CAPE Partnership Program Descriptions

Each year CAPE trains and prepares over 87 teaching artists and 81 classroom teachers to partner together to provide arts integration for students across Chicago.

CAPE In-School Programs

CAPE sustains the development of its long-term teacher and teaching artists collaborations through the Artist/Researcher Partners Program. Up to forty collaborating teams are selected each year to further their work in arts-integrated practice, inquiry-based learning, and action research. These teams not only expand artistic investigations in the classroom but also infuse exhibition practice in the classroom to work with students on displaying their learning in a public forum. Artist/Researchers work collaboratively at the end of the year in exhibiting their work in CAPE’s annual Convergence exhibition, advancing the development of collective curation. 

Collaboration Laboratory is CAPE’s two-year program that introduces new partners into the CAPE network of arts integration practitioners. Co-Lab applies CAPE’s model of inquiry-based, arts-integrated teaching and learning partnerships to schools and arts organizations new to this methodology. The project supports a cohort of teacher and teaching artist teams at ten schools through an intensive program of professional development as they form a professional community organized to develop high-quality arts integration.  

STEAM Ahead was a four-year STEM arts integration program that positioned arts learning as a cross-cutting practice that allows students to apply, connect, and interweave science, technology, engineering, and math concepts. Using CAPE’s collaborative teaching model, teacher and teaching artists teams design and deliver innovative and effective standards-based teaching and learning, including the Illinois Learning Standards in Science (based on the Next Generation Science Standards), Illinois Learning Standards for Mathematics (incorporating the Common Core math standards), and the National Core Arts Standards. STEAM Ahead was a four-year AAEDD US Department of Education program and culminated in a public presentation on September 27, 2023 and the launch of a STEAM curricular website: The site is open to all for use in K-12 education. 

CAPE After School 

CAPE after school (also known as  “Supporting Communities through Arts Learning Environments” )(SCALE) re-envisions and activates the school as a site for arts, learning, and for family and community members. CAPE’s SCALE after-school program partners teaching artists with teachers to develop an original curriculum that supports project-based arts-integrated learning. As a laboratory for in-school learning, after-school students weave academic and social emotional learning with various art disciplines and teachers are able to experiment with academic content and pedagogical strategies.     

CAPE Parent/Community Classes provide contextualized creative and continuous development opportunities for parents and families. The classes integrate the arts with community articulated needs such as English language learning, technology skills, career development, civic and ecological issues, etc. Community classes are co-taught by teaching artists and teachers and illuminate for parents the connections between art making and learning, and how parents can observe evidence of learning and development in their child’s arts and academic work.  

West Chicago CAPE After School (WeGo CAPE After School) 

In 2020, CAPE became School District 33’s 21st Century grant co-applicant for after school programs in West Chicago. CAPE provides student arts-integrated after school programs at Currier Elementary, Gary Elementary, Pioneer Elementary, Turner Elementary and Leman Middle school. Community classes are also available for adult students, which are instructed in Spanish and English. The student and community programs are available during the school year and summer free of charge through funding from the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program of the Illinois State Board of Education.

To check out our Teaching Artists, click here.

For a Map of all Partnerships, click here.