Your company is an innovative part of Chicago’s rich business community. You are a leader in your field, and your team is passionate about what they do. Your business thrives because it is a part of one of the largest and most vibrant cities in the world, because of Chicago’s special character.
You also understand that Chicago has problems. Living in Chicago means brutal winters, economic inequality, segregation, and cutthroat politics. Part of being of a place means confronting its flaws, giving back, and working to something better than what you started with.
As a Chicago company, you are already invested in your community and giving back is most likely an integral part of what you already do. Luckily, we have an awesome new way to do just that.
The real question is, are you using your charitable giving in the most intentional and targeted way? What if you could give back and ensure that all of your contributions changed your city for the better, from the ground up?
WHAT IS SPONSOR A SCHOOL (SAS)?
Sponsor A School by IPaintMyMind is a selective enrollment corporate charitable giving opportunity for companies operating in Chicago to support Shared Walls, a comprehensive art program IPaintMyMind provides to local public schools. By mobilizing your company’s charitable budgets, fundraising & volunteering, your company can ensure that local public schools have arts programming they’d otherwise go without.
The 2021 Sponsor A School application DEADLINE is Friday, March 26, 2021. Companies selected for the 2021 SAS cohort will be notified by Friday, April 2, 2021.
Students are the future of Chicago and will become our next leaders, tackling the problems of today and the looming crises of tomorrow. IPaintMyMind’s Sponsor A School program is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to radically change the resources available to an entire Chicago Public School. Sponsor A School takes your company along on the charitable giving journey from A-Z as we fundraise together and implement our Shared Walls Arts Programming at a school of your choice. Give back to your community, give back to Chicago, and fulfill charitable giving goals by ensuring that young students have access to high-quality arts education.
Many Of Chicago’s Students Are Denied Access To Art Education
Chicago Public Schools is chronically underfunded, and when it comes to the arts there’s often nothing left over in schools’ budgets. Moreover, CPS has been operating under a flawed funding model for decades, tying the annual budget for individual schools to their neighborhood Property Tax base. This means that schools in poorer neighborhoods get significantly less funding year after year, encouraging the continuation of educational segregation in Chicago.
As a result, schools in wealthier neighborhoods have state-of-the-art and well-stocked art classrooms while schools in low-income neighborhoods struggle to afford basic art supplies and may not even be able to pay an art teacher at all. Many schools have cut out art class all together, or lumped it into the responsibilities of classroom teachers who are not trained in arts education and are already overburdened with large class sizes and high workloads.
Art Isn’t Frivolous: Kids Improve In All Areas As A Result
Access to art and to art education from a young age is not just about the benefits it has on problem-solving skills, communication, and literacy, although it does positively impact each of those areas. On a more fundamental level, art education is about dignity, equity, and freedom, regardless of who you are or where you come from.
Access to art means representation and seeing yourself and your experience reflected in the world and in visual culture. It’s a powerful channel for self-expression and exploration. It can also be a way to heal and process trauma and anger, an especially important tool in Chicago as so many children’s lives have been impacted by violence, racism, poverty, and loss.
Access to art opens doors, creating future aspirations, dreams, and professional possibilities. It allows students to consider new roads they could walk, and to believe in their own creative abilities. As Ron Whitmore, Principal of John M. Smythe Elementary School and one of our Shared Walls partners explained so eloquently, “Art takes the shackles off, and it feels good to be free.”
What’s more, we know that students who receive an arts education are:
5x less likely to drop out of school
4x more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
3x more likely to receive a bachelor degree
30% more inclined to pursue a professional career
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