Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE)

CAPE engages students, inspires teachers, and transforms schools by weaving the arts into academics

Operating as usual

Photos from Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE)'s post 12/12/2022

CAPE presented at The Illinois Art Education Association (IAEA) Annual Fall Conference, November 10-12th, 2022, in St. Charles, Illinois. The annual conference provides professional learning specially designed for art educators by art educators and education professionals. Read more here:


Watch a quick 20 second video from Amy Rasmussen, Executive Director of Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, who speaks about CAPE and the great impact of your support.

Photos from Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE)'s post 12/08/2022

Concert Tonight, Dec. 8 at 6pm at North-Grand High School!
The CAPE After School Music Club at North-Grand High School is run by teacher Michelle Livas and teaching artist Nick Meryhew. Twice a week after school, they lead students in music exploration. And on Thursday, December 8 at 6pm, the Music Club presents a live performance as part of the NGHS Winter Concert. Read more here:


Join us in welcoming Adam Engle to the CAPE Board of Directors! Read more here

Photos from Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE)'s post 12/05/2022

Monday Program Update: Spotlight on CAPE Community Classes, offered free of charge to parents and caregivers of students involved in CAPE classrooms throughout Chicagoland. Read about how a student encouraged her mother to learn to paint, so "You can teach me!"


Need a warm beanie that speaks to the heart? Today's the last day for 15% off of CAPE essentials like warm hats, artsy aprons, cozy mugs, and fun pajamas! CAPE gratefully receives 30% of every purchase you make. Know that every tip of your hat or sip from your mug puts the arts in schools across Chicago.


Give the gift of CAPE this year or deck yourself out with items from the shop, and help CAPE at the same time. CAPE receives 30% of every purchase you make. Know that every sip from your mug or artist's apron you gift puts the arts in schools across Chicago. And now through Sunday, Dec 4, take 15% OFF!


Give the gift of CAPE this year or deck yourself out with items from the shop, and help CAPE at the same time. CAPE receives 30% of every purchase you make. Know that every sip from your mug or artist's apron you gift puts the arts in schools across Chicago. And now through Sunday, Dec 4, take 15% OFF!

Demonstrate your commitment to Chicago's students, families, and school communities! 11/29/2022

Demonstrate your commitment to Chicago's students, families, and school communities!

Today, Tuesday Nov 29, is often referred to as by small organizations like CAPE that rely on gifts of support from people like you. We would be remiss to not mention it. If you feel compelled to give, today is one of 365 days a year that a gift from you would make our 87 teaching artists, 81 teachers, 4,500 students, 50 schools, 13-person Board of Directors and 10-member staff cheer like crazy.

Here is a message from our Board President, Josh, filmed candidly on the street on his cell phone, on why CAPE gives kids a chance to chase their dreams.

Thank you for reading our posts, for clicking our links, and generally spreading the good word about the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education. As we head into our 30th year in Chicago, we thank you.

If you would like to give a gift to CAPE, you could use this link or find out more on the website.

Thank you!

Demonstrate your commitment to Chicago's students, families, and school communities! When you donate to CAPE, you're supporting innovative arts education programs for thousands of students, families, educators, and artists!


Scott Sikkema quick take on CAPE and how you impact the organization in 37 seconds

On this Program Update Monday, we share this short video from Scott Sikkema, Education Director and head of Programs. Scott's years of arts integration and exhibition experience at CAPE give him a deep perspective of how CAPE shapes its work and touches so many lives.

Photos from Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE)'s post 11/25/2022

You asked; We Answered! Today is the First CAPE Gear Launch! Take 15% off your whole order and snazz up your togs with new CAPE accessories. Click here for more


To all of our friends of CAPE, we wish you a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving!

From our creative family to yours, know that we are grateful for you.

Here is a special video we made just for you. Hear the personal messages from Amy, Josh, Kevin, Kirti, Margaret, Jenny, Brandon, Hannah and Teaching artists and Students. Everyone has a unique take on what your support means for CAPE.

So grab your popcorn, open up your impact report, set your Thanksgiving card nearby as a coaster for your cocoa, and click here to watch the 4 minute 2022 Thanksgiving Video!

To see video shorts and read more, click here!


Monday Program Update - Student Spotlight!
Mysellas is a second grader in Sekou and Angela’s African Drumming class at Ashe Elementary. She likes that she gets to learn new kinds of music and enjoys playing the drums. Her favorite drum in the class is the Krin because it can make different sounds depending on where you hit it.
Read more here...


From all of us here at CAPE, we wish you a happy last weekend before Thanksgiving! For this week, we're working on a fun and heartfelt video from many of us individually to you to thank you for your past support of CAPE! If you are thinking about giving this year, now is the perfect time as we plan for more ways to welcome you to the new space, and share with you the meaningful experience CAPE offers thousands of students each year.

Here are some specific examples of how students benefit directly from your support.

Your generous gift of $2,500 provides provides support for a CAPE partnership public exhibition of student work. When students know their work will be shown publicly and plan and execute a formal exhibition, the effects are exponential. It changes their thinking and deepens the experience. This is a gift that reaches every student in the classroom, their teachers, teaching artists, parents, and community who all engage in the exhibition.

Your gift of $1,000 provides one year of CAPE program instruction for one student, who will benefit from inquiry-based curriculum designed for them by the teaching artist and teacher partnership in their classroom.

For $500 you put the whole class on the bus to expand their experiences outside of the school on an enriching field trip. You are covering the expenses for all the students in one classroom to have a chartered bus, access to the museum or other venue, and staffing.

An array of high-quality art supplies for one classroom is what a donation of $250.00 provides.

Quarterly professional development sessions have been a cornerstone of CAPE's legacy in training teaching artists and teachers to collaborate and deliver excellent instruction and curriculum for their students. Your $100 donation provides one hands-on professional development training session for a teacher or teaching artist.

Every $50 donation provides one hour of CAPE program instruction for one student like Mysellas, who is able to take African Drumming after school through CAPE this year.

There are so many ways to help CAPE. Every gift is directly connected to the mission of CAPE. We engage students, inspire teachers, and demonstrate impact by weaving visual, digital, and performing arts into classrooms across Chicago. You make a difference by enriching the lives of students and the communities they live in. Students and families do not pay for CAPE services, and are not asked for funding support. It is through generous acts of kindness from people like you that these programs and services reach and change the lives of students.

To donate:

Photo: Second-grade Student Mysellas outside of African Drumming class at Ashe Elementary.


Join us in celebrating support from the Lohengrin Foundation. This grant supports CAPE’s direct work with Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The primary goal of this grant is to help students within specific communities get back on track academically.

This is the first gift to CAPE from the Lohengrin Foundation. The Lohengrin Foundation selected CAPE in a competitive selection process because of its proven track record and capacity to implement measurable and impactful interventions designed to help elementary and middle school students (grades 1-8) in Chicago targeted communities.

Read more here about this generous support of CAPE


New Sullivan Elementary Thanks You!

Thanks to you, students at New Sullivan Elementary in South Chicago have CAPE programming! Here's Board Member and School Administrator Kevin McGowan with a special message!.


The CAPE Thanksgiving Card is going out to you today! If you're not sure we have your mailing address, add it here today so you're sure to get yours!

Special limited edition card designed by William Estrada, CAPE Teaching Artist and Board Member! To see a short video about his teaching pedagogy, click here


Monday Motivation - Listen to Student Drumming from Ashe Elementary!

Today's Program Update is from Arthur Ashe Elementary School, where teaching artist Sekou Conde and Ashe classroom teacher Angela Razos hold an African Drumming class every Monday and Wednesday for two hours for the 2022-2023 school year. Click here to listen in on the drumming and see the partnership in action!


Have you ever wondered about the idea of a recurring gift, and why there is so much celebration when you make one? Here are the top three reasons that make a difference to any organization.

Predictability. For CAPE, planning becomes easier with a predictable donation schedule. Your recurring gift helps create stability and helps us plan for a stable year of operations.

Protection. As we have seen in the past two years especially, recurring donations protect CAPE during times of uncertainty or pandemic.

Strategy. As a recurring giver, you make smart, visionary decisions possible. You are the long-vision strategist who helps us see the future. As with any budget, being able to predict income in advance helps with longer-range planning. For example, it’s much easier to commit to hiring a new staff member or piloting a new program because of you - your commitment lets CAPE know that we will be able to cover these costs in the budget.

CAPE is looking for 30 new recurring gift donors this fall season. Please consider checking the box and designating a recurring gift for CAPE.

Recurring Gifts - Give CAPE a blue-sky vision and make your gift go further.


Dyett High School offers a CAPE after school class in interdisciplinary theater and sound arts.

Pictured are students gathered around their teaching artists and teachers in an after school class that combines theatre arts and sound arts to provide students with the tools to create a class podcast.

Students watch the videos they created to the prompt "Just be yourself for one minute" in preparation for their upcoming podcast. One student reflected after the activity, “I only know how to be interesting with other people, I don’t know how to be interesting by myself.”

Teaching Artists Maya Prentiss and Lional Freeman join Dyett teachers Michelle Burrell and Cinque Cullar.

For more CAPE After School stories, click here:

Welcome new Board Member, Kirti Parakh! - Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education 11/04/2022

Welcome new Board Member, Kirti Parakh! - Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education

Kirti Parakh Elected to Chicago Arts Partnerships Board of Directors
Chicago, Ill. – Nov. 4, 2022 – Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education is pleased to announce the appointment of Kirti Parakh to the board of directors for a three-year term, which began on Sept. 1, 2022.

“CAPE’s mission resonates with me on a deeply personal level,” Kirti said. “They provide equal learning opportunities to students in underserved communities and develop arts-based curriculums to teach STEAM topics to young and diverse learners. My kids currently attend a school that was a CAPE school 15 years ago and have been fortunate to see the lasting impact CAPE’s investment has made. I appreciate what CAPE is doing for schools across Chicago. I’m excited to continue to drive this mission, expand our reach, and grow our impact! I’m looking forward to working with other passionate board members, teaching artists, and staff!”

Kirti is a controllership transformation leader in Chicago. She has over 18 years of experience in public accounting and controllership transformation...

Read more here:

Welcome new Board Member, Kirti Parakh! - Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education Kirti Parakh Elected to Chicago Arts Partnerships Board of DirectorsChicago, Ill. – October 27, 2022 – Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education is pleased to announce the appointment of Kirti Parakh to the board of directors for a three-year term, which began on Sept. 1, 2022.


Have you ever wondered about how much of your online gift actually makes it to your intended organization? There are so many online donation sites, crowdfunding options and ways to show support, how can you know what is best? The answer for CAPE is: Give directly to the website. Here’s why:

First, most importantly, we want to know who you are in order to thank you properly.
Second, we will actually receive your donation without any additional hidden fees. For example, some sites charge the organization as much as 5% for each individual donation, and then may or may not share your name or donation with the organization.
Third, your donation will be deposited with the organization in a timely manner. Third party processors can take months to reach their destination.
The one thing you know for sure is when you give to CAPE online, your gift is secure, handled with care, and goes right where you want it, when you want it. You are appreciated, and making a difference right away.

This is where the magic happens:


How do CAPE Artists feel about teaching with CAPE?
Read three of many answers to the question: What is the best thing about serving as a CAPE Teaching Artist?

"Teaching. The best part is the teaching. There are other good parts but really when I’m in the class with the students actually doing the teaching that’s just great."

"I adore seeing the children's faces light up as something clicks: a new passion for art, a new medium, seeing their own improvement, etc. I remember seeing several kids my first year really click with video editing and what they could accomplish, their imaginations went wild."

"Openness in pedagogy and freedom to explore in my art and teaching practice, long term partnerships, friendships, CAPE is family"

Each year, support from people like you sends more than 80 teaching artists to schools across the Chicago area to create inquiry-based learning curriculum. And each year, they reach thousands of students who thrive from these programs.

To send more qualified, motivated artists to the classroom, click here:


Tune in this Spooky Season for haunting tales from North-Grand High School & CAPE's Creative Writing Club! Students told, created, revised and recorded scary stories in this now interactive podcast. Select from one of three episodes. Presented by CAPE After School, with Tim David Rey (teaching artist) and Melanie Ruiz (teacher).

Click and save this link to listen again or share with others!


Professional Development begins anew at CAPE in the New Space!
An integral part of Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education is the regular, interdisciplinary professional development of its artists and teachers. The first Professional Development launched on Monday, October 17, for the 2022-2023 school year in the new CAPE space, live and in-person, and will continue throughout the year. Read here for more!


Grab your coat and come to school! Catch behind the scenes looks at two CAPE After School programs. At Douglas Taylor Elementary School, they are exploring creativity through the lens of video, photography and drawing. At Telpochcalli School, students are creating their own music and today are working to create their own drumbeats. Catch pics of their cyanotypes and the drum machine here:


CAPE is going strong, thanks to you, and this new year has great things for you to experience! Have a look at the latest Impact Report, which shows just how much of a difference you are making in and around Chicago. Also take a minute to read the letter from Josh and Margaret, Board President and Vice President, that includes some exciting news for 2022-2023!
Also inside the report - find out how many artists you sent to school, how many teachers you engaged, and how many students you brought fresh curriculum and supplies. Find out what that meant to them, and even catch a glimpse of the staff and board. Click here:

Videos (show all)

Congratulations Amar! He won a beautiful René Romero Schuler framed original works of art, along with a book and special...
At Spry Elementary School in the Little Village neighborhood, art teacher Marina Lopez and video-dance teaching artist N...
🍦🔅🍉Can you believe that we are nearing the last days of summer? Although we don't mind the fall season, we want to share...
A stop-motion video created by student, Yasmin Perez from George Washington High School @GWHS_Patriots
YME - North-Grand HS x Intonation





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