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Last Thursday(4/11), the first and only (can you believe it?!) public high school for the arts in Chicago celebrated a milestone during it’s fundraising benefit-Kerfuffle! The reception and performance that followed took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art and brought out some of the city’s top philanthropic supporters and corporate leaders(whom some of you may aspire to be next generation of someday) such as mayor Rahm Emanuel, Johnson Publishing Chair(wo)man Linda Johnson Rice and CEO Desiree Rogers, #1 connector and Corporate cleaning CEO Neal Zucker, Leslie Bluhm of Chicago Cares, Anne Kaplan, Verne Broder and Francee Harrington, Trisha Rooney Alden, Diane McKeever, Coco Meers and many more.
The talent of these young artists is unbelievable especially knowing the fact that some of them come from really tough backgrounds and neighborhoods. It is so great to see them cultivate their talent right here in our city and will go on to be the next generation of visual, performance, theatrical and musical artists.
Prior to the performance Madeline Madeleine Grynsztejn,Pritzker Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, addressed guests and reiterated MCA’s commitment to ChiArts and arts in Chicago Public Schools. Robin Robinson of Fox Chicago was the emcee of the evening. Each performance segment began with introductions from Arts Partner All Stars: Anthony Freud(Music) representing the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Theaster Gates(Visual Arts), Terrence Marlings (Dance) of Hubbard Street Dance and Robert Falls (Theatre) of the Goodman Theater, students presented pieces that had guests in attendance enthusiastic and seated throughout the whole performance portion.
Closing remarks by ChiArts Board president Jim Mabie and Chi Arts Executive & Artisitic Director-Jose Ochoa. The dancers were nimble, singers voices brimmed through the theatre, the visuals were captivating, with each performer displaying so well taught(most of them were never classically trained until then stated Reggie Harris). Joel Ross on the vibraphone was the scene stealer in . These scholar asrtists have a lot to be proud of as some of them have been offered scholarships and residences at top performing arts institutions.
Benefits like this are made possible through generous contributions of individuals and corporations such as JP Morgan & Chase Co, Exelon, Helen & Sam Zell, David Herro & Jay Franke, Northern Trust, ITW, Anne Kaplan, Suntimes Foundation and many more.
ChiArts also known as The Chicago High School for the Arts opened it’s door in 2009 and this year will have it’s first graduating class(June 7, 2013-Herbie Hancock is Guest Speaker). The school came out from a realization that Chicago was missing a public institution that provided comprehensive learning coupled with superior training at the high school level. They added new grade level each year after 2009 and the school continues to grow.