The CPS Department of Arts Education runs a number of districtwide arts programs that are open to all CPS students (from district-managed, charter, contract, and options schools). These programs provide greater equity and access to arts programming across the district and celebrate our students’ astonishing creativity, innovation, and talent.
All-City Arts Programs
A long-standing, vibrant tradition within CPS, our free All-City Programs showcase and honor student learning in music, theatre, dance, and visual arts. These programs include the following:
All-City Performing Arts
Students in grades 3–12 from across the district participate in music, dance, or theatre ensembles that rehearse on Saturdays and go on to perform in Fall and Spring showcases.
All-City Visual Arts
These annual exhibitions of 2D, 3D, and time-based art at the PreK–8 and high school levels showcase the artwork of CPS students across the district.
The CPS Department of Arts Education and Wells Community Academy High School partner to present RE:ALIZE, the premier early college arts program in Chicago. Drawing Juniors and Seniors without robust arts access at their home schools to City Colleges and the Wells campus, RE:ALIZE provides a two-year sequence of standards-based, culturally-relevant, rigorous coursework and offers pathways in Dance, Music, Theater, and the Visual Arts. In addition to completing 12 college credits in their artistic discipline through Dual Enrollment courses, RE:ALIZE students will each join an interdisciplinary studio, facilitated by an Artist-In-Residence, and complete work-based learning opportunities within their field. Each student graduates as an artistically-minded, analytical lifelong learner whose RE:ALIZE experience culminates in the presentation of a Senior Portfolio, resulting from a sustained artistic investigation, that speaks to their arts-rich post-secondary plan.
SUPERFest, a brand new initiative for the CPS Arts Department. is a virtual, free, multi-disciplinary festival for Chicago Public School students grades 6–12. The event is open to any students that attend a CPS school (including district-managed, charter, contract, and options schools). This two-day conference style event will provide free 1-hour workshops, performances, artist talks, master classes, and college and career connections for students to engage in.
Chicago Youth TheatreFest
The annual Chicago Youth TheatreFest is an adjudicated event that strives to bring CPS students in grades 6–12 together to observe, present, improve, and celebrate works of student theatre and connect them to college and career opportunities in the theatre arts.