August 1, 2010

DanceArt, an Illinois non-profit organization founded in Chicago in 2000, was awarded a four-year grant by the United States Department of Education for its Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Program.

C.A.A.T.E. (Cultural Arts of the Americas Transforming Education) is an innovative system-based model that is designed to strengthen standards-based arts education in dance, music, drama, and visual disciplines.  The program focuses on professional development with teachers who will collaborate with teaching artists in implementing the project to improve the academic achievement of over 1,000 students in over five Chicago area schools.  The objectives of the initiative include collaboration among C.A.A.T.E.’s partners in the creation of an integrated arts curriculum; increasing teachers’ ability to integrate the arts into the existing curriculum; improvement in student’s academic pursuits through the participation in inquiry-based arts education; and the dissemination of the C.A.A.T.E. model.

The project focuses on at-risk children in grades 4 and 5 and seeks to improve academic achievement in core subjects through an immersion in arts from the cultures of the Americas and Caribbean.  Professional teaching artists will work to form artistic teams that will include classroom and physical education teachers, principals, and parent to support the project.

The C.A.A.T.E. program will create a curriculum that can be utilized nationally in integrating arts education into an already existing school curriculum and will increase students’ academic aptitude while simultaneously presenting them with arts education to augment their learning.