Strengthening access to the arts in Chicago Public Schools

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Author:

Jen Benoit-Bryan, 11.20.2018

I’m honored to serve as the Chair for Ingenuity’s Data and Research Advisory Panel, and it’s been such a pleasure to work on the panel with my colleagues Katherine and Madeline this year. Ingenuity (@IngenuityChgo) does fantastic work supporting arts education in Chicago Public Schools through professional learning, research and tracking of arts education, and advocacy for the arts. Katherine, Madeline, and I are able to share our expertise in research, and learn in turn, to further Ingenuity’s goals of ensuring that the arts are brought to every student, in every grade, in every Chicago public school.  We’re diving deeply into research questions like what does the partnership landscape look like between schools and arts partners providing arts education? When schools bring in arts partners, do they usually do so to deepen existing arts disciplines or to broaden the range of arts disciplines represented? One common misconception that we’ve been able to overturn is the idea that arts partners replace arts teachers in schools, making them obsolete; but instead, we’ve found a positive relationship between the number of arts partners in schools and the number of art teachers in schools. Future qualitative research will be essential to understanding the whys behind this dynamic. If you’re curious about the overlapping landscape of nonprofit arts providers and schools in the arts education landscape, I’d love to hear from you.

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