In 2004, a group of leaders were congregated to discuss the issue of diversity in mid to large sized arts organization in our city. Two years later, an idea was proposed that a public arts high school that will provide comprehensive learning and superior training, be established. Fast forward to 2009 and Chicago High School For the Arts also known as ChiArts opens its doors in Bronzeville to welcome their freshman class of nearly 150 students. Since then, the school has moved to its new, permanent location and celebrated two graduating class so far. Celebrating these milestones while raising funds to continue to serve the students was top of mind Tuesday(4/21) at the 4th Annual Kerfuffle!
Co-chaired by Elissa Hamid Efroymson, Mirja Spooner Haffner and Francia Harrington, the evening began with a cocktail reception by the grand staircase of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Guests, including some of the night’s Host Committee Neal Zucker, Linda Johnson Rice, Glenn Kahan, Lisa Kahan, Danielle Zimmerman were then ushered into the auditorium to take in the performance. ChiArts Executive and Artistic Director Jose Ochoa introduced Chicago Bears legend, Hall of Famer Dan Hampton, a surprise guest who spoke to the audience about his musical aspiration before his professional gridiron career; he played saxophone and was in his high school band. He also touched on the importance of the arts and how their support can help the kids on their paths. Before the start of each performance, representatives from the Arts partners organization, DanceWorks Harris Theater, Chicago Shakespeare & Hyde Park Art Center, introduced themselves and how their organization got involved with ChiArts.
The performances included pieces in dance, visual arts, creative writing and powerful monologues closing with a musical number “Happy Days Are Here.”
Students dressed in bollywood inspired attires led guests to the modern wing of the Art Institute for dinner and few more surprise performance including a bollywood number.
ChiArts is Chicago’s first, and currently only, public high school for the arts with disciplines in creative writing, dance, music, theatre, and visual arts. ChiArts, which aims to reflect the racial, socio-economic, geographic and artistic diversity of the city of Chicago, provides its students with pre-professional training in the arts as well as a competitive college-preparatory curriculum. They are cultivating the next generation of artistic talents, right here in our city.