The Impact of ChiArts’ Arts Conservatory Heads

Under the guidance of Artistic Director Tina Boyer Brown, ChiArts’ Conservatory Heads and Arts Faculty provide over 2,500 hours of tuition-free, pre-professional arts training to every scholar-artist from freshman year to graduation. Learn more about our Arts Conservatory Heads and the visionary leadership they bring to ChiArts!
 

ChiArts Conferences on Thursday, October 27

Parent teacher conferences will take place on Thursday, October 27, 2022 from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM (there will be a break between 3:30-4:00 PM). We will be offering virtual appointments for parents/guardians, but all parents/guardians are welcome to attend in person. Every parent/guardian must make an appointment with a teacher they would like to meet with. ChiArts recommends to prioritize two or three teachers.

To set up an appointment with each staff member, click our newsletter featured here.

We look forward to meeting with all our amazing families! 


 

ChiArts’ 3rd Annual Connections Week Success Stories

On October 13-19, ChiArts hosted its third annual Connections Week. The five-day event connected scholar-artists to post-secondary opportunities with support from a range of well-loved local colleges, to nationally acclaimed universities, to conservatory training programs. Highlights include: a masterclass with the Music Director of Hamilton on Broadway, audition workshops with local universities such as Northwestern and DePaul, one-on-one portfolio reviews, professional development panels from working artists, and evening performances throughout the week.
 
Dance Conservatory senior Raina Wiley took on the week with an inspiring opportunistic spirit! Raina auditioned for ChiArts as a novice with no formal training, but a great passion for dance. Four years later, Raina is now performing for top training programs at Connections Week and pursuing a career in dance. Inspired by Raina’s tenacity, FOX Chicago interviewed Raina about her journey as a scholar-artist. On the live broadcast, Raina shared “My dance experience transformed (while at ChiArts), but I also transformed into an artist and a dancer!”
 

ChiArts’ Most Diverse & Robust Production Season Yet

The ChiArts Production Department is excited to announce a full slate of shows for the 2022-23 season. The Creative Writing Conservatory kicked off the year with the release of ChiArts Writes: Volume 7 featuring original works of poetry and prose, and the School’s first Fall Festival featured the works of students across multiple conservatories. Later this season be sure to catch ChiArts’ own spin on the classic ballet The Nutcracker, an interpretation of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play In the Red and Brown Water, the return of First Year, First Look featuring all conservatory first-year students, student-produced cultural showcases, and so much more!

Download the 2022-23 ChiArts production calendar. 


 

 

ChiArts Jazz Combo Performs at Navy Pier’s Chicago Live!

ChiArts’ premier small group jazz ensemble joined over 60 of Chicago’s top performing arts organizations to perform at Navy Pier’s Chicago Live! on September 25. The combo performs classic jazz compositions, standards from the popular canon, as well as student and faculty originals at local and national festivals, conferences, and competitions. Third Coast Review recently reviewed the group’s Chicago Jazz Festival performance saying, “This is a tight quartet playing an amazing blend of free jazz, and hard-driving bop. Each member of this quartet can be considered of professional caliber. Saxophone, vibraphone, bass, and drums would seem to be a simple grouping, but these young people tore the roof off.”

See footage of the ChiArts Jazz Combo’s Chicago Live! performance.



Welcome Lauren Wells-Mann, ChiArts’ New Theatre Department Head!

ChiArts is thrilled to announce Lauren Wells-Mann as the new Theatre Department Head! Ms. Wells-Mann is a licensed Theatre educator with a strong background in Theatre education, leadership, and as an actor, director, dancer, and choreographer. Ms. Wells-Mann began her leadership at ChiArts on June 27, 2022 and shares, “ChiArts is an amazing institution that I have admired for years. I am so grateful for the opportunity to add to the tradition of excellence and serve students in their quest for success in the world of Theatre. I am looking forward to this upcoming school year that I anticipate will be one of the best years yet!” 

Lauren Wells-Mann is a proud company member with MPAACT, where she had the pleasure of directing the following productions: Mother of the Dark Water (Jeff Nominee for Best Ensemble, Black Excellence Nominee for Best Production and Best Direction), By Association by Shepsu Aakhu (Black Excellence Nominee for Best Production) and various podcast plays. Assistant Director credits include: Upstate by Aaron Todd Douglass, directed by Carla Stillwell and Crowns by Regina Taylor, directed by Chuck Smith.  Mrs. Wells-Mann holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Theater/Acting from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Secondary Education from University of Phoenix. She began her professional acting career with Eta Creative Arts Foundation. It was here that Lauren had the pleasure of working with esteemed directors such as Ilesa Duncan, Kemati Porter, Runako Jahi, and Cheryl Lynn Bruce. She has also performed with companies such as Lookingglass Theatre Company, Black Ensemble, MPAACT, Harlem Theater Company, Healthworks Theater Company, and Victory Gardens to name a few. Lauren also directed and choreographed for Eta’s summer program, Chicago on the Nile for 3 years, Black Lives Black Words – Chicago and 20% Theater Company, Perceptions Theatre, and Griot Theatre Collective. Lauren attributes her directing prowess to the tutelage of Darcelle Williams, Cheryl Frazier, and Carla Stillwell.

In addition to these accolades, Mrs. Wells-Mann has been coaching competitive acting and speech events for the Illinois High School Association for 19 years. Under her direction, students have won numerous state and national championships in various acting and public speaking activities. Lauren Wells-Mann believes in the power of the arts and the importance of BIPOC artists having autonomy over their own narratives; it is a mission to which she is deeply committed.

Congrats, ChiArts Class of 2022!

Congratulations to The Chicago High School for the Arts‘ Class of 2022! As ChiArts’ 10th graduating class, graduates have completed over 2,500 hours of pre-professional arts training and will join more than 1,000 alumni who are making their way in the world as artists, performers, educators, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, and more.
 
 We are incredibly proud of all 130 graduates. As Artistic Director Tina Boyer Brown shares,“Here’s the hope. You are. You are the hope and the promise– not just of the future but of the present.”
 
 

ChiArts Jazz Combo to Join More Than 40 of Chicago’s Cultural Icons for the First Time at Navy Pier for Chicago LIVE Again!

For the first time ever Chicago’s brightest marquee names will light up Navy Pier…

ChiArts is thrilled to announce the ChiArts Jazz Combo will be performing at Chicago Live Again!, Navy Pier’s two-day festival of free outdoor performances from more than 40 of Chicago’s brightest cultural icons, all performing in one place for the very first time. We are honored to join the ranks of performers from Broadway in Chicago, Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Second City, the Lyric Opera and many more! 

Join us in celebrating the return of live performance and the brilliant artists—onstage and backstage—finally doing what they do best. All performances are live and free on September 24 and 25 at Navy Pier. The ChiArts Jazz Combo will be performing on Saturday, September 25 at 4:30 PM on the Navy Pier Lake Stage located south of the pier in Polk Bros Park. Huge congratulations to ChiArts Jazz Combo musicians, Jay Cebrero on bass, Leo Milano on saxophone, Austin Nichols on piano, and Chase Wilkins on drums. Visit Navy Pier’s website linked here for more information regarding the schedule, COVID protocols, and admire our amazing ChiArts Jazz Combo featured on the homepage! 

Chicago Live Again! will also provide masterclasses to ChiArts scholar-artists from professionals at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Hubbard Street Dance. We are grateful for the opportunities Navy Pier has provided to showcase our scholar-artists’ talent and help grow their pre-professional training.

To learn more about ChiArts’ involvement in Chicago Live Again!, read our press release here

See ChiArts Artistic Director Tina Boyer Brown on ABC 7’s Chicago Live Again! feature here.

 

Curtain Call Begins May 13

ChiArts’ end-of-year production series CURTAIN CALL launches tomorrow Thursday, May 13. The graduating class of our Creative Writing Conservatory will premiere an original reading-within-a-play! This performance will spotlight both the seniors’ individual accomplishments as writers as well as their strength in collaboration.

PRODUCTION SUMMARY
The year is 2031. ChiArts’ 2021 graduating class of creative writers is celebrating their ten-year reunion by gathering across the globe via Google Meet. They have all seen incredible success in their chosen fields, and they’re meeting to read some of their best works to each other, to share their gifts and reminisce about the olden days. But as the reading begins, things start to go wrong. The writers get strange alerts on their phone that seem to suggest that — can it be?! — the world is ending. What will they do in these dire straits?

CLICK HERE TO WATCH ON CHIARTS’ PRODUCTION WEBSITE STARTING MAY 13

DOWNLOAD ON GUMROAD STARTING MAY 13, CODE: CLASSOF2021

UPCOMING CURTAIN CALL SHOWS  
Curtain Call, Dance: May 27, 2021
Senior Showcase Online Exhibition: May 28, 2021 (Curtain Call, Visual Arts)
Curtain Call, Instrumental: June 2, 2021
Curtain Call, Voice: June 3, 2021
Curtain Call, Musical Theatre: June 11, 2021