Two Scholar-Artists Announced As 2018 YoungArts Winners

On November 29, The National YoungArts Foundation recognized Freedom Martin (Theatre ‘19) and Pierson Talbott (Visual Arts ‘17) as 2018 YoungArts Winners. This in an incredible accomplishment as Freedom and Pierson were selected from one of “the most competitive pool of applications to date” and are among the 171 young artists in the nation that were named Finalists, the organization’s highest honor. They are following the footsteps of YoungArts alumni such as Viola Davis, Josh Groban, Tarell A. McCraney, Doug Aitken, and Kerry Washington.

The National YoungArts Foundation provides winners with a lifetime of educational, financial, and professional development opportunities. From mentorship programs with well renowned artists, to showcasing work at institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, we’re thrilled for Freedom and Pierson to grow with this amazing network of artists. As Finalists, both scholar-artists have the opportunity to attend the 37th annual National YoungArts Week in Miami from January 7-14. We look forward to following their artistic journeys and cheering them on every step of the way! For more information regarding the National YoungArts Foundation, click here.

Vocal Department Collaborates With Ballet Chicago

The Vocal Department had a wonderfully busy November with ILMEA District 1 auditions, the Winter Large Ensemble concert, Winter Opera and Jazz Showcase, and a first-time collaboration with the Ballet Chicago Studio Company! On November 3, 4, and 16, Ballet Chicago presented DanceVision 2017, Choral Colors. Nine ChiArts Vocal Majors performed a wide variety of music for shows at Ballet Chicago’s Dowd Studio and the Chicago Cultural Center. 

This program was hosted by Artistic Director Daniel Duell and featured original choreography from rising Chicago artists curated by ChiArts Dance Instructor and Ballet Chicago’s Resident Choreographer, Ted Seymour. Led by Vocal Chair Natalie Chami, selections included classical, gospel, and jazz music, with scholar-artists performing in solos, duets, trios, and even quartets. We are so proud of the Vocal Majors and faculty members who participated in this innovative collaboration and we look forward to more “Live Dance with Live Music” performances with Ballet Chicago. Click here to watch an in-studio performance on Ballet Chicago’s Facebook!

*Featured Image from Ballet Chicago 

ChiArts Ranks as Level 1+ School

Each year, Chicago Public Schools releases a report presenting the rankings for every school based off of the School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP). For the third year in a row, ChiArts is listed in the top category with a Level 1+ rating! This rating system is based off of many “indicators of success,” including student academic growth, school culture and climate, and preparation for post-graduation success. As Principal Wang stated, “Thank you to our faculty, staff, and students for their efforts in helping us achieve this elite status.”

Creative Writing Presents “ChiArts Writes Volume 3”

The first ChiArts showcase of the year was presented by the Creative Writing Conservatory! On September 15, scholar-artists from all grade levels performed works published in “ChiArts Writes Volume 3” in the Black Box Theatre. The night began with a celebratory reception provided by the parents of ChiArts and led into a sold-out reading featuring over 30 Creative Writing majors.

This annual publication includes all different types of literary genres and themes, from short stories to personal essays, and works ranging from surreal comedy to mental illness. Huge congratulations to Tina Boyer Brown, Kenyatta Rogers, Chris Lin, and the scholar-artists featured in “ChiArts Writes Volume 3” for producing a stellar and diverse book of work. If you would like to preorder a copy, email Department Assistant, Kenyatta Rogers.

 

Applying with GoCPS: A Guide for Incoming Families

Future ChiArts scholar-artists and families, 

Congrats on starting the 2017-2018 school year! Here at ChiArts, we’re getting excited to meet you at our upcoming admissions events, such as Backstage Pass, Family Visit Nights, Shadow Days, and more.

If you’re a parent of an incoming CPS freshman, from October 10 to December 15, 2017, you will have the opportunity to apply to ChiArts using Chicago Public School’s new application platform at GoCPS. That’s just around the corner, so now is the time to start getting ready to make these important decisions! Here is a guide provided by Chicago Public Schools to help begin your application process. 

Activating Your Account

In order to apply using GoCPS, you will need to activate your account. This will allow you to:

  • Create a username and password
  • Create your primary parent/guardian profile
  • Create profiles for each high school applicant in your family
  • Link student data records for current CPS students to the profile
  • View the programs to which your student(s) are eligible to apply
  • Verify that student records are accurate
  • “Favorite” top programs you are considering for applications in October

To begin the account activation process, click here

CPS Students During 2017-18 School Year

In order to activate your account, you will need to use the Activation Code from a letter sent home with your student at the end of the school year. If you have misplaced or did not receive this code, please contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 from a telephone number listed on your student’s CPS student information file to have it reissued. The OAE call center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Activation Codes will also be included with the Eligibility Letters that will be distributed to students at school in September 2017.

Application Advice

No matter who is activating the account, be sure to enter the name and address of the parent/guardian with whom the student resides. The address for this parent/guardian will be the address that is used for determining tiers, proximity boundaries, and attendance and overlay boundaries.

Web Browsers

GoCPS is optimized for view on Chrome and Safari web browsers. We recommend using one of these to access the site.

Need Help with GoCPS?

If you have any questions about the activation process, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or gocps@cps.edu.

Theatre Faculty and Scholar-Artists In Merit’s Into the Woods JR.

On August 19 and 20, the Merit School of Music was buzzing with Sondheim sounds! Seven of our scholar-artists and three ChiArts faculty members were a part of Merit’s wonderfully magical production of Into the Woods, JR. Directed by Theatre Conservatory’s A.J. Wester, alongside ChiArts’ Music and Theatre Conservatory’s Julian Chin as the Music Director and Cat Wilson on Lighting Design, the cast of 22 young artists brought the audience through the hilariously intertwined adventures of fairy tales.

Merit School of Music provides students from all over Chicago the opportunity to achieve their personal and musical potential by removing barriers to high-quality music education. Congrats to the following ChiArts faculty and scholar-artists on a successful run!

A.J. Wester, Stage Director

Julian Chin, Music Director

Cat Wilson, Lighting Design

Jordan Davis as Cinderella’s Mother

Miranda Dianovsky as Jack’s Mother

Michael Poulosophos as Wolf

Daniela Reyes as the Baker’s Wife

Aliah Robinson as Lucinda

Niani Soto as Cinderella’s Stepmother

Joanna Starr Poulos as Little Red Riding Hood

Photos courtesy of Merit School of Music.

Merit’s production of Into the Woods JR. was partially funded by Caerus Foundation, Inc., a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and Shure Incorporated.

INTO THE WOODS JR was presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials were supplied by MTI.

 

Outstanding Alumni Working in Admissions, Theatre, and Visual Arts

With our first classes of scholar-artists graduating and pursuing professional development opportunities, ChiArts is thrilled to have hired four outstanding alumni in our Admissions, Theatre, and Visual Arts Conservatories! ChiArts is grateful for the knowledge, passion, and support our alumni community continuously gives back to our faculty and scholar-artists.

Sabina Valenica graduated ChiArts in 2013 and is now working as our Recruitment Coordinator in Admissions. Sabina is currently pursuing a double major at Northeastern Illinois University. Christian Helem and Janyce Caraballo (‘13) have joined our Theatre Conservatory as Teaching Assistants for the Musical Theatre and Stage Production courses. Christian is pursuing a degree in Theatre Performance at the University of Illinois- Chicago and Janyce graduated as a Posse Scholar with a Bachelor’s in Theatre and Music Performance from Denison University. The Visual Arts Conservatory is excited to have hired Moises Salazar (‘15) as a Teaching Assistant for AP Sculpture. Moises just graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and focuses on painting, ceramics, and fabrications. We look forward to watching these young professionals grow and thrive at ChiArts!

2017 Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Award Winners

This August, Illinois Humanities announced the first annual 2017 Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Award Winners. Out of the 260 entries that were received across the state, 19 young poets from kindergarten to 12th grade received awards and 25 students received honorable mentions. With ChiArts’ first class of Creative Writers graduating last May, we’re thrilled that Faith Moreno, Haley Cao, and Ruth Jones won for the sophomore, junior, and senior classes.

From 1970-2000, Gwendolyn Brooks hosted the statewide poetry awards and reviving the program was an initiative within the “Our Miss Brooks 100” collaboration. As a poet, feminist, activist, and the first African American woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Miss Brooks is one of the most authentic and significant literary heroes not only in Chicago, but throughout the nation. Huge congratulations to Faith, Haley, and Ruth on receiving a 2017 Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Award for the following pieces:

10th Grade: “Alcoholism” by Faith Moreno

11th Grade: “Prayer” by Haley Cao

12th Grade: “Untitled” by Ruth Jones.

For a full list of winners and more information on “Our Miss Brooks 100” programming, click here.

ChiArts Moves Toward a Trauma-Informed Arts Education Practice

ChiArts is committed to educating, embracing, and caring for every scholar-artist with as much knowledge and compassion as we can provide. We are proud to announce that ChiArts is becoming a trauma-informed school.

This August, we’ve hosted staff development days and formally introduced practices to cultivate a working model for the whole school. ChiArts aims to be an example for arts organizations all over the nation, where compassion is at the forefront of arts education. 

Click below to read our feature on Make It Better

Welcome Letter from Principal Wang

Dear ChiArts Students and Family,

Welcome to school year 2017-18! As we enter our ninth year as an organization, I would to like celebrate just a couple of our achievements. For the third year in a row, we have been recognized as a top high school by US News and World Report. This past year, our first scholar-artists, the Class of 2013, became our first college graduates. I’m excited at what we have achieved and look forward to what our future holds. Starting off this year, there are a few things for families to note:

  • PowerSchool has replaced TeacherEase as our Parent/Student Portal. Information on how to access chiarts.powerschool.com can be found in our electronic newsletters and under the ‘Parent Resources’ tab.
  • New Bell Schedule adopted allowing for a common lunch periods. We piloted this schedule last year with great success. Both students and teachers appreciated the opportunity to break up our long school day, additional time to meet with students outside a traditional class setting, and the ability to run student organizations/activities.
  • Arts Exploration Days scheduled on November 21 and April 19. For the first time in the history of ChiArts, we will be running a modified schedule to allow students to explore art forms in other conservatories. More details to come soon.
  • Back to School Night is scheduled for Thursday, August 31st from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. This event highlights our academic program and is a great opportunity to meet teachers, get a peek of what our courses offer, and simply to put faces to names. Our fantastic Parent Support Organization (PS0) will also be on hand to share ways to get involved.

As an organization, we at ChiArts are grateful for the diversity that each and every student brings to our school. We recognize that while our world is often fraught with ignorance, violence, and racism, it is our duty to foster a safe, diverse and civically engaged school community. As we reflect on these core beliefs and plan for the future, we have rededicated our practice to compassion and understanding.

Thank you for believing in ChiArts.

Sincerely,

Michael Wang, Principal