In Events, Michelle Green Arnson

Last week we welcomed more than 150 visitors to our INSIDE/OUTSIDE exhibition, which featured art from CAPE After School classrooms at North-Grand and George Washington High Schools and Telpochcalli and Waters Elementary Schools. We were honored to create a space where students, parents, educators, and professional artists could come together to investigate and celebrate the creativity and curiosity of Chicago’s young artists.

Thursday’s Family Night event brought busloads of students and families from Waters and Telpochcalli Elementary Schools, as well as community members and artists. The event featured on-site art making with teacher Erin Franzinger and Teaching Artist William Estrada from Telpochcalli and a performance by students from Waters. We were pleased to have six representatives from the offices of U.S. Representatives Jesús “Chuy” García and Mike Quigley, who represent North-Grand, Telpochcalli, and Waters, in attendance to learn more about the amazing work being created inside and outside schools in their House districts.

On Friday night we shifted gears for our 2019 Teen/Artist Summit, which brought together CAPE after-school students from George Washington and North-Grand High Schools with professional Chicagoland artists for a series of dialogues and critiques of the students’ work on display. Students were able to share their thinking about existing work and works in progress, while also being challenged by the visiting artists to push their creativity to the next level.

As the Teen/Artist Summit drew to a close, many guests were drawn into an interactive performance created by one of our classes from George Washington. The performance brought unexpected elements of movement, focus, and whimsy that helped to wrap up the INSIDE/OUTSIDE exhibition on a very high note.

We are grateful for the opportunity to showcase our students’ hard work and creativity with so many gallery visitors. Special thanks to the students, teachers, and teaching artists who make CAPE After School such a unique program, and to the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Mansfield Family Foundation for making our after-school program possible. Additional thanks to the Illinois Arts Council Agency and to Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for their ongoing support of CAPE.

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