CAPE Updates: NEA Awards $75,000 to CAPE!

Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects and partnerships in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $75,000 to CAPE to support arts integration in Chicago Public Schools classrooms through the Collaboration Laboratory program. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from CAPE offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

CAPE’s Executive Director, Amy Rasmussen, responded, “CAPE is so grateful for the NEA’s continued confidence in and support of our work and the Collaboration Laboratory. Since 2004, nearly 250 public school teachers have been inspired to develop creative new approaches to planning and teaching in the classroom through their partnerships with professional teaching artists. We’re proud to say that many of these teaching teams continue working together in other CAPE programs and to challenge and empower students across Chicago, building on the foundations laid by the Co-Lab program.”

Collaboration Laboratory (Co-Lab) is a two-year introductory program that partners professional teaching artists with 20 classroom teachers at 10 Chicago Public Schools. Together, the partners explore and experiment with different ways to help their students learn academic content through visual, performing, and digital arts. By the end of each program cycle, over 1,200 public school students will have new skills for building, navigating, and expressing their knowledge and curiosity across subjects.

Grants from the NEA, as well as matching contributions provided by generous individuals and foundations, cover the entire cost of the program. Schools are not asked to make a financial commitment to participate in the program. Given the financial position of Chicago’s schools today, it is a challenge for schools to provide even a basic education in the arts. CAPE’s partnerships augment each school’s arts offerings, and build the capacity of the educators to sustain the program over time.

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring16. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov

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