The Arts Essentials Grant Program provides $1,000 to all schools that have achieved Creative Schools Certification in Categories 1, 2, 3, and 4 and have a current CPS Arts Liaison. This data is compiled every Spring, analyzed over the Summer, and funds are provided to schools in the subsequent late Fall.  Schools do not need to apply for an Arts Essentials grant.

Arts Essentials grants are administered through the CPS Department of Arts Education and must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Purchase orders using Arts Essentials funds must be opened by March 31, 2018. Unspent funds will be swept from schools’ budgets on April 30, 2018. Remaining balances with vendors will become the responsibility of the school to pay out.
  • Arts Essentials funding can only be spent on materials, supplies, and equipment for visual art, music, dance, and/or theatre programming or instruction DURING the school day.
  • Purchases made that are outside of the terms of the grant will be flagged and may jeopardize future Arts Essentials funding to the school.
  • The Principal, Arts Liaison, and arts staff should work together to identify the area(s) of greatest need in the arts.
  • Spending must follow CPS rules and guidelines.

For more details on Purchasing Guidelines, check out these documents:

Arts Essentials Purchasing Guide for District-Managed Schools UPDATED 17-18
Arts Essentials Purchasing Guide for Charter/Options Schools 17-18 
Arts Essentials Purchasing Process at a Glance
Frequently-Used Vendors for Arts Essentials FY18
Listing of All CPS Vendors
Arts Essentials 17-18 Communication to Charter Principals
Arts Essentials 17-18 Communication to District Principals


or Contact the CPS Department of Arts Education at creativeschools@cps.edu