CHICAGO – Ingenuity today announced its most significant investment in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to date through its Creative Schools Fund (CSF). In total, $4.76 million in CSF funding will be distributed among 144 schools  during the next 3.5 years, with 70 of those selected schools receiving multi-year support. Fall 2022 CSF grantees include  elementary and high schools from across all CPS networks representing all artistic disciplines, with priority to schools that are under-resourced in the arts.

“CPS is grateful to partner with Ingenuity on our shared goal of ensuring robust access to the arts for every student,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “This exciting addition of multi-year grants will support schools and our local community arts organizations in deepening the creative opportunities for our students, and we look forward to the rich arts programming that results from this investment.”

The Creative Schools Fund has invested over $18 million directly into CPS since its founding in 2013 and is a critical driver of arts access in the District. It is the only funding effort in Chicago that exclusively supports  teacher-designed arts programs aimed at increasing students’ arts access.

One such program is a collaboration between Ida B Wells Preparatory Elementary Academy and South Chicago Dance Theatre.

“CPS focuses on social and emotional learning, and the arts and creative collaboration are the best ways to augment these skills,” says Jillian Musielak, arts educator at Ida B Wells Preparatory Elementary Academy. “Thanks to the multi-year grant that we were just awarded through the Creative Schools Fund, we will be able to provide dance which will be an incredibly fruitful way for students to melt negative boundaries, develop empowering ones, and gain self-control and focus – critical skills that will enhance their learning holistically especially after missing out on two years of socialization during the pandemic.”

In selecting the Fall 2022 schools receiving the support, Ingenuity’s 45-member CSF review committee carefully evaluated more than 189 applications from teachers across CPS. The CSF review committee is comprised of practicing artists, art therapy experts, social-emotional learning educators and CPS teachers and principals, among others. The committee continued to prioritize schools that have historically experienced divestment in the arts in all grant selections.

“As schools continue to navigate the effects of COVID disruptions, the Creative Schools Fund is helping to fortify high-quality arts education experiences for every student, in every grade, in every CPS school,” said Nicole Upton, Executive Director of Ingenuity. “We congratulate the school leaders, arts liaisons, students, and 61 arts and culture organizations who will work to advance arts access for Chicago’s students, and thank all the donors who make this work possible.” 

The Lollapalooza Arts Education Fund is a crucial component of the Creative Schools Fund. This $2.2 million dollar commitment from Lollapalooza focuses on first-time arts education grantee schools with critical arts education needs as identified by Ingenuity data. In Fall 2022, 47 new schools were added to the Lollapalooza Arts Education Fund; 22 Lollapalooza 2021-22 grantees will return this year as Creative School Fund grantees for the 22-23 school year.

“Because of key partners like Lollapalooza, we are able to provide larger grants to support new schools for multiple years at a time,” says Taykhoom Biviji, Ingenuity’s Director for the Creative Schools Fund. “This has a direct and immediate impact on Chicago’s students and the arts education sector as a whole.”


About Ingenuity and the Creative Schools Fund

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 330,000 students in Chicago Public Schools. A nationally recognized arts advocacy leader, Ingenuity has advanced the most progress in CPS arts education in 40 years. 

Celebrating its 10th year, Ingenuity’s Creative Schools Fund provides direct funding to CPS schools to build and bolster arts programs. By design, the Fund prioritizes those CPS schools with the least systemic arts access. Funded projects are collaborations between arts educators and external arts partners, bringing critical, immediate arts curriculum to students.

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