CAPE A/RP in 2021-2022

 In The CAPE Blog

By: Brandon Phouybanhdyt and Mark A. Diaz

CAPE is honored to announce the collaborating schools taking part in the Artist/Researcher Partners program for the 2021–2022 school year. This year we are excited to work with 44 projects in 25 schools, representing over 22 distinct communities and approximately 1,538 students across Chicago, to expand their investigation of teaching and learning through contemporary arts practices. These schools comprise CAPE’s partners who repeatedly pivoted, experimented, attuned, and counteracted to maintain equilibrium in engaging their students in exploratory projects throughout the evolving classroom spaces of the pandemic. We are thrilled to have these collaborators continue their work with us again.

The long-term partners returning to A/RP are Telpochcalli, Camras, New Sullivan, Bateman, Boone, Murphy, Goudy, Pasteur, Galileo, Murphy, Henry, Taylor, Durkin Park, Haley, and New Sullivan elementary schools.  Ray Graham Training Center, North-Grand, Vaughn Occupational, and Lake View round out the high schools rejoining the arts integration practitioners. After a long hiatus from the A/RP network, we welcome back Waters Elementary. The partners graduating from the 2021 Collaboration Laboratory cohort and joining A/RP are South Shore International College Prep, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, STEM Magnet Academy, and Dever, Nash, Pirie, and Rogers elementary schools.

The A/RP partnerships for 2021-2022 have a commonality of potent big ideas and intriguing inquiry questions, many highly relevant to the complex situations we are all navigating. In a project titled, “Creative Revolution Then and Now,” Nash Elementary School team teacher Sylvelia Pittman and teaching artist Jason Roebke will investigate “How can we use creative work to understand and respond to the past and our own place in society?” with their 8th-grade civics class. Sylvelia and Jason write in the proposal, “The students will be studying Black and Latino activism in the 1960’s relating to the first amendment to the US Constitution. The students will respond to iconic works of 1960’s Chicago music, visual art, and poetry with creative work of their own. Last year, we found that the students needed a firmer foundation in strategies for making creative work. In tying their activity to an existing work, we can isolate skills and build student confidence in core skills over the unit. It is also a form of cultural stewardship, as many students are unfamiliar with the artistic heritage of Chicago. We will analyze the music, art, and poetry to dig deeper into their content, composition, meaning, and historical context.”

Pirie Elementary School music teacher Robin DaSilva and CAPE artist Mirza Shams will explore “De-Orchestration” with their students. Their goal is to “get the students to realize that they are artists just by existing. As an artist, they have access to different sound mediums in which to express their creativity through collaborative music-making within the context of songwriting, arranging and mixing. We also want them to understand that using non-conventional practices of music-making and producing is completely limitless, and the origin of making music where it is just simply based on personal perspectives. Our initial inquiry question was, ‘What is the relationship between music, rules, and building new structures?’ At that time, before quarantine, when we started shifting from in-person to virtual, we found that the inquiry question didn’t need to be modified as we were able to navigate our curriculum virtually with alternative accessible virtual tools of music production and audio technology.”

Such A/RP projects show the acute awareness that CAPE teachers, artists, and students have of the shifting understandings and possibilities happening in relation to the constructs and contexts of teaching and learning in this return-to-school period. As Taylor Elementary music teacher Andre Porter and CAPE artist Jessica Mueller ask, looking back on what’s transpired this past school year, “What do we want to keep?”


The Artist/Researchers for the School Year 2021-2022:


Bateman Elementary

  • Samantha Soto and Betsy Zacsek
  • Priscilla Rowe and Jordan Knecht

Boone Elementary 

  • Gustavo Soto and Gwen Terry

Camras Children’s Engineering School

  • Marilyn Baez and Niema Qureshi

Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences  

  • Nicole Donnelly and Jillian Gryzlak
  • Julie Reynolds and Jillian Gryzlak
  • Mary Rossi and Mirtes Zwierzynski

Dever Elementary School                 

  • Tabita Sherfinski and Sze Lin Pang
  • Carmen Carteno and Sze Lin Pang

Durkin Park Elementary           

  • Elizabeth Allen and Niema Qureshi

Galileo Scholastic Academy of Math and Science      

  • Kathleen Barnes and Sonja Moser

Goudy Technology Academy                 

  • Patty Whitehouse and Margy Stover
  • Katy McLean and Margy Stover

Haley Elementary Academy  

  • Mellisa Kazlauskas and Jessica Mueller

Henry Elementary                 

  • Marybel Cortes and Ayako Kato

Lake View High School              

  • Joanne Yonan and Gwyneth Zeleny Anderson
  • Melody Foley and Gwyneth Zeleny Anderson

Murphy Elementary School   

  • Penny Shultz and Gina Lee Robbins
  • Michele Sera and Gina Lee Robbins
  • Sarah Ramirez and Gwyneth Zeleny Anderson
  • Frank DeJohns and Gwyneth Zeleny Anderson

Nash Fine and Performing Arts Academy      

  • Sylvelia Pittman and Jason Roebke

New Sullivan Elementary School                  

  • Leticia Pineda and Shenequa Brooks
  • Tracy Netter and bAnansi Knowbody

North-Grand High School                 

  • Kristina Bowlus and Jennifer Mannebach

Pasteur Elementary School   

  • Sheila McDermott and Chuck Jones
  • Arturo Barrera and Chuck Jones

Pirie Fine Arts and Academic Center

  • Robin DaSilva and Mirza Shams

Ray Graham Training Center High School

  • Katie Kurisch and Aram Atamian
  • Irene Kim and Sonja Moser
  • Katie Jones and Mirtes Zwierzynski

Rogers Fine Arts                                    

  • Peter Vroustouris and Ruby Thorkelson

South Shore International College Prep

  • Jordan Rice and Kyra Lehman

STEM Magnet Academy

  • Jamie Davis and Liz Chilsen
  • Maggie Sandoval and Betsy Zacsek

Taylor Elementary School                       

  • Andre Porter and Jessica Mueller
  • Dawn Casaday and Sonja Moser

Telpochcalli Elementary School

  • Elizabeth Pagan and William Estrada
  • Dana Oesterlin and Timothy Rey

Vaughn Occupational High School     

  • Shannon Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Mannebach
  • Beth Ann Edwards-Devine and Timothy Rey
  • Jeremey Green and Chuck Jones
  • Laura Smith and Chuck Jones

Waters Elementary School

  • Amy Vecchioni and Juan Carlos Perez
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