On May 30, our 5th class of scholar-artists graduated at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. Check out our top four highlights!

#1 Record breaking statistics: This year,  95% of seniors graduated and 88% are attending colleges or universities.

#2 Erica Lynette Edwards from The Joffrey Ballet 
gave a memorable 2017 commencement speech. As a former ballerina and currently the Director of Community Engagement, Erica spoke of following your dreams, no matter what challenges you might face along the way. 
#3 Leap-out scholar-artist, Alex Roy, who spent his senior year as a trainee with the Joffrey Ballet, was given an honorary degree. Alex was accepted to the Royal Ballet's summer intensive in London for this summer.

#4 Defining Moment: The Creative Writing Conservatory graduated their inaugural class of six Creative Writers!

We are honored to have built a foundation for our scholar-artists attending institutions all over the nation. From New York University to the San Francisco Art Institute, our ChiArts family is expanding in places and passions. As Artistic and Executive Director, José Ochoa, said on graduation night,  "The arts have changed your lives, now go out and change the world."

We are thrilled to welcome Annie Calhoun as our new Theatre Department Head. She was a founding teacher at ChiArts and has a deep love for the school's mission. She will succeed Rob Chambers, our Founding Theatre Department Head, who is moving to Arizona to lead the theatre department at Arizona School for the Arts. 

On May 18, ChiArts received the Nonprofit of the Year award from Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Chicago (YNPN). We are grateful for YNPN's work creating a strong and inclusive community of nonprofits in Chicago. Thank you to our ChiArts family for supporting our nomination!

At the Chicago Westside NAACP ACT-SO Awards, six ChiArts students placed in Performing Arts categories. The NAACP ACT-SO (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics) is a yearlong achievement program that recognizes academic and cultural achievements among African-American high school students. The four ChiArts Gold recipients below will be  moving on to nationals held in Baltimore   from July 20-23. 

Best of luck to:

LaVontae O'Shae Goodman (Dance/Contemporary)

Travon Willliams (Dance/Modern)

Daniela Chambers (Music Vocal/Contemporary)

Ameea Moore (Music Instrumental/Classical)

Throughout the past year, ChiArts has cultivated a new Associate Board of young professionals who are passionate about arts education to support ChiArts. The AB held their first fundraiser at Pinot's Palette on May 15, which raised enough funds to cover nearly 60 hours of arts training for one scholar-artist! For info about joining the AB, contact Marlena Dzis.

#1 Class of 2015 Acting Alum, Casey Edwards, is casted in recurring role in british comedy series.

#2 Vocal Chair,  Natalie Chami of TALsounds, released her new album, Love Sick. Chicago Reader did an extensive profile on her music journey.
#3 Creative Writing poetry teacher,
Ruben Quesada, is listed in Newcity's 'LIT 50 2017', a list composed of artists who've greatly influenced Chicago's literacy community.

#4 Graduated Senior,  Isis Graham, is featured on WGN for her role as Dorothy in Emerald City Theater's The Wiz.
Visual Arts Students Collaborate in Resistance and Protest Exhibition
Exhibition runs through September 2, 2017.
Weinberg/Newton Gallery

In collaboration with the Weinberg Gallery and Mikva Challenge, seven ChiArts students were selected to display original works with professional artists at the Bold Disobedience exhibition held at the Weinberg/Newton Gallery.

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