School Year in Review 2014-2015

 In Michelle Green Arnson, The CAPE Blog

The 2014-2015 school year was a busy one for CAPE and our teachers, artists, students, families, and school communities. Below are a few program highlights from this year!

  • We completed the 3rd year of our Sound Design Project, a program that has explored strategies for integrating sound and music into elementary and high school classrooms. An exhibition of this innovative work is planned for fall 2015- stay tuned for details!
  • We wrapped up the most recent cycle of our introductory program, Collaboration Laboratory, which spans two years and gives teachers and artists who are new to arts integration all the skills they need to weave the arts into academic classrooms! We’ll begin a new 2-year cycle of Co-Lab this fall– if you know of a school that is curious about embracing arts integration, let us know!
  • We kicked off a new 5-year cycle of our after-school program, SCALE, which includes visual, digital, and performing arts classes for students, parents, and community members! A 21st Century Learning Centers grant from the Illinois State Board of Education is allowing us to continue our long-running after-school programs at Telpochcalli and Waters Elementary Schools, and to pioneer new after-school programs at Washington and North-Grand High Schools. Each of these schools dove head-first into SCALE this year and we couldn’t be more excited about the amazing things to come as the programs continue into the summer and next school year!
  •  We are extending our after-school program classes into the summer! Our students, parents, teachers, and artists were so committed to these programs during the school year that we decided to keep the programs going through August. At North-Grand High School, our students never skipped a beat in transitioning from the school year to the summer and they doubled down on community engagement by showcasing their Spring 2015 work at the recent opening celebrations of the 606 Trail!

In an ongoing effort to share the amazing work being done in our classrooms and to raise awareness about the impact of CAPE’s programs, we also hosted several successful events throughout the year at a variety of locations around Chicago. In December we held our annual Convergence arts exhibition and an arts education+language symposium, followed in the spring by Press Start for Art, a fun and casual event at Emporium Arcade Bar, our first ever CAPE Film Festival, and Creative Work, an exhibition featuring artwork from our program serving two CPS high schools that support the development of special needs students’ creative and communication skills.

Throughout the year, CAPE staff members were also busy traveling to a conferences to share our work and findings with the broader fields of arts, education, and research and evaluation.  We presented to hundreds of attendees at various meetings, workshops, the Congressional STEAM Caucus briefing, and conferences in New York City, Kansas City, Washington DC, and right here in Chicago, in an effort to contribute to new understandings, best practices, and new research approaches.

We have been thrilled to see the surprising, inspiring, and critical work that emerged from our CAPE classrooms this year, and we can’t wait to see what the 2015-2016 school year has in store! You can keep up with the greatness as it happens by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

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