The CPS Department of Arts Education offers a wide range of resources for students who are passionate about the arts (and the families that support them!). Browse to learn more about free district-wide arts programs and CPS schools with a focus on the arts, find links to out-of-school arts programs offered by external partners, resources for college and career planning, and information about our Arts Student Voice Committee.

Districtwide CPS Arts Programs

To give every CPS student access to the arts, and to support and recognize student achievement in the fine and performing arts, we offer the following programs for CPS students from throughout the city:

  • All-City Performing Arts and Visual Arts Programs: citywide exhibitions and performances of CPS student work in music, theatre, dance, and visual arts.
  • Advanced Arts Program: up to two years of credit-bearing honors, dual-credit, and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in the arts, as well as college and career planning, for students in CPS high schools that do not offer advanced arts courses.
  • Senior Portfolio Exhibition: a partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago that gives CPS seniors an opportunity to exhibit their artwork and gain exposure among college admissions representatives.

Student Arts Opportunities Outside of School

Many arts organizations and institutions in Chicago offer classes, workshops, exhibits, summer programs, festivals, competitions, and other events that enable students to experience, make, and learn about art outside of the regular school day and/or school year.

Arts-Focused CPS Schools

We partner with the CPS Office of Access and Enrollment and the CPS Department of Magnet, Gifted, and International Baccalaureate (MGIB) Programs to inform parents and students about the high-quality arts learning opportunities available at these schools and to maintain fair and balanced admission procedures.

College and Career Planning in the Arts

To help students continue to study and work in the arts after high school, we’ve pulled together a list of colleges, arts schools, arts-related career fairs and other resources to consider.

The Arts Student Voice Committee (ASVC)

The Arts Student Voice Committee (ASVC) is a diverse group of CPS high school students who work with the Department of Arts Education (DAE) team to discuss, create, and execute strategies for improving arts education in Chicago Public Schools.