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CAPE improves student learning through partnering with schools to integrate the arts into curriculum. CAPE believes that all students have the right to equitable access to art in their lives and in their schools. The arts teach learners to know themselves as capable citizens in a democratic society- observing, creating, reflecting, making choices, and taking responsibility for actions in the world. CAPE achieves this by advancing innovative arts integration practice and policy within the field of education and the arts, primarily in Chicago Public Schools, and actively participating in professional dialogue with practitioners, researchers, and leaders in the field.
Founded in 1993, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE) has become recognized as a leader in the field of school improvement through the arts. CAPE'Â Â s partnerships serve as a living laboratory for arts integrated curriculum development, for a community of artists and teachers dedicated to infusing arts throughout the curriculum, and for a community of researchers dedicated to understanding how teaching through the arts improves student achievement. "CAPE was one of the first if not the first Â organization in the country that put cultural resources system-wide to effect deep change, not just a quick fix in schools," says Doug Herbert, former Director of Arts Education at the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2000, CAPE began providing high quality professional development programs for teachers and artists. The State of Illinois and Chicago Public Schools have approved CAPE as a certified professional development provider. In fact, reviewers from the Illinois State Board of Education remarked, "Â Â This course is an excellent example of what professional development is all about" after observing a CAPE course. In 2001, CAPE published the book Renaissance in the Classroom: Arts Integration and Meaningful Learning, edited by Gail Burnaford, Ph.D., CAPE advisor and Professor at Northwestern University, Cynthia Weiss, CAPE advisor and teaching artist, and Arnold Aprill, CAPE's Executive Director. 272 participants in the CAPE partnerships (artists, teachers, principals and students) wrote this book, based on their experiences in developing an arts partnership. The Harvard Educational Review recently commented that "Â Â this book should be required reading for anyone who participates, or wishes to participate, in an arts education partnership." CAPE'Â Â s programming has served as a model for other arts partnership programs in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Detroit, Cleveland, and Seattle in the United States; London, Leeds, and Manchester in the United Kingdom; Ireland and Australia.
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