Upcoming Events

Thu, Apr 4, 2019
6:00 PM - 7:15 PM
430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
See all CAL events


The Center for Arts Leadership creates opportunities for students to apply their curricular knowledge beyond the classroom and grow as young professionals. Through the Center, students can receive grants for professional development, funding for social justice start-up projects, perform community engagement, and have the opportunity to connect with guest artists through workshops and special events.

Student Grant Opportunities

Performing Social Justice Seed Grant

Have an idea on how to use your passion or skills to live out social justice? Apply for funding to make your idea a reality through the Social Justice Seed Grant Program! Your art can make impact on the issues that matter to you through support from the Center for Arts Leadership and CCPA faculty. Proposals are open to current CCPA students and alumni may also apply in their first full semester following commencement. Past projects have included feminist commentary on gender roles in opera, after school programs by teaching artists for underserved communities, and a community choir for children of immigrants living in the Pilsen neighborhood. The options are endless to make your voice heard for positive change.

In 2018, the committee reviewed 8 proposals and awarded 3 seed grants totaling $10,000 from the Center. Applications for the 2019 grant cycle open in November of 2018 and close January 7, 2019. The 2018 recipients include:

  • Arturo Cherizola Suaste, Piano Performance Diploma ($4,500): forming an immigrant children’s choir in Pilsen, in partnership with the National Museum of Mexican Art
  • Meredith Kirkman, Theatre MTD ($3,350): short film with social justice themes, “The Promise of the Butterfly”
  • Mariana Akolt, MM Composition ($2,150): weeklong summer poetry writing/musical performance workshop for Latino high school students in the Highland Park/Highwood area, in partnership with Family Service of Lake County

CCPA Student Travel Grants

Starting Fall 2018, funding will be available to students of exceptional promise and distinction for professional development opportunities that exceed those provided on campus or in the city of Chicago. These opportunities include attending a conference, competition, audition, or participation in other career related travel. Support from this program is only provided for a maximum of one trip, per student, per academic year. The maximum funding amount is $750 with a limited amount for each calendar year. As funding is limited, all awards from this program are highly competitive. Criteria for successful applications includes: academic/program good standing, attention to detail, potential professional impact, and approval from faculty. Students should not plan travel with any assumption of funding until receiving an official notice of approval from the review committee. Students interested in applying for travel funding may find further information and submit the online application.

Community Engagement

Overview: To help students live out Roosevelt University’s mission of social justice, the Center for Arts Leadership has built partnerships with organizations that serve those often without access to arts in our community. Through these partnerships, students receive experiential learning, performance opportunities, and engage with community in meaningful ways. Last year, CCPA students were involved in over 50 performances through visits to the Lincoln Park Community Shelter, Mulvey House Senior Home, Music@Grace, and Sharing Notes. Learn more about our current community partners below!CCPA students interested in joining a community performance can submit a Community Engagement Interest form and a representative from the CAL will be in touch to assist with scheduling.

Lincoln Park Community Shelter, Lincoln Park

The Lincoln Park Community Shelter (LPCS) is a comprehensive social service agency serving adult men and women experiencing homelessness. Performances are highly personalized and involve interaction with anywhere from 5 to 30 residents. Students from the freshman ACP seminar performed three visits for residents in Fall 2017 and performed a Halloween performance in Fall 2018.

Mulvey House – Chicago Housing Authority, East Lakeview

Mulvey House is a residential building home to approximately 30 senior citizens in need of affordable housing. To perform at Mulvey, students are required to plan their speaking points, schedule with coordinators, and present themselves as professionals in their community. To date, CCPA students gave a total of eight recitals for residents featuring musicians from woodwinds, voice, brass, classical guitar, piano, and jazz programs.

Music@Grace - Grace Place Episcopal Church, South Loop

In 2017-2018, CCPA re-instituted the Music@Grace Series in partnership with Grace Episcopal Church to bring CCPA into the community while giving students meaningful performance experience. The Music@Grace series represents each department of the CCPA Music Conservatory throughout the year in different performances. To date, CCPA students have performed fifteen concerts at Grace Place. Performances take place on Thursday evenings beginning with a pre-concert reception at 5:30 p.m. and the concert at 6:00 p.m. For upcoming performances, please visit the Music Conservatory website.

Sharing Notes – Hospital performances throughout Chicago

Sharing Notes is a CCPA alumni driven 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides more than 90 live music performances each year in four Chicago hospitals. In partnership with Roosevelt University, Sharing Notes engages music students in experiential learning opportunities that allow musicians to see first-hand the impact their music can make and grow in specialized audience engagement, public speaking, and skills such as sight-reading. This season, twenty current CCPA students and recent alumni joined Sharing Notes to perform for patients and their loved ones.

About the Center for Arts Leadership Team

Allegra Montanari, Director

Allegra Montanari enjoys a multi-faceted career as entrepreneur, administrative leader, and professional cellist.

In 2012, Ms. Montanari created Sharing Notes, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, that improves quality of life for hospital patients through engaging, interactive live performances across Chicago. Sharing Notes has been featured on WGN’s “Different Drummers”, ABC 7 Chicago, WYCC PBS Chicago, and in 2013 received the Friends of La Rabida Award for Community Partnership in honor of outstanding service to their patient population. Since its inception, Sharing Notes has served over 25,000 hospital patients with the power of live music.

Recently appointed to the staff of Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts, Allegra combines her background of teaching, entrepreneurship, and performance to serve as Director of the newly launched Center for Arts Leadership. For her experience with community engagement, Allegra has also led presentations for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, and the College Music Society’s National Conference in 2016.

As a professional cellist, Ms. Montanari has performed with ensembles and artists across the country in venues ranging from United Center to Symphony Hall. Recent engagements include concerts with Ilya Kaler, Corky Siegel, Kygo, and the world premiere of Stuart Folse’s ‘Slane’ at Roosevelt University.

Ms. Montanari graduated from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and completed her Masters at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University where she was a student of John Sharp, Principal Cellist of the Chicago Symphony.

Alannah Spencer, Graduate Assistant - MM Voice Performance '19

Alexandria Hill, Events Assistant - MM Violin Performance '19

Tiffany Taylor, Events Assistant - BFA Musical Theatre '19


Office: AUD 931
(312) 341-3787

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram @CCPAArtsLead!