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Chicago Schools Make Arts a Priority
October 22, 2012

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The arts will be a "core subject" in Chicago Public Schools, under a plan announced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The plan, among other things, calls for elementary school students to get a full two hours of art instruction each week. Such an approach would be a reversal of a trend that has widened across the country in recent years, that of schools cutting all but subjects considered core, such as English and mathematics and science. Arts programs in schools nationwide have struggled increasingly against choices made in eras of increasingly decreasing funding.

The plan, part of the overall Chicago Cultural Plan 2012, will take effect during the next two years. Funding has been provided from a grant shared by the Chicago Community Trust and the Illinois Arts Council. A total of $1 million has been allocated so far, with more scheduled to follow.

The plan will extend beyond school grounds, linking art opportunities in neighborhoods and existing cultural centers.

It is the first time that such a cultural plan came into effect in the Windy City since 1986, under Mayor Harold Washington.






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