BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) representation within community arts organizations that work with students is crucial to advancing arts education.

We share the below information for school years 2020-21 to 2021-22 in full recognition that, as of June 2022, we are still collecting responses from the arts partner community to develop a more full representation of the community.

Starting with the 2020-21 school year, Ingenuity, with the help of Enrich Chicago, began collecting information from organizations (or as we refer to them, arts partners) on how Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC) are represented in their leadership structures, student-facing personnel (teaching artists), organizational mission, and programming. This data is collected on artlook®, Ingenuity’s online hub for arts education information.

Quality arts education isn’t just about by-the-numbers saturation of arts instruction; it also means that instruction is delivered in a culturally-competent way that reflects Chicago’s very diverse demographic makeup, in and outside of Chicago Public Schools. 

Simply put, in a school district where 88.8% of students are BIPOC, students need arts partnership programs that reflect their lived experiences, and critically, BIPOC arts education providers (e.g., teaching artists) who can lead them in transformative arts education experiences. This is why BIPOC representation within arts partner organizations is a critical component in efforts to increase arts education access for students.

Below, dive deeper into the different measures of BIPOC representation in arts partner organizations. As you explore, it’s important to note that this data is collected in real time. (Educators and arts partners: At the end of this article, find out more about how to update your own information.) These visualizations reflect the number of arts organizations that have provided information, which you’ll be able to see in each visual. 

As more organizations submit their information, these visuals will become more complete.

How are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color represented in arts partner organizations in Chicago at large?


This graph provides statistics on BIPOC representation in student-facing personnel (teaching artists), organizational leadership, organization mission, and programming. It includes data from the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years and serves as a big-picture view of the Chicago area at large.

The percentages of each characteristic illustrate both how well-represented that characteristic is across the board, as well as how representation changed across school years. Our data as of June 2022 shows that a majority of responding organizations promote BIPOC artists actively. Fewer organizations tend to have been founded by BIPOC individuals or have a board that is majority BIPOC. The percentages of BIPOC representation across 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years are relatively similar.

How are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color represented in arts partnerships by Chicago’s ARA planning zones?


Which regions in Chicago have higher and lower representation of BIPOC arts partnerships with schools? 

These sixteen regions are defined by Chicago Public Schools’ Annual Regional Analysis, developed in partnership with Kids First Chicago. The regions are aligned with planning zones that were created by the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development*. These regions are more stable than city wards and school networks**, and allow us to visualize patterns across the city.

Choose which arts partner organization characteristic to focus on at the left of the map, and see how the saturation changes across characteristics. It reflects one factor that Chicago-based arts organizations have in common***: although a large share of organizations actively promote BIPOC artists, as we move up organizational layers to board and founders, we see that the percentage of representation drops.

Hover over each region to see how many schools each region has, along with how many of them have arts partnerships with organizations that reflect the selected characteristic.



*** This finding is as of June 2022.

How are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color represented in arts partnerships at every school?


This map lets you see which schools have partnerships with arts organizations that have BIPOC characteristics. You can zoom into specific schools that you’re interested in and click to see statistics for the school, including student racial/ethnic demographics, enrollment, and information on partnerships.

What do partnerships look like at each individual school? Explore each arts partner organization characteristic at left, at an individual-school level – you can see which schools have partnerships with BIPOC partners, student racial/ethnic demographics, enrollment, and specific information on partnerships. 


One of Ingenuity’s biggest goals is to promote visibility for BIPOC organizations, and to connect and increase their partnerships with schools. Data like this helps us – and the sector – more easily see how that impact is represented in an intersectional way.

What can you do about gaps in BIPOC arts organization representation?

  • If you’re a BIPOC arts partner or CPS Arts Liaison and your information isn’t captured in the visualizations above, it will be once you update your artlook® profile. 
  • If you’re a CPS arts educator or a teaching artist looking to collaborate to deliver arts programming to CPS students, artlook® has everything you need to get going. 

Get started by clicking here. 

We hope that sharing data about the opportunities to expand arts access for CPS students will unify our efforts and amplify the sector’s collective impact. Our mission – to ensure quality access to arts education for all CPS students – is in service of your goals as educators and teaching artists. 

artlook® is continuously evolving, and we’re excited to continue bringing you more development on the public-facing artlook® Map, including providing this information about teaching arts organizations, too. Follow us and stay in touch to find out about new projects, new features, and new ways for you to continue delivering arts education where it’s needed most.

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