Memorial Service for Scott Sikkema
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Scott D. Sikkema.
CAPE will be hosting a Memorial for Scott on Wednesday, December 6, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at CAPE.
Please RSVP to attend and share this invitation with friends and colleagues. We hope to see you there.
Please feel free to share your memories below.
Scott’s passion for CAPE’s work was driven by his unshakable belief in the creativity of children.
Scott loved working with artists, teachers and staff to exchange ideas and develop new ways to bring creativity into the classroom. Throughout his professional career, and in his work with CAPE, he was dedicated to working side-by-side with teachers and teaching artists in developing the profession. Scott joined the CAPE staff in 2002 and for the next twenty years, had a significant impact on CAPE’s programming and research. An internationally recognized arts and education leader, Scott was a planner, researcher, writer, teacher, curator, and collaborator.
Scott Sikkema championed Art Education as a path to change the world one day at a time, and his work shaped how children experience art in schools throughout the Chicagoland region. Scott built a lasting network of collaborating cultural resources that brings art to thousands and thousands of school children in communities across our region every day.
His career began at the Kohl’s Children’s Museum, where he produced The Hundred Languages of Children, Chicago’s first exhibit of Reggio Emilia pedagogy and student art. Scott’s passion to build school capacity that engages children with art grew as he planned and led family workshops, teacher workshops, and summer programming in the suburbs and the city. Scott built his first multi-year collaborations between Kohl’s and elementary and preschool programs in the Chicago Public Schools to make sure every child had a chance to tell their tale.
When Scott moved to the Terra Museum of American Art, he brought the vibrant connections that expanded on-site arts programming for young learners. His intentional drive to serve young learners connected the Terra’s unique resources through purposeful educational programming with the Chicago Commons, the Shedd Aquarium, the North Park Village Nature Center, and the Chicago Arts Partnership in Education (CAPE).
As an educator himself, Scott taught teacher workshops and graduate coursework at National Louis University, Illinois State University, and Columbia College. Scott used that pedagogical expertise to shape policy on Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art’s Education Committee. Working to serve those who bring art to our classrooms, Scott build the capacity of educators through lasting collaborations between Chicago’s most prestigious institutions, including the Newberry Library, the Chicago Historical Museum, the Garfield Park Conservatory, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Intuit Gallery for Outsider Arts, the Roger Brown Study Collection, the Conservation Design Forum, the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, the Second City, and the Chicago Blues Foundation.
As the Education Director at CAPE, Scott retooled partnerships to focus on long-term, autonomous teams that pair teachers and artists in our schools. Supporting inquiry-based proposals from the adults with direct student contact, Scott constructed a collective professional development network that influences teaching and learning throughout Chicago and the suburbs. Because of Scott, more and more children use and apply contemporary art practices and forms in our schools.
Scott worked to establish research as an aesthetic and pedagogical practice, central to teaching and learning and to artmaking through collaboration that resulted in CAPE’s Artist/Researcher model. Scott helped write federal, state, and regional grants that helped fund CAPE’s emergence as Chicago’s pre-eminent afterschool arts programming resource.
Scott’s lasting legacy is defined by the connections he built between museum educators, principals and school administrators, teachers, artists and colleagues. The lasting networks he built continue to shape how our students grow and interact with art in their classrooms, their community, and their lives.
Please join us in remembering Scott by sharing your thoughts, memories and images.