Ingenuity, a Chicago Nonprofit, Fights For Arts Education Access for Every Student Across the City

Ever since its 2011 founding, the mission of Ingenuity — a Chicago-based arts education nonprofit — has been focused on ensuring that every student, in every grade, in every Chicago Public School (CPS) school, has access to the arts as part of a well-rounded education. On Thursday, May 18, from 6-9 pm, Ingenuity invites you to become a crucial part of this mission by attending Tapestry, a benefit to celebrate leaders in Chicago’s arts education sector and advance this work together.

Along with celebrating the arts education sector’s achievements, Tapestry will honor David J. Vitale, a decades-long leader in Chicago’s arts education sector. Also being honored is Willa Jonelle Taylor and Goodman Theatre, who have led the sector with innovation and dedication, and will be the recipients of the first-ever Equity in Arts Education Award.

Research confirms that arts access in schools leads to increased student achievement and test scores; school attendance; graduation and college attendance rates; more collaboration, perseverance, communication and other “soft skills” critical to students’ future successes as productive citizens.


Arts access in schools creates new generations of artists, teachers and arts consumers, contributing to the annual $3.2 billion nonprofit arts and culture economy in Chicago and impacting the health of our city and region across multiple sectors.

“Access to high-quality arts programming has absolutely risen over the last decade,” shares Nicole Upton, Ingenuity Executive Director. “More CPS students attend a school that is considered strong or excelling in the arts. We have data, infrastructure and tools like artlookMap® and arts partner impact reports to help guide our collective understanding and resourcing of arts partnerships in CPS.”

Ingenuity exists where Chicago’s arts education organizations, arts educators, funders and policymakers intersect. Ingenuity’s work creates connections between these stakeholders and more to advance arts education, creating collaboration, efficiency and collective impact in the sector.

Since its founding, Ingenuity has helped increase access to arts programs across Chicago Public Schools. According to the organization, 102,000 more CPS students now experience consistent access to the arts, and with advocacy efforts at local, state and federal levels, plus partnership and learning events for educators, arts organizations and more, Ingenuity’s impact continues to grow. 


Interested in attending Tapestry and helping advance access to arts education in Chicago? Visit the Ingenuity website and find out more about how to support this work.

Sponsors for Tapestry include Marilyn and David Vitale, The Crown Family, Jim and Karen Frank, Savi Pai & Howard Randell and Capital Group Private Client Services, Kent & Liz Dauten, Keystone Capital, Elaine and Richard Tinberg, Ariel Investments, Gail and Tom Hodges, BMO, Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Family Foundation, Anne and Vincent Kelly, Rita and John Canning, Ann S. and Samuel M. Mencoff Foundation, Helen Zell, Desirée & Abe Moore and K&L Gates LLP, Polsky Foundation, Mary and Paul Finnegan, Karim Ahamed, David Gordon, Sidley Austin, Richard L. Thomas, Brittany Merritt and Chris Steadley, Deepa Gupta and Peter Byer, Francia E. Harrington and Vern Broders, U.S. Bank, Maria and Carlos Calderon, BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Sylvia Neil and Dan Fischel, Better and more.

More from Better:

  Who We Are       NFP Support       Magazine       Programs       Donate