ChiArts Appoints Pavielle Driver as Principal

The Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) School Board is delighted to announce the appointment of Pavielle Driver as Principal. Ms. Driver is currently serving as Resident Principal at Chicago Public School’s Air Force Academy High School, and will begin at ChiArts on June 1, 2023. We thank Ms. Cruz for her contributions as Interim Head of School & Principal during the past two school years, and wish her the best in future endeavors. As May 19 is Ms. Cruz’s last day, ChiArts Assistant Principal Dr. McLeary will assume administrative responsibilities for ChiArts until the arrival of Ms. Driver. 

When asked about her excitement for ChiArts, Ms. Driver shared, “I am a proud native of Racine, Wisconsin currently residing in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. I am blessed to be the Mother of two wonderful boys, Damien and Gunnar and the proud chosen Godmother of Laila Sheree and Carter Clay. As a young girl I found a love for music, dance, and singing that continues to be a light for me daily. Unfortunately, I had no access to an arts conservatory but fortunately enough I was able to engage in the arts through community partnerships. As an educator, I’ve always been passionate about the quality and equity of education provided to all students. Because of this, ChiArts sparked my interest as it is a unique place that would allow me to increase student achievement and foster students’ love for the arts through academics and arts integration.”

Ms. Driver has earned two Master’s degrees: one in Administrative Leadership from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Master’s in Special Education from University of Nevada-Las Vegas. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and is a proud New Leaders Aspiring Principals Program Fellow.

Thank you to the ChiArts School Board Principal Search Committee, led by school board members Janette Cortes-Duewel and Bill Gerstein, along with current ChiArts educators, scholar-artists, and parent committee members. We warmly welcome Ms. Driver to the ChiArts community! 

ChiArts to Host Parent-Guardian & Teacher Conferences on March 30

ChiArts’ Parent-Guardian and Teacher Conferences will take place on March 30, 2023 from 12:00 to 7:00 PM (break from 3:30-4:00 PM). We will be offering virtual appointments for all parents/guardians, but families are welcome to attend in person if you like. All parents/guardians must make an appointment with the teacher they would like to meet with. ChiArts recommends to prioritize two or three teachers including both academic and arts conservatory.

To set up an appointment with each faculty member, click here.


ChiArts Spring Productions Feature Conservatory Collabs & Tributes to Black Culture

The ChiArts production team is preparing for a tremendous spring season with new conservatory collaborations and tributes to Black culture through diverse artistic lenses. This March, look forward to three premieres from the Creative Writing, Dance, and Music Conservatories. The first-ever Dance and Creative Writing collaborative showcase will lead us into the spring season on March 2-3, where dancers become writers and creative writers grow through movement. On March 15, Music presents Tribute to Black Music. Vocal Educator Charles Taylor shares, “The performance will highlight the contribution African-Americans have made to the American and world music tapestry. This year’s subject is The Evolution of the Spiritual, and will take listeners from the birth of the Spiritual to its usage and form in current times.” To close out March, Creative Writing will kick off National Poetry Month with a reading on March 30. 

ChiArts Alumni Network: February Highlights

ChiArts Foundation’s programming for alums has been highly engaged with our inaugural class of Alumni Ambassadors. Alongside the leadership of Programs Manager Karina Quintana, the six ambassadors have been strengthening programming by meeting with the Foundation’s Alumni Relations Board Committee, finalizing program logos, and ambassadors Daniel Gayden (Music ’17) and Coda Marcus (Theatre ’16) participated in an alum panel with current scholar-artists at ChiArts. In addition to program highlights, 2023 is starting on a high note as the 10th anniversary of ChiArts’ first graduation class! This February, alums have been making moves in their respective industries, and we are thrilled to highlight two powerful women from the Class of 2013.
Kyrie Courter (Theatre ’13) is making her Broadway debut on February 26 in the highly-anticipated revival of Sweeney Todd, directed by Tony Award–winning director Thomas Kail and starring Grammy nominee Josh Groban and Tony Award-winning Annaleigh Ashford! Read Kyrie’s production bio here.

Antoinette “Vi” Freeman (Dance ’13) brought her show-stopping energy to the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show, dancing alongside Rihanna this past Sunday, February 12. Now based in Atlanta, Antoinette is a rising star making her name known in the dance and creative directing industries!

ChiArts Launches Summer Camp Registration

Over the past seven years, ChiArts’ Annual Summer Camp has welcomed over 450 young artists to explore the artistic disciplines of Band, Creative Writing, Dance, Voice, Theatre, and Visual Arts thanks to generous support from the Caerus Foundation. Led by ChiArts teaching artists and alums, campers receive pre-professional training in the arts throughout July. Camp Coordinator and ChiArts Spanish Educator Chris Cashman shares, “At ChiArts Summer Camp, middle schoolers from Chicago get a taste of what it is like to be a scholar-artist at ChiArts. They end up accumulating almost a semester’s worth of classroom instruction, and the vast majority of students say the camp experience positively impacts their decision to pursue ChiArts as a student.” This year, ChiArts Summer Camp will offer programs for grades 6-8 from July 10-28 onsite at ChiArts.

ChiArts Creative Writing’s Zine Installation

ChiArts Creative Writing conservatory is expanding its reach through community collaborations. Second-year students are working on projects such as photo essays and redesigning album covers this semester. David R. Nelson, a working artist and alumni parent, has generously provided installation space in his art studio on California Ave. for students to present an incredible zine window installation for public viewing. This semester-long project challenged students to generate writing in new ways and use mediums outside the typical writer’s toolbox to further develop messages in their writing. While the topics range from mental health and slam poetry to the local punk scene and the shortcomings of capitalism, each zine is ultimately about the author’s identity as an artist. Creative Writing Department Head Kenyatta Rogers shares, “Storytelling doesn’t always have to be words. A project like this helps students use another part of their creative mind, letting them show a more personal side.” In addition to creating the zines, the process gave students curation power, insight into the life of a local artist, and networking opportunities.
We highly recommend stopping by the ChiArts Creative Writing Zine Installation at 1100 N. California Ave., up until the end of February.

ChiArts Dance Presents RootED

In honor and celebration of Black History Month, ChiArts Dance Conservatory debuted Journey of the Brown Tights last year showcasing the history of Black dance and its rightful place in the landscape of classical dance. This year, the Dance Conservatory scholar-artists and faculty will continue the journey by presenting RootED: The Next Chapter in the Journey. Dance Department Greer Reed shares, “This year, we continue the lesson by learning how African dance, Hip Hop, and Tap is inherently in our DNA; our breath. We use these particular dance techniques as a way to tell our unique stories.” RootED will be premiering March 16, 17, and 20 in the ChiArts Dance Wing. All shows are open to the public, click here to purchase tickets.

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!