Arts Education Grants as Fuel for Cross-Sector Systemic Change
A case study from the country’s third largest school district
Monday, October 22, 3:45pm – 4:45pm
Organized and moderated by Elizabeth Cole, director of Creative Schools Fund, Ingenuity; and Paul Sznewajs, executive director, Ingenuity.
In the past five years, Ingenuity has invested almost $10M into over 650+ Chicago Public Schools (CPS) as a direct incentive to increase access to the arts for every student, in every grade. We will explore intentional portfolio design, strategic supporting relationships at the grasstops and the grassroots levels, and finally use data to drive grants to schools that struggle. This helped fuel a corresponding $100M increase in district spending on arts education. Chicago is a district of almost 400,000 students, 90% of whom are students of color and 77% of whom are low-income. Ingenuity’s effort to dramatically increase arts education in CPS is an equity project at heart. Using school-level arts access data, we drive towards a greater level of racial and economic equity than may naturally occur through district-wide improvements. Ingenuity will share lessons and takeaways that include aligning your grantmaking with data trends; awarding higher risk grants; using the grants structure itself to generate demand on the ground for increased arts access; understanding how granting can serve as a teaching tool; and granting for stability and sustainability. We will also invite audience participation to explore additional ways in which relatively small grants, with the right design and implementation, can shepherd significant change for students in schools.