The CPS Advanced Arts Program (AAP) at Gallery 37 is nearing its 20th anniversary in the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts building at 66 E. Randolph. Our mission is to identify young artists in 11th and 12th grade from across CPS high schools and to encourage and nurture them in visual, digital, performing, and culinary arts. We partner with our city’s leading museums and cultural institutions such as the Lyric Opera, Chicago Shakespeare, and Hubbard Street Dance to provide our students with master classes and unique experiences in the arts. Our students come from CPS schools near and far—from neighborhood schools to selective enrollment schools. We are committed to equity and try to remove barriers by providing all materials and free bus fare to and from Gallery 37. We build an enriched community across culture, race and gender. We take special care to ensure that our students are “seen” in their work, artistic expression, and as human beings.
A typical day at AAP might start with culinary students serving up hot cocoa to all on a frigid Chicago afternoon or cupcakes on Valentine’s Day, followed by a rigorous two-hour session taught by two instructors in dance, vocal arts, jazz, theater, photography, animation and sequential arts, video, drawing and painting, or mixed media/ceramics. Students’ passion, hard work and dedication pays off. They are accepted to the most prestigious art schools and conservatories across the county – Julliard, Berklee College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Parsons, Pratt, California Institute of the Arts, RISD, University of Michigan, U of I, and the School of the Art Institute Chicago (to name a few!). They also secure scholarships (many receive full rides) and have been finalists and semi-finalists in numerous competitions such as YoungArts, IHSA, Shakespeare Slam, CCap, and the August Wilson Monologue Competition. For seven consecutive years, one of our students has received a full scholarship to the School of the Art Institute Chicago valued at $189,000!
We look for students with a keen interest in the arts who are committed to 10 hours of arts instruction weekly (Mon-Fri) in a community of like-minded artistic people. We are taking applications now for SY 2019-2020 at advancedarts.cps.edu and conducting interviews, auditions, and portfolio reviews. Most of our courses are dual credit. Additionally, we are available for presentations at school sites and for information sessions with students and key stakeholders.
For their semester final, Sarah Heston's senior dance class at Acero Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz created a modern dance piece called "Scorched Earth." They told a story of how war impacts individuals, communities and the environment. They presented their work at Stage 773 on January 22, and the final piece was submitted and accepted to the Trifecta Student Showcase!
Vicki Hayes' students at McDowell Elementary, Jordyn Davis and Heterah Chamas, won the @FreshFilmsDT #MilkIt Video Competition! As part of the prize, Ms. Hayes was nominated to receive a $500 educator grant. Watch their winning video and check out the other entries on the Milk It! YouTube page.
Mather High School students and alumni donated artwork to become part of a permanent Mather Legacy Art Collection. Facilitated by their teacher, Jenny Brown, Mather students were invited to create art, frame, curate, and install the artwork. Art projects were created in the classroom; and after school Mather Art Club students framed and installed the art. The funding for this project was provided by a "SPARK" Friends of Mather alumni grant and money allotted by principal Peter J. Auffant.
Dance teacher Lola Schaefer of Kenwood Academy High School shared the news that Diva Hunt, a member of student dance company Kenwood Dance Project, had her choreography "Run" selected to be performed in a showcase at the Regional High School Dance Festival hosted at University of Wisconsin Madison on March 16th! Congratulations, Diva and Ms. Schaefer!
Elizabeth Vivion of Lewis School of Excellence shares, "This is the second year of our Performing Arts program and so many amazing things have already happened! Through Donor's Choose I was gifted a platform stage and risers in 2017 and this year, also through through Donor's Choose, our classroom was gifted 5 iPad Minis. Our students have began working on stop-motion animation and creating movie trailers. The enthusiasm for this creative discipline has been huge and I am so excited to see where Lewis School of Excellence goes with their arts programs in the years to come!"
Rachel Lechocki, art teacher at Acero Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz wanted to call out two of her students, Myra Luna and Michelle Torres, who continue to impress her with their "...innovation and dedication to their craft, among their other classes and jobs. These young ladies show the power of expression through art and demonstrate the strong presence of quality female, contemporary artists. Their work is consistently getting better and so is their use of techniques, such as various types of painting, using recycled material, and exploring palette knives."
This year a group of Lexi Coffee's George Westinghouse College Prep students opened a student-run art gallery! The gallery shows a variety of exhibits all curated and installed by the students. The gallery is called the House of Green and Gold—a name chosen by the school community at the end of 2017-18 school year. It has been a great success and they are about to mount the 5th exhibit of their inaugural year.
The students at Ruben Salazar Elementary put on a Black History Program on February 27th and 28th which included an original play created by 4th-8th grade students collaboratively taught by their music teacher, Mr. Prizy, and teacher's aide Ms. Regus. The teachers facilitated learning and skill-building of the students' devised play and also taught them the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing. The school community was excited to see the outcome of all the students' hard work and dedication!
Krystal Grover-Webb, a visual arts teacher and Arts Liaison at Daniel S. Wentworth Elementary, was selected to display her artwork at the Museum of Science and Industry's 2019 Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition (January 14 - February 24). Ms. Webb's students had an opportunity to see her featured art and analyzed the connections between the field trip and museum, classroom learning, and real-life experiences. In November of 2018, Grover-Webb was among 10 recipients to receive the 3Arts Make A Wave grant. Ms. Webb uses her art accomplishments as a part of her instructional practice.