Important Dates for Arts Essentials Recipients 2018-19

For District-Managed CPS Schools:

Arts Essentials funding will be made available to schools the week of October 15, 2018.

Purchase Orders utilizing Arts Essentials funds must be opened by April 12, 2019. Unspent or unencumbered funds will be swept from district-managed schools’ budgets after April 12.

Purchase orders must be receipted, invoiced, and closed by May 15, 2019. 

For Charter, Options, and Contract Schools:

Arts Essentials funding will be made available to schools the week of October 15, 2018.

Charter, Options, and Contract schools must submit for reimbursement through Epicenter on or before April 12, 2019.

Reimbursements must be submitted all at once, containing all receipts totaling $1,000, and will be processed monthly.

Download spending guides for the current year:

SY18-19 Arts Essentials Spending Guide for District-Managed Schools

SY18-19 Arts Essentials Spending Guide for Charter/Contract/Options Schools


Further Information about Arts Essentials

What is the Arts Essentials Grant Program?

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 late Fall.  Schools do not need to apply for an Arts Essentials grant.

How Do I Get an Arts Essentials Grant for My School?

Schools do not need to apply for an Arts Essentials grant. In order to be eligible for Arts Essentials, a school must:

  • Have an active Arts Liaison who has been nominated by the principal. Arts Liaisons serve as the on-site arts champions for their school communities. They must be (re)nominated at the start of every school year. To renominate a Liaison or nominate a new Liaison, principals should complete this form
  • Have an active Arts Liaison complete the yearly Creative Schools Survey in the Spring of every school year. The Creative Schools Survey collects arts data from each school to determine the level at which it meets the goals and priorities outlined in the CPS Arts Education Plan. 
  • Have a Creative Schools Certification rating of 1, 2, 3, or 4. Check your Certification rating at www.artlookmap.com. Ratings are determined through analysis of data from the Creative Schools Survey. Learn more about the ratings.

Once school Certification categories are released in the late fall of every school year, Arts Essentials funding is loaded into qualified schools’ budgets and purchasing can begin.

How Can Arts Essentials Money Be Spent? 

Arts Essentials funding can only be spent on materials, supplies, and equipment for visual art, music, dance, theatre, and media arts programming or instruction during the school day. The principal, Arts Liaison, and arts staff should work together to identify the area(s) of greatest need.

For a list of specific purchases that can and cannot be made, along with a walkthrough of the purchasing process, please download the Arts Essentials Purchasing Guide for District-Managed Schools and for Charter/Options/Contract Schools.

Other Arts Essentials Resources

Arts Essentials Purchasing Process At-A-Glance: A quick walkthrough of the Arts Essentials purchasing process for clerks, administrators, and Arts Liaisons

Frequently Used Vendors for Arts Essentials Spending: A list of vendors that schools commonly use for Arts Essentials spending. PLEASE NOTE: This is not a complete list of active vendors, or a list of vendors that must be used for Arts Essentials spending. You may use other vendors that are not on this list (as long as they are active).

Arts Essentials Spending Planner: Discussion prompts and a budgeting sheet for administrators, Arts Liaisons, and other arts teachers to use when planning for yearly Arts Essentials spending.