WBEZ | arts education http://www.wbez.org/tags/arts-education Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Schools on South, West sides left behind in CPS arts plan http://www.wbez.org/news/schools-south-west-sides-left-behind-cps-arts-plan-110464 <p><p>A report out this morning shows big disparities in arts education across Chicago Public Schools.</p><p>A sobering map on page 17 of the 44-page report highlights which Chicago communities are getting the most arts programming and which are getting the least. Most of the majority African American neighborhoods in the city are essentially arts education deserts.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Ingenuity_StateoftheArts_BaselineReport-18.jpg" style="height: 625px; width: 400px;" title="A map from Ingenuity's report on the arts in Chicago Public Schools highlights where community arts partners provided arts programs throughout the district in 2012-13." /></div><p>In all, fewer than a quarter of all of the district&rsquo;s elementary schools reported meeting the district&rsquo;s recommended two hours of arts instruction per week.</p><blockquote><p><strong><a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/Ingenuity_StateoftheArts_BaselineReport.pdf">Download the full report</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>Paul Sznewajs, the executive director of Ingenuity Incorporated, the arts-advocacy nonprofit that put out the report, stressed that it&rsquo;s meant to serve as a baseline for future years as his group begins to track the state of arts education. Ingenuity launched three years ago in tandem with the city&rsquo;s cultural plan by Mayor Rahm Emanuel shortly after he took office.</p><p>The biggest test, Sznewajs said, is making sure the school district&rsquo;s arts education plan is fully implemented, even in the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/neighborhood-high-schools-again-take-hit-new-cps-budget-110444">face of steep budget cuts</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;Everyone always asks me, well, is it just about staffing, or is it just about partnerships, or is it just about the money? And the way we answer that truthfully is to say, it&rsquo;s about all of them,&rdquo; Sznewajs said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not about any one piece of the pie, it&rsquo;s about making the whole pie bigger.&rdquo;</p><p>CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said the report provides valuable data for district leaders to better direct resources.</p><p>For example, she said, CPS is adding 84 arts teachers and 84 physical education over the next two years with the help of $21 million in Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) money. &nbsp;Byrd-Bennett told reporters Tuesday that 89 of those positions are going to schools on the South Side, 54 are going to schools on the West Side and 32 will go to schools on the North Side. CPS officials have yet to release the list of specific schools benefiting from those positions, despite multiple requests by reporters.</p><p>John Perryman, an art teacher at Ortiz Elementary in South Lawndale, sits on the Chicago Teachers Union arts education committee and said he&rsquo;s troubled by the move to use more arts partners, like the Lyric Opera or the Merit School of Music, in place of teachers.</p><p>The report found that in the 2012-2013 school year, four percent of schools had an arts partnership, but no certified teacher. Perryman said that number likely rose in the most recent school year, with budget cuts and the switch to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-principals-get-more-flexibility-likely-less-money-budget-107560">student-based budgeting</a> forcing principals to make choices about every position and program they buy.</p><p>He also said the way CPS has added and then subsequently cut arts positions in recent years doesn&rsquo;t make much sense.</p><p>&ldquo;(For the longer school day), there were 100 positions created, then 100 positions cut and now for next year, they&rsquo;re adding 84 positions,&rdquo; Perryman said. &ldquo;This has created great instability in the field of arts education because teachers are getting fired and rehired.&rdquo;</p><p>The head of CPS&rsquo;s Department of Arts Education, Mario Rossero, stressed that the report only looks at about half of the district&rsquo;s schools. Many did not report their data in the first year, 2012-2013, the year the report is based on. Rossero said the most recent year saw an 89 percent response rate.</p><p>Wendy Katten of the parent group Raise Your Hand echoed what Rossero said and noted that in her group&rsquo;s tracking of budget cuts last year, 170 arts positions were lost.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;ll be interesting to see what these numbers look like for this year,&rdquo; Katten said.</p><p>Ingenuity is expected to put out an updated dataset with numbers from the most recent school year (2013-2014) sometime in November.</p><p><em>Becky Vevea is a producer and reporter for WBEZ. Follow her </em><a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation"><em>@WBEZeducation</em></a><em>.</em></p></p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 08:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/schools-south-west-sides-left-behind-cps-arts-plan-110464 National arts educators meet in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/national-arts-educators-meet-chicago-109032 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/artsed.jpg" alt="" /><p><div><p><a href="http://www.nationalguild.org/Home.aspx">The National Guild for Community Arts Education</a> kicks off its annual meeting in Chicago Thursday.</p><p dir="ltr">The event&rsquo;s a big deal. Over four days, more than 500 attendees will talk about getting arts instruction back into schools. Local organizers say Chicago&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.cpsarts.org/arts-education-plan/">new arts education plan </a>will be at the center of those conversations.</p><p dir="ltr">Paul Sznewajs of <a href="http://ingenuity-inc.org/">Ingenuity Inc.</a> helped develop the arts education plan for Chicago Public Schools. He says this is a great moment for arts education in Chicago, and for the Guild to convene here.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We have the potential of more time in the school day for arts education, and the voice of the citizens of Chicago from the <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-10-15/entertainment/chi-culture-plan-emphasizes-arts-in-schools-20121015_1_arts-education-chicago-cultural-plan-arts-instruction">Cultural Plan,</a> which gives us the collective will,&rdquo; says Sznewajs. &ldquo;Certainly much more work needs to be done on funding. But I think the outlook is pretty bright in Chicago.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Funny thing is, the full CPS arts ed plan itself has yet to be made public.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.cps.edu/spotlight/pages/Spotlight363.aspx">An abstract </a>summarizing the plan was released earlier this year. As <a href="https://soundcloud.com/afternoonshiftwbez/emanuel-has-big-plans-for-arts">previously reported</a>, the plan would be a game changer for public arts education, if only because for the first time ever, it makes the arts a core subject at Chicago Public Schools.</p><p dir="ltr">But the devil is in the details, and thus far, those have been scarce -- particularly when it comes to funding.</p><p dir="ltr">Sznewajs says the final plan looks a lot like the abstract, which has already been put into motion at the schools.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think there are going to be any surprises in that plan,&rdquo; said Sznewajs. &ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s going to be a deeper dive into what was released last year.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The National Guild&rsquo;s meeting wraps up Sunday.</p></div><p><em><a href=" http://www.wbez.org/users/acuddy-0" rel="author"> Alison Cuddy </a> is the Arts and Culture reporter at WBEZ. You can follow her on <a href=" https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy"> Twitter </a>, <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison"> Facebook </a> and <a href=" http://instagram.com/cuddyreport"> Instagram </a></em></p></p> Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/national-arts-educators-meet-chicago-109032 Dr. Walter Massey discusses what science education could learn from the arts http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-17/dr-walter-massey-discusses-what-science-education-could-learn-arts-86642 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-17/Arts Science Chris Walters.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In many schools across the nation, there's little overlap between what's taught in science and art classrooms. But a conference in Chicago this week challenges the notion that those two disciplines should be kept separate. It also explores ways in which the arts could inform the teaching of science.<a href="http://www.saic.edu/about/mission/index.html#president" target="_blank"><br> <br> Dr. Walter Massey</a> delivered the keynote address for the <a href="http://www.artofsciencelearning.org/" target="_blank">Art of Science Learning Conference</a>. The conference's inter-disciplinary approach should be familiar to him. He was a prominent physicist before he took his current role as President of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to talk about what science education could learn from the arts.</p><p><em>Music Button: MANDY vs. Booka Shade, "Body Language", from the CD Electrolush, (Om)</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 17 May 2011 13:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-17/dr-walter-massey-discusses-what-science-education-could-learn-arts-86642 Child ticket: Approximately $5. Seeing live theater? Priceless http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-06/child-ticket-approximately-5-seeing-live-theater-priceless-84822 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-06/wilbur1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-06/wilbur1.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 404px;" title=""></p><p>One audience member threw up. Others made purely recreational trips to the bathroom. Eager-beaver volunteers sometimes had to be physically returned to their seats—or retrieved from the stage.</p><p>Controversy over the arts, how to pay for them and whether they’re worth the price, may be rampant. But the children at two <a href="http://www.oldtownschool.org/fieldtrips/">Old Town School of Folk Music Field Trip shows</a> this week—<a href="http://www.kidworkstheatre.org/">Kidswork Touring Theatre</a> on Monday (repeats April 26) and <a href="http://www.cptt.org/">Child’s Play Touring Theatre</a> yesterday—only knew they were having a great time. Go ahead and laugh at the over-the-topness of children’s theater, but at its best, everyone gets caught up in the frenzy.</p><p>And kids learn at these shows—important in our bean-counting times. Kidswork accentuated the positive in “Peace Tales From Around the World,” which had about 400 schoolchildren from 5 to 13 (most from LaSalle Language Academy) giggling, pointing, and squealing, oblivious to the fact they were learning about the continent that gave birth to the human race, cruel dictators, respectful treatment of women, and the importance of self-sacrifice for the greater good. Hey, when the Comanche rain dance finally succeeded, all they knew was that they were being showered with real water from a giant spray bottle. Of the two groups, Kidswork was the more participatory and physical, giving the entire audience lots to do: everyone bowed respectfully or supplicated the gods, while a chosen few got to be camels, parts of a dragon, or an oppressed peasantry.</p><p>Child’s Play, performing for an audience ranging from pre- to slightly post-kindergarten, was more word-oriented in “Animal Tales and Dinosaur Scales.” This troupe specializes in bringing children’s writing to the stage in sketches and songs; “Animal Tales” accentuates the negative—fears of monsters, the dentist, sharks—to make it go away. When one actor announced she was going into the deep, dark woods and proceeded up an aisle to a blank rear wall, dozens of heads turned to see the scary forest.</p><p>There’s a lot of talk about arts education, about the usually unspecified value of nurturing creativity in children and the opposing need to tighten our belts. Nick Rabkin, a researcher for the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, recently <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-24/report-connects-dots-between-arts-education-and-future-arts-attendance-8">coauthored a report on the role arts education plays in arts participation</a>—and no surprise, it’s a big one. (Also not surprising: an overall decline in arts education in schools <a href="http://www.artsjournal.com/dewey21c/2011/03/arts-particpation-draft.html">hits African-American and Hispanic children hardest.</a>)</p><p>Just a few months ago, in January, <a href="http://www.arts.gov/artworks/?p=5402">National Endowment for the Arts chair Rocco Landesman made a plea for enhanced arts education</a> (and concomitant cuts in the “oversupply” of arts organizations). But given his history as a Broadway producer, his emphasis on the usefulness of technology, however trendy, is surprising. And suspect. Though he cites an NEA report showing that arts consumers via the Internet and electronic media are nearly three times as likely to attend live arts events, my guess is that the correlation in consumption is more about income and education than about being drawn to the arts through a screen.</p><p>Two things about the OTSFM kids’ shows: Audiences had immediate, virtually unanimous responses to what they were watching. More important, their responses were validated by everyone in the theater: other children, their teachers, the actors onstage—the community at this show. It may be hard to quantify the gains from seeing live theater. But if we choose to ignore them, everyone will lose.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/7wZorJMPyRE" title="YouTube video player" width="480" frameborder="0" height="390"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 06 Apr 2011 16:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-06/child-ticket-approximately-5-seeing-live-theater-priceless-84822