Creating a sustainable path forward for arts education

With the COVID-19 crisis impacting Chicago’s arts education sector, Ingenuity is spearheading a collective response to ensure we do not lose any of the hard-fought arts education gains made in CPS over the past nine years.

Ingenuity will be virtually convening sector-wide stakeholders through our new ArtsEd Response Collective (ARC) to ensure we proactively address the changing landscape and lay a sustainable path forward for arts education in the future.

The purpose of ARC is to:

  • Understand the emerging challenges for students, educators, schools, teaching artists, arts nonprofits, cultural institutions and funders in the Chicago arts education sector
  • Provide technical support through a community of practice
  • Create a sector-wide Common Agenda to guide the sector beyond the immediate crisis
  • Establish a 12-month Action Plan for the arts education sector aimed at mitigating the impact of the current crisis on CPS students, school communities, teaching artists, and arts organizations.

ARC Virtual Community Conversations

Who’s in the room?

During the ARC Virtual Community Conversations, we heard from 100+ members of Chicago’s arts education sector, including arts partners, teaching artists, CPS teachers, and community members. Arts leaders and advocates from various Chicago neighborhoods, artistic disciplines, and backgrounds offered their insights and strategies to advance our efforts to support and address our changing arts ed landscape in the wake of COVID-19.  Stay tuned for the themes and strategies that emerged from these insightful gatherings.


Participants from across Chicago’s arts and education sectors shared their experiences and feedback over the course of 10 virtual convenings to help inform ArtsEd Response Collective strategies. We’ve catalogued their feedback by theme. View our full summary of ARC feedback and themes here.


Thank you to the members of the ARC Advisory Panel, who have come together from across the arts and education sectors to advance initiatives that mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on our community.

  • JC Aevaliotis

    Program Officer, Polk Bros. Foundation

  • Sarah Alvarez

    Director of School Programs, The Art Institute of Chicago

  • Quenna Barrett

    Associate Director of Education, Goodman Theatre

  • Mary Beck

    Principal, Nicholas Senn High School

  • Jennifer Benoit-Bryan

    Vice-President & Co-Director of Research, Slover Linett Audience Research

  • Sherly Chavarria

    Chief of Teaching and Learning, Chicago Public Schools

  • Julia deBettencourt

    Director, CPS Department of Arts Education

  • Eric Delli Bovi

    President & CEO, Urban Gateways

  • Amina Dickerson

    President, Dickerson Global Advisors

  • William Estrada

    Independent Teaching Artist

  • Ayriole Frost

    Executive Director, Shift Englewood: Youth Orchestra

  • Sabrina Greig

    Arts Program Officer, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation

  • Akilah Halley

    Executive Director, Marwen

  • Erin Harkey

    Deputy Commissioner, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE)

  • Paul Kassel

    Dean, School of Theatre and Dance, Northern Illinois University

  • Susan Lee

    Director of Dance, Northwestern University

  • Kate Lorenz

    Executive Director, Hyde Park Art Center

  • Shemeka Nash

    Fine Arts Department Chair, Band Director, Morgan Park High School

  • Jose Ochoa

    Executive & Artistic Director, The Chicago High School for the Arts

  • Claire Rice

    Executive Director, Arts Alliance Illinois

  • Sydney Sidwell

    Senior Program Officer, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation

  • Lauren Sivak

    Executive Director, Second Story

  • Gina Spears

    Dance Teacher, Portage Park Elementary School

  • Jeff Waraksa

    Arts Education Manager, CPS Department of Arts Education

  • Jon Weber

    Director of School and Family Programs, Chicago Symphony Orchestra