Unveiled two years ago, the District’s Arts Education Plan is a groundbreaking strategy designed to infuse arts education into every school in the District, creating a robust experience for students and improving academic performance. Today’s event, which was held in the Performing Arts Building at Juarez Community Academy, will help take that commitment to the next level.
“The arts are inseparable from a well-rounded education,” said Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale, who attended the event with CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett.” They add deeper meaning to the learning process, and teach and inspire the creativity and problem-solving skills that are the foundation for success in any field.”
The campaign launched today calls on Chicago’s business, civic, cultural and philanthropic leaders to help raise $38 million in private donations to help fund the program. Called Be Creative: The Campaign for Creative Schools, this initiative has already raised an impressive $10 million toward that goal.
“From music to dance, theater to the visual arts, CPS is investing in arts education across every grade to help nurture the next generation of innovators and creative thinkers,” said President Vitale. “But we all know that our work is not finished until each and every child has the same opportunities to enrich their lives and their education through the arts.”
The event at Juarez featured student performers, as well as legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma, renowned opera singer Renee Fleming, installation artist Theaster Gates, and ballet dancer Damian Woetzel, all of whom are Honorary Co-Chairs of the Creative Schools Campaign. Juarez was chosen as the event’s backdrop due to a demonstrated increase in student engagement around the arts. This is due in part to the school’s partnerships with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera, and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Juarez also serves as a fine arts hub for the Pilsen community, and received the highest possible Creative School Certification rating in 2014.