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ARTS at the CENTER of Teaching and Learning

Arts at the Center of Teaching and Learning is a 17 year old arts integration program that has served multiple school districts including Chicago Public Schools, Elgin School District U46, and South Berwyn School District 100. Our model for arts integration has been replicated in multiple settings including Scotland, UK and Greensborough, South Carolina. The model consists of sustained professional development for teachers, standards-based arts integrated units co-planned and taught by classroom teachers and professional teaching artists. The model uses reflective documentation and ongoing assessment of student learning to support the development of the whole child.

Learn more about our strategy for whole school change here.

Arts at the Center's work is featured in multiple publications. To view a list, click here.

Visit our website at

Research Base and Opportunities

Harvard’s Project Zero/ARTS SURVIVE recognized CTC’s Arts at the Center program as one of eight “Promising Partnerships” in arts integration development in the U.S. (2001). The Arts at the Center model is based on research supporting the use of arts in educational programs (Champions of Change, 1999; Critical Links, 2001).

Current Activities

Every Art, Every Child Curriculum Framework
A sequential arts curriculum created over 4 years with contributions from Chicago Public School teachers, art experts in the field of American art, arts integration, standards based instruction, and assessment. The curriculum is due to be release in the summer of 2010.

ARTS Berwyn Department of Education
Professional Development for Arts Educators Grant
Year 2 of a 3 year grant is close to completion. 28 teachers, including classroom and specials are participating in deep and intensive professional development workshops. Classroom teachers are co-teaching arts integrated units of instruction aligned with Illinois Learning Standards for the Fine Arts. Participating classrooms attend field trips and present final work at showcases. Veteran project teachers mentor new project teachers, and an additional 30 teachers in the fall of 2011. Professional Development Partnerships


Adventure Stage Chicago, Art Intitute of Chicago, Berwyn Arts Council, Berwyn South District 100, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Chicago Public Schools Office of Arts Education, Beacon Street Gallery, The Chicago Board of Education, Dance Center of Columbia College, The Elgin School District U46, Hamilton Wings, Illinois Alliance for Arts Education, Lookingglass Theater, Luna Negra, National Museum of Mexican Art, Old Town School of Folk Music, The Scottish Arts Council, Steppenwolf Theatre's Art Exchange, Students Creating Their Own Opera (SCORE), Terra Foundation for American Art, Zephyr Dance

Funding Sources

Arts at the Center has been funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education, the Illinois Arts Council, Polk Bros Foundation, Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust, Terra Foundation of American Art, the Annenberg Foundation, and Kraft Foods, Inc.

Contact Information

Kate Thomas
Program Director

Matt Dealy
Program Manager