Columbia College Chicago Receives Nearly $1.3 Million To Expand Evanston District 65 School Partnership

Columbia College’s Center for Community Arts Partnerships only higher education program in the country selected for competitive U.S. Department of Education Grant

CHICAGO (Oct. 14,  2013)—The Center for Community Arts Partnerships (CCAP) at Columbia College Chicago, in partnership with Evanston/Skokie School District 65, has been selected as only one of eight arts programs in the country to receive the highly competitive “Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination” grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The award’s grand total is $1,299,659 disbursed over four years, and is the only grant of this type given to a higher education institution this year. It is also the highest total funded project among the eight grantees.

The grant will fund Middle School Evanston Expansion and Dissemination (MSEED), a project to disseminate CCAP’s Project AIM model to the three middle schools in District 65, reaching 1,200 7th- and 8th-grade students. The grant expands CCAP’s Project AIM—a research-based arts integration methodology that allows artists and teachers to co-create original curriculum, aligned with Common Core State Standards.

“Expanding our partnership with Evanston Schools presents an outstanding opportunity to go deeper and wider with integrating arts into school curricula,” said David Flatley, Executive Director of CCAP. “We will also be able to make a significant contribution to the field as we articulate the process for how such a model can be replicated and expanded across a district after having taken root in a small number of schools. That is part of what this DOE initiative has always aimed to accomplish.”

The distinctive attribute of MSEED lies in its approach to student outcomes and professional development for teachers. The program includes extensive evaluation, measuring student achievement in mathematics and reading, management and critical thinking skills. Teachers will be measured by their increased ability to create and deliver arts integrated curriculum.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with CCAP to expand the arts integration initiative that has been so successful at our magnet schools,” said Susan Schultz, Assistant Superintendent for Middle, Magnet and Special Schools, Evanston/Skokie School District 65. “This grant allows us to address student achievement and student engagement along with the Common Core State Standards as we develop a culture of arts integration in our middle schools.”

The U.S. Department of Education’s Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination grants are designed to enable school districts and other organizations with arts expertise to create and develop materials that will be duplicated or adapted for integrating a range of arts disciplines into the elementary and middle school curricula. The program is also designed to fund projects that will increase the amount of nationally available information on effective models for arts education that integrate the arts with standards-based education programs.

The Center for Community Arts Partnerships (CCAP) was founded in 1998 at Columbia College Chicago to formalize the College’s commitment to civic engagement by creating deep, sustained partnerships throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. CCAP draws on the College’s expertise as the nation’s largest arts, media and communications college to create model arts-based educational and enrichment programs for young people, especially those living in underserved communities in Chicago.

Columbia College Chicago is an urban institution that offers innovative degree programs in the visual, performing, media and communication arts to more than 10,000 students in 120 undergraduate and graduate programs. An arts and media college committed to a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, Columbia is dedicated to opportunity and excellence in higher education. For further information, visit

District 65 serves more than 7,000 students in the Evanston and Skokie communities.The district has ten elementary attendance-area schools, three attendance-area middle schools, two magnet schools, one special services school, and programs and services for pre-K children. District 65 offers its diverse student body high quality learning experiences, enjoys support from school PTAs, many local organizations, and is a strong community partner. To learn more, visit our website ( or call to arrange a school visit.   


Media Contacts:
Steve Kauffman, 312.369.7383, Columbia College,
Cara Birch, 312.369.8695, Columbia College,
Kelly Hutchins, District 65, 847.859.8102,