Corporate Charitable Giving: Chicago-Based Companies Invited to Sponsor A School’s Art Programs in 2021! - Corporate Charitable Giving: Chicago-Based Companies Invited to Sponsor A School’s Art Programs in 2021! -
Corporate Charitable Giving: Chicago-Based Companies Invited to Sponsor A School’s Art Programs in 2021!

Corporate Charitable Giving: Chicago-Based Companies Invited to Sponsor A School’s Art Programs in 2021!

Written by:
Lillie Therieau
Jan 11, 2021

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? 

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. 

APPLY NOW to be part of our 2021 Sponsor A School Cohort!

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.”

Chicago charitable giving!

APPLY NOW to be part of our 2021 Sponsor A School Cohort!

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


What Our Shared Walls Art Programming Does For Our Teachers and Students

Shared Walls by IPaintMyMind provides is a year-long immersive arts program that provides each partner school with a variety of resources. Each school receives:

  • a 12 to 20 piece art gallery for the entire school year
  • The IPaintMyMind Arts Education Curriculum & Resource Guide – an incredible 80+ page resource that is essentially an entire Art Program in English and Spanish!
  • Videos, Blog Articles, Tips, Discounts, Events, and Other Bonuses for Teachers
  • an Artist Workshop or curator talk (in-person or online)
  • support in building up to the culminating event of creating a Student Art Gallery through our ‘Experience, Reflect, Make’ framework

The 12-20 piece art gallery featuring one of our IPaintMyMind Permanent Print Collection Artists, which can be selected from our 1500+ piece collection covering over 50 working artists from across the city and the world. IPMM professionally handles and installs the Art Gallery in each school, providing students with the opportunity to appreciate and learn from contemporary artists all year long. 

Chicago charitable giving!

APPLY NOW to be part of our 2021 Sponsor A School Cohort!

We provide teachers with our curriculum-building and resource heavy Art Guide to help them interpret and plan lessons around their Art Gallery and some of our other Partner Artists. We have an Art Guide specifically tailored to Art Teachers as well as one specific to Classroom Teachers that are responsible for art as well. The final goal included in the Art Guide Curriculum is to have students create an Art Gallery of their own work by the end of the year which will be hung in their school! 

IPMM also provides each Partner School with an Artist Workshop or Curator Talk where the team and the school’s Featured Artist come into the classroom to lead a workshop or talk with the students. This is a great way to deepen the connection with the school’s Art Gallery and provide students the chance to ask all of their questions directly to the artist that created their hanging gallery pieces!

Chicago charitable giving!

APPLY NOW to be part of our 2021 Sponsor A School Cohort!

Finally, we ensure that each Partner School receives year-round engagement from our team, whether this be through routine check-ins, connecting teachers with new artists or resources, helping teachers source art materials, or many other possible points of collaboration. 

Altogether, the experience supports teachers and principals, students and families, and gives them much needed access and resources, provides connection, and joy, and provides kids with the types of experiences that get them thinking and contributing to the world in new, amazing ways!

How It Works: 5 Simple Steps

IPMM offers any CPS school their first year of Shared Walls Art Programming for free. After that we work with schools who want to continue to find alternate sources of funding. This is because we are a small organization who serves the entire City of Chicago. We do a lot with a little, but in Year 2 and beyond we need others to step in and help our schools secure high-quality arts programming for the long haul. As a Sponsor A School Corporate Partner, you fulfill this need for one school of your choice through charitable giving. Your charitable giving will allow a school to continue on with Shared Walls and continue to foster their students’ relationship with art and the creative passions. 

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APPLY NOW to be part of our 2021 Sponsor A School Cohort!

There are five steps to the Sponsor A School program, and they take you through the entire fundraising journey. 

1) APPLY – As a Chicago-based company interested in charitable giving you are invited to apply via the form on our website. We’ll then get in touch with you and get to know a bit about your company and your team. 

2) PAIR UP WITH A SCHOOL – Next, we’ll work with you to select a school that your company will work with and confirm your giving commitment. A year of programming for the school comes in at just $5000, meaning for just $25,000, your company can support art programs in your school for 5 years!!!

We can either choose one at random or select a school located in a specific neighborhood or that serves a certain community. 

3) LAUNCH FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN – Now we’re at the official launch point of your fundraising campaign! You’ll co-launch a fundraising page on our website with us where we feature a profile of your company and the school that you’ll be working with. We’ll put you into direct contact with the administrative staff and teachers at your school so you can connect and form relationships. We even hold a kick-off dinner to celebrate your campaign, where our team, your team, and your partner school get together to rally!

4) RAISE FUNDS! – Fundraising can take many different forms depending on your style, preferred ways of communicating, and what your community looks like! Throw fundraising events, hold a raffle, send out email campaigns encouraging folks to donate. These are just a few of the possible ways you could encourage your team, clients, and supporters to contribute to your fundraising campaign! We make sure to work with you to set a reasonable fundraising goal, ensuring that you can reach it in a concise time period and get back to business as usual. 

5) VOLUNTEER & CELEBRATE! – You’ve reached your goal! We will send you a special Art Prize Pack for the momentous occasion, including art prints that you could hang around the office. We also offer your company volunteer opportunities at your partner school. You can help hang the Art Gallery that you fundraised for and get your team excited and activated as they see what their fundraising can do. 

Sponsor A School is a really fun, personal, and transparent way to practice charitable giving as a Chicago-based company. You might even form friendships and connections with your partner school that last long after your campaign is over!

Immerse yourself and your company in making Chicago a better, more equitable, and more creative place. Provide students with the art education that they deserve, and have a hand in shaping the bright and innovative leaders of the future. 

APPLY NOW to be part of our 2021 Sponsor A School Cohort! Or feel free to reach out to our Outreach Manager, Noemi Garcia with any questions you have at

banner ipmm s sponor a school initiative

Written by:
Lillie Therieau
Jan 11, 2021