CHICAGO, IL (October 17, 2018)— The Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) is proud to announce a collaboration with major film studio, 20th Century Fox. On November 2, the long-awaited Queen and Freddie Mercury film, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, will be released to theaters nationwide. In response to the great impact Freddie Mercury has had on pop and rock culture, youth empowerment, and AIDS awareness, ChiArts has produced a music video extravaganza starring scholar-artists from the ChiArts Dance Conservatory. Featuring a medley of Queen songs including Under Pressure, Somebody to Love, and Don’t Stop Me Now, ChiArts students dance through a young man’s world where he is yearning to express his individuality and artistic creativity. Despite society pushing him in different directions, he breaks free with the help of a new friend.
ChiArts is grateful for this newfound collaboration with 20th Century Fox. Because of their incredible support, ChiArts will be premiering the music video “Killer Queen,” at a special pre-screening event of BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY at the AMC River East in downtown Chicago later this month. With original choreography by ChiArts Dance Instructor, Brandon DiCriscio, this one-of-a-kind opportunity marks the first ChiArts-directed, filmed, designed, and self-produced music video. As ChiArts is a public arts high school, with college prep academics in the morning and tuition-free pre-professional arts training in the afternoon, our community teaches and learns on a foundation of compassion and inclusivity. We aim to amplify the voices of our scholar-artists. While reflecting on the legacy of Queen, we think of youth who are creating revolutions here in Chicago and around the world. We hope that this music video tribute inspires young artists to be their best queen.
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. They reach unparalleled success, but in an unexpected turn Freddie, surrounded by darker influences, shuns Queen in pursuit of his solo career. Having suffered greatly without the collaboration of Queen, Freddie manages to reunite with his bandmates just in time for Live Aid. While bravely facing a recent AIDS diagnosis, Freddie leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. Queen cements a legacy that continues to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day. #BohemianRhapsody
Registration is required of all students. If you have not yet made it into the office to register for the 2018-19 school year, you will have to do so no later than Wednesday, August 8th.
Returning students may stop in on Wednesday, August 8th between the hours of 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM to complete registration. You should come prepared with two items of proof of residency (i.e. utility bills, drivers license, vehicle registration.) If you are unable to come in during those times, contact Mr. Baxter at (773) 534-9710 ext. 12195 or email@example.com to schedule an appointment.
Freshmen students and transfers who have not completed the registration process must contact Ms. Marsh at (773) 534-9718 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
Seniors must have their new vaccination records in no later than September!
-FRESHMEN SUMMER INSTITUTE-
New students will be attending our three-day Summer Institute from Wednesday, August 8th to Friday, August 10th. This is the perfect time for incoming scholar-artists to become familiar with their teachers, academic classes, and the ChiArts conservatory schedule. Activities include ChiArts themed ice-breakers, meet and greets with faculty, and attending conservatory classes to get ready for the fun-filled year.
Students are welcome to enter the building through Door 7 along Augusta Boulevard starting at 8:45 AM. Once each student has checked in, they will meet their advisor who will show them to their rooms and help each student understand their schedule. It is during this morning shift of 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM that students will be receiving their school planners, locker assignments, locks, and student email logins.
The students will be shown to the lunchroom at noon and provided school lunches. Students are welcome to pack a lunch if they would prefer.
From 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM students will head to conservatory — dancers should bring dance clothes/uniforms with them to school on these days. All students are encouraged to bring water bottles from home to remain hydrated throughout the school day as well! Students will be dismissed at 4:00.
-UNDERSTANDING THE BLOCK SCHEDULE-
New students and families who may be unfamiliar with a block schedule may want to review how our school days work.
An ordinary school day begins at 8:00 AM and consists of a student attending 3 academic courses and Study Hall or Advisory before going to lunch. After lunch, students attend conservatory classes until being dismissed for the day at 5:00 PM. Each school week consists of Odd Days and Even Days: on Odd Days, students will attend Class 1, 3, and 5; on Even Days, students will attend Class 2, 4, and 6.
In addition to their academic courses each morning, students will attend Study Hall or Advisory. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, students attend Study Hall; on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they would instead report to their Advisory. A visualization of a typical block schedule is included below.
-FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, AUGUST 13-
Now that you understand the block schedule, toss it aside for a moment — the first day of school will be running on a slightly different schedule! Because returning students will still need to receive their schedules, everyone will first report to their Advisory. The entire schedule for the first day of school will run as follows:
8:00 AM – 9:10 AM: Advisory
9:15 AM – 10:25 AM: Block 1
10:30 AM – 11:40 AM: Block 3
11:45 AM – 12:55 PM: Block 5
1:00 PM – 1:55 PM: Lunch
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Conservatory
Lunches will continue to be provided for each student, and shuttles will be running for students who have signed up to take them. Ventra cards will be available for students in the main office for five dollars for any student interested in taking public transit; once activated, the cards are charged a discounted student fare.
-PURCHASING SCHOOL SUPPLIES-
We’re encouraging families to hold off on purchasing all of their supplies until the second day of school so that they have a complete syllabus from each class. Each teacher will be providing a syllabus with the materials they’d like students to have on the first day of class, so keep your eyes peeled for these!
If you have questions in the coming weeks, ask! Our school staff is here to help!
Principal Michael Wang
(773) 534-9710 ext. 12222
Assistant Principal Abbey Cullen
(773) 534-9710 ext. 12198
On February 27th, the ChiArts’ Creative Writing and Theatre conservatories spent the afternoon with acclaimed playwright, screenwriter, Steppenwolf ensemble member, and actor, Tracy Letts. With a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award under his belt, Mr. Letts is also having a stand-out year on screen with roles in two 2018 Academy Award Best Picture nominees, Lady Bird and The Post. As Mr. Letts walked into the ChiArts Black Box Theatre, scholar-artists filled every seat, floor space, with little to no standing room available. Theatre Major and 2018 August Wilson Monologue winner, Nia Sarfo, welcomed Mr. Letts and conducted a memorable interview covering topics such as mastering nerves to the value of finding confidence as an artist. When asked for advice he’d give to young actors and writers, Mr. Letts reinforced the importance of creating your own opportunities; “Do it yourself. You shouldn’t ever feel like someone should give you permission to work.”
When you first meet Mr. Letts, his authenticity and curiosity captivates. Throughout the question and answer portion, scholar-artists seemed to appreciate his honest and humorous advice. In response to questions on winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Mr. Letts said “I think it changed people’s perception of me. I feel like people think I’m smarter than I am. But, I hope you all win one! It’s fun to have.” On a more serious note, Letts connected success with tenacity and patience. “Stick to it. Just keep doing it. Outlast them. It took me a long time to value what it means to be an artist in this city. To call yourself an artist is a very valuable thing.” After taking the time to personally interact with scholar-artists after the interview, Mr. Letts met with ChiArts’ improv troupe and joined in games that included conga lines, Shakespeare lines, and lots of laughter. After the improv games and to begin Mr. Lett’s tour of ChiArts, Nia Sarfo performed her winning monologue from the August Wilson Monologue Competition finals.
After the featured interview, Mr. Letts had an opportunity to engage with Theatre and Creative Writing classes. The tour ended with a visit to the Visual Arts Sophomore Show in ChiArts Gallery. With Creative Writer, Damayanti Wallace, and Nia Sarfo leading the tour, along with Executive & Artistic Director, José Ochoa, and ChiArts Board Members Jim and Kay Mabie, ChiArts was grateful for Mr. Letts’ time and support of arts education. When asked by scholar-artists on why he was interested in visiting ChiArts, Mr. Letts responded with “I look around at your faces and I see the future. That’s why I’m here.”
ChiArts would like to sincerely thank the private donor who provided this incredible learning opportunity for our scholar-artists and faculty.
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.”
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.
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!
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.
Michael Wang, Principal
This June, graduate students from the University of Michigan–Flint are conducting a social media audit to evaluate our digital communication strategies. At the end of the month, the team of graduates will present a report of their findings to help us communicate effectively online!
Your input is greatly appreciated. Simply take this quick survey by Wednesday, June 14th. Thank you so much for your time!
Musical Theatre major Ariana Burks was featured in DNAInfo for her starring role as Clara in the House Theatre of Chicago’s “The Nutcracker.”
In the piece, Ariana speaks about her dreams of a career on Broadway and how she hopes to help improve the perception of Chicago’s South Side as a place from which talented and successful people can grow. Read more here.