Creative Schools Fund 2020-21

The 2020-21 Creative Schools Fund Application IS HERE!

The 2020-21 Creative Schools Fund application is here, and Ingenuity has worked closely with CPS to adapt this year’s grant structure to respond to the evolving needs of students, teachers and schools during this unprecedented school year.

These adaptations have been made in order to support schools through the 2020-2021 school year by preparing for changes in the health and safety landscape, responding to priorities set by the district, and adapting to emerging needs and assets as expressed by a community of arts education constituents. 


Grant Guidelines

Read our updated grant guidelines to review these adaptions, understand the latest CSF goals and priorities, check grant eligibility requirements, and note key dates.

Review Guidelines



We are accepting Creative Schools Fund applications through Submittable, an online application portal. Please review the Grant Guidelines above before beginning your application for instructions on how to create a Submittable profile and important eligibility information.

If you would like to review the application questions before beginning your official application, you can review the application questions here. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Creative Schools Fund team at



Info Sessions

We’re hosting virtual information sessions on everything you need to know about this year’s Creative Schools Fund. Arts Liaisons and arts partners are encouraged to attend! We’ll host info sessions throughout the application period (September – February), so be sure to check back here for new session dates.

Upcoming Sessions
Thursday, January 7 | 3:30 – 5:00 PM – Register

In the meantime, watch our recorded info session below!


FAQs for Arts Partners

  • How do I obtain Tier 1 vendor status and how long will it take?

    In accordance with CPS’ remote learning policy, all vendors working with students remotely must obtain Tier 1 status.  This process is initiated by the school principal completing the initial form (only accessible with a CPS account). For information on Tier 1 vendor status and other important safety, security, and procurement policies and resources, review the CPS Department of Arts Education’s Five Steps to Arts Partnership in SY2020-21

  • What if I don’t know the kind of programming I’m doing this year?

    Given the uncertainty of this school year, we encourage you to consider virtual adaptations for your programming if it is a fit for your discipline model. There are hundreds of partners who have decided to conduct remote or hybrid programs, and their virtual offerings may help you brainstorm potential ideas for your own work in this environment.

    You can find examples of Chicago-based partners’ remote and hybrid arts education programs by exploring artlook® Chicago: search “partners” using the keyword “virtual” to pull up a list of partners who have offered remote programs in CPS. You can also explore over 600 virtual arts education programs from partners across the country on the artlook® Virtual Learning Library.

  • What is the granting period for program implementation?

    Grant decisions will be offered within 6-8 weeks of submitting an application, and all funds must be spent by the CPS annual spending deadline for this fiscal year.

  • Principals are swamped. Do they still want to hear about my programs?

    Yes! We have reformatted our CSF grants to meet schools where they are, knowing the constraints leaders face this year. While not every school you have worked with in the past may be available in the same way, we encourage you to continue to reach out to build new connections and partnerships in CPS.

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Interested in learning more about what you read above or Ingenuity? Don't hesitate to reach out!

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