CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the current site of Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Van Buren, will house the Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) as part of its transformation into an eclectic, multi-purpose arts center after the college moves into its new facility in 2015. The building will serve as a permanent home for ChiArts as well as provide space for a variety of arts organizations, including performing arts groups.
“ChiArts represents an important opportunity for high school students who want to study fine or performing arts while also receiving a quality education that will help prepare them for college and beyond,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Repurposing this facility allows ChiArts to have a permanent home, while also allowing resident arts organizations to positively impact and influence the studies and lives of students.”
Moving will allow ChiArts High School to take advantage of existing amenities, including dance studios, an auditorium and computer labs, and make it possible for the school to expand its arts programs and provide additional academic supports. ChiArts will also host performances, exhibitions, cross-school projects and programs from schools across the District. This will be the first Chicago facility exclusively dedicated for the exhibition and performance of student works and will provide visibility for talented and creative CPS students. CPS teachers will use ChiArts resources as a hub for arts-focused professional development and as a laboratory for developing innovation in arts instruction.
“As a District, it is our goal to find the best possible facilities to meet the ever-changing needs of our students and promote academic growth and success,” said Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “ChiArt’s move presents a tremendous opportunity for our students to benefit not only from the enhanced facilities, but from exposure to the resident companies and Chicago’s diverse arts community.”
Several arts organizations have already expressed interest, including Chicago Arts Partnership in Education, Ingenuity Incorporated and Urban Gateways. Once committed, these groups are expected to play a major role in the design, delivery and exhibition of professional development services for CPS teachers, principals, teaching artists and other arts organizations.
Their extensive networks of local, national and international arts educators, organizations and arts advocates will serve as resources at ChiArts. Through professional development, performances, lectures, symposia and conferences, ChiArts will host programming that brings together the arts and non-arts communities interested in better understanding and enriching the City of Chicago.
ChiArts students participate in a rigorous program including five hours of academic classes and three hours of arts training in their specified major study area per day. Currently, ChiArts currently shares a campus with Doolittle Elementary School located in Chicago’s Bronzeville community and serves 600 students from every ward in the city and from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
Students must apply, undergo an interview and audition, as well as meet specific academic criteria to gain admittance into ChiArts.
The new Malcolm X College campus, projected to open in the spring of 2015, will be located just south of the United Center, across the street from the current college site at Jackson and Damen streets on land already owned by City Colleges of Chicago. The 500,000 square foot campus will be composed of two 3-story academic buildings and a 1,500-car parking facility connected via an atrium.
The Chicago Public Schools serves approximately 405,000 students in more than 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school system.
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