CHICAGO – The Creative Schools Fund awarded grants to 114 Chicago Public Schools across all CPS Networks and neighborhoods for the 2019-20 school year.

With nearly $12 million in grants distributed since 2013, the Creative Schools Fund, or CSF, is a critical driver of arts access in CPS by providing direct investments to schools for high-quality arts programming. The 2019-20 grant portfolio boasts the most diverse arts education projects in CSF history: awards range from small grants to support staff planning to $10,000 grants to support partnerships between schools and community arts organizations.

In selecting this year’s grantees, Ingenuity’s 40-member CSF review committee carefully evaluated more than 300 applications from teachers across CPS. Comprising practicing artists, art therapy experts, social-emotional learning educators, and CPS teachers and principals, among others, the CSF review committee continued to prioritize schools with high arts needs in their grant selections. This year, the committee also weighted innovative and replicable arts programs in their decision-making.

“We’re constantly adapting the Fund to best serve Chicago’s ever-evolving arts education needs,” said Ingenuity Executive Director Paul Sznewajs. “As we enter into our seventh year of the Creative Schools Fund, we remain committed to supporting emerging arts programs while also holding space for sustainable innovations in the landscape. The 2019-20 grant portfolio reflects the creativity and shifting needs of Chicago’s arts educators.”

Summary-level statistics for the 2019-20 CSF grantees include:

  • 58% of schools received CSF funding for the first or second time
  • 58% of schools are rated Emerging or Developing on the Creative Schools Certification
  • 46% of grants were renewed from the previous year (versus 33% in 2018-19)
  • Grants by arts discipline: Dance 50 (44%); Theater 21 (18%) Visual Arts 19 (17%); Music 12 (11%); Media Arts 8 (7%); Literary Arts 4 (3%)

View the full list of 2019-20 CSF grantees here.


About Ingenuity
Ingenuity is a backbone arts education 501(c)(3) with core programs in data, advocacy, grant-making, and professional learning. The organization’s collective-impact approach to arts advocacy drives partnerships, insights, and investments in the arts for 350,000 students in Chicago Public Schools. A nationally-recognized arts advocacy leader, Ingenuity has advanced the most progress in CPS arts education in 40 years. Learn more at


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