century workforce - collaboration, flexibility, imagination and innovation. The increased opportunities created by the Arts Education Plan is a national example of how we can all contribute to the development of our youngest citizens.”
The Chicago Cultural Plan 2012, announced last fall, was developed over months of community conversations and input. The City’s 2013 budget includes a $1 million investment to support some of the new initiatives included in the Cultural Plan, half of which will be directed to CPS to implement the Arts Education Plan. Today, the Mayor is doubling the City’s entire investment in the Arts Education Plan to $1 million using resources from the NATO Legacy Fund.
"Arts education is an important cornerstone of the Chicago Cultural Plan," said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. "When we hosted the many town hall meetings and community conversations with Chicagoans to solicit their input for the Plan, arts education consistently was a top priority for residents. We heard this not only from art teachers, but also from young people, parents and artists. Arts education is a necessary and critical part of ensuring the city’s future cultural, creative and economic growth."
“With the Mayor’s support, Chicago Public Schools is able to work in partnership with Ingenuity Inc. to develop and offer vibrant and interactive arts curriculum and instruction in our schools,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “I am proud to lead a District that recognizes the critical role that the arts play in our children’s education and we are actively working to expand access to arts programming to all our students.”
The Chicago-based non-profit Ingenuity Incorporated, working with the CPS Department of Arts Education is also establishing a Creative Schools Fund to administer outside funding for the CPS Arts Education Plan and support innovative partnerships between CPS schools and arts organizations that will help provide high-quality and creative arts education for every CPS student.
Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.