Chicago’s “Be Creative” Campaign: Putting Art Back in Every Classroom

A cross-section of Chicago civic leaders are so determined to restore arts education to all Chicago Public Schools that they launched “Be Creative: The Campaign for Creative Schools” through the nonprofit Ingenuity. This $38 million campaign aims to put arts education back into every CPS classroom—kindergarten through 12th grade—within the next four years. Chairing the initiative are Dick and Susie Kiphart (Chicago), Steve and Nancy Crown (Winnetka) and Ed Janotta (Winnetka).

Proof that blending arts education with core academics produces greater academic success for under-resourced students—and really, for all students—exists at West Englewood’s Lindblom Math and Science Academy. Be Creative Co-Chair Susie Kiphart and Principal Alan Mather recently hosted Make It Better at the school to demonstrate.

“This needs to be available not just to some students; it needs to be available to all children,” Kiphart says. Kiphart’s passion reflects her 14 years of service as the Kenilworth Union Church Director Of Christian Education, as well as her passion for all arts.

Interestingly, all schools—affluent or under-resourced—can learn from the Lindblom model, where teachers of core curriculum courses, like math or physics, are encouraged to collaborate closely with arts teachers, too. The result: Students who are more engaged and successful.

Please watch this MIB TV video to learn more about this highly effective model.

To learn more about Ingenuity—whose mission is to leverage the vibrant communities, rich knowledge and significant resources of Chicago to ensure the arts are a critical component of every public school student’s education—click here.

Additional reporting by Maura Flaherty