Thank you for your interest in learning more about CAPE’s Board of Directors!

CAPE seeks to recruit and retain a diverse board whose members possess various needed skills and a broad array of knowledge relevant to CAPE’s work.  These skills may include but are not limited to expertise in law, finance, information technology, grant-making, fundraising, human resources, marketing, or public/media relations.   Also desirable is past experience with nonprofit boards and experience with meeting facilitation.

CAPE seeks to include on its board a variety of perspectives related to arts and/or education.  Consequently, CAPE seeks to have on its board constituents such as CPS parents, alumni, teachers, administrators, local government officials, and teaching artists.

CAPE inspires students to be passionate about their education by weaving visual and performing arts into their classroom lessons. To bring their academic subjects to life through art, we partner teaching artists with Chicago Public School teachers to develop original, creative lesson plans. These lessons integrate music, dance, drama, digital art, video, and photography into classrooms; they also expand learning beyond school walls into community sites like art studios, performance halls, and exhibit spaces.

CAPE’s unique approach to art-based education better engages students, improves their understanding of class material, and boosts their grades. CAPE even commissions long-term research to show that integrating art into education continually improves students’ critical thinking, self-esteem, and confidence.

In addition to a range of professional skills, all CAPE Board Members are expected to possess the following attributes: 

Willingness to advocate on behalf of CAPE by bringing resources to the agency.  Such resources include a personal financial commitment and promoting interest in and support for CAPE through involvement in outreach, networking, and promotional activities.

Ability to commit approximately 8-10 hours per month.  This time may be spent in board or committee meetings or in outreach and fundraising activities.  

Desire to be part of a collegial group dedicated to CAPE’s mission.  Board members will serve as part of a team and engage in thoughtful discussion and decision-making.

Partner with staff and fellow board members to build and enhance CAPE’s contributions to positive creative learning outcomes for students.  This may translate into first-hand participation and support of school-based programs and initiatives.


Participation Expectations:

-Attend board meetings currently set for the first Tuesday of every month at 6 pm (online) and four Saturdays (10 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
-Serve on at least one committee and undertake additional assignments as needed
-Serve a full three-year term
-Serve as a CAPE ambassador by expanding the reach of CAPE to new prospective donors
-Participate in CAPE fundraising activities by purchasing tickets and/or tables for special events
-Attend at least one site visit at a CAPE school per year
-Attend the annual exhibition and other program-related events (1-2 per year)
-Participate in organizational strategic planning efforts
-Participate in annual staff reviews and board member self-evaluations

Financial Expectations:

-Make an annual financial contribution according to one’s personal means. Board members give an average of $3,000 per year.
-Board members are expected to raise additional funds for the organization from their personal networks, individuals, corporations, or foundations.

Additional Expectations:

-Know the organization’s mission, purposes, goals, policies, programs, and services
-Analyze the organization’s strengths and weaknesses and help identify ways to capitalize on strengths and seek solutions for weaknesses

-Suggest nominees to the board who are women and men of achievement and distinction and who can make significant contributions to the work of the board
-Follow trends in the field of arts education

-Bring good will and a sense of humor to the board’s deliberations
-Ask timely and substantive questions at board and committee meetings consistent with your conscience and convictions, while supporting the majority decisions
-Maintain confidentiality of board’s executive sessions

-Acquire the approval of the Executive Director and/or President before speaking publicly on behalf of CAPE
-Suggest agenda items for board and committee meetings to ensure that significant, policy-related matters are addressed

Next Steps

The CAPE Board of Directors offers its members the extraordinary opportunity to contribute to an outstanding organization that makes a profound and lasting difference in the lives of young people, families, schools, and communities all across Chicago.

For more details about board service and its responsibilities, please contact CAPE’s Executive Director, Amy Rasmussen
Amy Rasmussen
Executive Director
Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education
direct: 312-674-6906

This video will give you a sense of how CAPE’s work makes a difference to real students in real Chicago classrooms. It features a teacher, a teaching artist, and three students from a CAPE program at Durkin Park Elementary, which is located in the Ashburn neighborhood in southwest Chicago. Their CAPE project helped the students learn about electricity and circuits through the use of art materials, storytelling, and collaborative experimentation; this approach to learning also inspired many of the students to consider careers in different scientific fields for the first time, including Wyndel, who is now convinced she has what it takes to become an astronaut.