In our eighth annual State of the Arts Report, which covers the first school year affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and is published in Ingenuity’s tenth year, we renew our commitment to our mission: that every child, in every grade, in every school should have access to the arts as part of a well-rounded education.

This year, we are refreshing our approach to reporting on the arts in several important respects.

Key changes

  • We are announcing Creative Schools Certification (CSC) 2.0, the next generation of our system for assessing school success in providing students with access to the arts.
    • CSC 2.0 will enhance our ability to measure, assess, and track arts education opportunities along two dimensions: Access and Quality.
    • A detailed description of CSC 2.0 can be found here [link to Linda-designed rubric explainer PDF]
    • An in-depth exploration of the changes we’ve made can be found here. [link to CSC rubric changes detailed explanation PDF]
  • Because of the impacts of COVID-19 on CPS and individual schools:
    • We are not publishing overall CSC Scores this year.
    • We are not publishing individual school CSC Scores as part of this report.
  • To promote a more responsive and active conversation about the state of the arts in CPS:
    • We are publishing this year’s report in three separate parts, each focused on an individual dimension of what makes for a great school arts program and of what makes up the arts education ecosystem: Access, Quality, and Arts Partnerships,
    • We are officially launching our Data Snapshots© <link to Data’s Research & Analysis sub-page> series, through which we will release new data-informed insights and findings throughout the year, always with an aim to explore and identify opportunities for all arts educators to improve equitable access to high quality arts programming for CPS students


Key findings

  • Underlying data about staffing and courses reveal that the 2018-19 and portion of in-person instruction from the 2019-20 school year had similar patterns
  • 94% of elementary and high schools use some form of arts learning standards to guide instruction
  • A wide range of instructional approaches are utilized in both high schools and elementary schools, with many schools using an Arts Integration and/or Single-Discipline Arts Instruction approach
  • The 2019-20 data showed that there is a significant opportunity to engage with arts partners. Summary statistics across the board dropped from 2018-19 levels, and we expect a sharper decrease in the upcoming 2020-21 data


The data for the State of the Arts Report come from the Creative Schools Survey, CPS data, and arts partners, as well as charter and options schools. The report reflects staffing, access, instructional time, funding, and arts partnerships, providing the most comprehensive overview of the CPS arts education landscape in District history.

Click here to view the report on Access
Click here to view the report on Quality
Click here to view the report on Arts Partnerships