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.

Applications for the 2019-2020 grant cycle have closed. Applications for the 2020-2021 grant cycle will open in November of 2020 and close in January of 2021.

The 2019 recipients include:

  • Elider DePaula (Artist Diploma, Piano Performance): "Project 88" - a community music series based in Berwyn, IL.
  • Jalbelly Guzman (BFA Musical Theatre Dance) and Viviana Uribe (BFA Acting): "Mi Latinidad" - a cabaret performance highlighting Music and Theatre Conservatory students in a celebration of Latin American culture.
  • Alexandria Hill (MM Violin Performance) and Davis King (MM Viola Performance): "Chroma Podcast" - conversations about diversity in classical music
  • Karen Hunt (MM Voice Performance): "The Valkyrie Ensemble" - a female-driven opera company

CCPA Professional Development Grants

Students of exceptional promise and distinction can receive funding for professional development opportunities that exceed those provided on campus or in the city of Chicago. These opportunities include attending a conference, competition, festival, 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: Looking for more performance opportunities? The Center for Arts Leadership is here to help! To help our students connect meaningfully with community and 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. Our community partnership venues offer enthusiastic arts-loving audiences with whom you can gain practice of public speaking, audience engagement, and performance. Last year, CCPA students were involved in over fifty performances for audiences in our local community, including people receiving treatments in Chicago hospitals, senior citizens in affordable housing, and residents transitioning out of homelessness. The Center for Arts Leadership team will assist you in logistical coordination and preparation of program as needed. Learn more about our current community partners and how to sign up below!

Interested in performing for one of our community partners? Please review the descriptions of each venue to determine which fits your interest, ensemble, and schedule. CCPA students interested in joining a community performance should submit a Community Engagement Interest form and a representative from the CAL will be in touch to assist with scheduling.


Center on Halsted is the Midwest's most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland. Their programs range from recreational activities and classes to rapid HIV testing, group therapy and vocational training. Center on Halsted also hosts affordable housing for community seniors, Town Hall Apartments, through Chicago Housing Authority. Students perform conversational chamber music performances for this enthusiastic and welcoming audience.


Mulvey House is a residential building home to approximately 30 senior citizens in need of affordable housing. To date, CCPA students have given over thirty recitals for Mulvey residents featuring musicians from woodwinds, voice, brass, classical guitar, piano, and jazz programs.


The Chinatown Branch of the Chicago Public Library is a community center in the heart of Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood. This branch offers multilingual materials, English and Chinese language classes, and citizenship services. Chinatown has been a hub of Chinese-American community for decades, and continues to be a pillar of Chicago identity.


Harmony, Hope, & Healing supports women, men, and children as they heal from traumas associated with homelessness, incarceration, addiction, and isolation. The organization provides on-site music classes and workshops in shelters, residential programs, drug treatment centers, community centers and Cook County Jail. The classes and workshops teach appropriate ways to relive stress, express emotions, and develop positive relationships. Harmony, Hope, & Healing creates a safe environment where vulnerable individuals and families heal and rebuild through the restorative power of music. Since becoming a non-profit in 2003, they have served over 10,000 individuals.


The mission of The People’s Music School is to deliver access to the benefits of high-quality, tuition-free music education. Through intensive instruction and performance, students achieve excellence in music that transfers to other areas in life. They grow musically, socially, emotionally and intellectually, and develop a foundation of responsibility, self-esteem, resilience and purpose. TPMS is 100% free, 100% underserved, over 90% of color with a 100% high school graduation and college attendance rate.


Sharing Notes is a CCPA alumni driven 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides more than 80 live music performances each year in four Chicago hospitals and has served over 25,000 people since 2012. 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. Musicians move room to room for both children and adult facilities, taking special song requests at people’s bedsides. Students interested in performing for hospital patients can submit a new volunteer interest form on the Sharing Notes website to get started.


The Music@Grace concert series represents a partnership with CCPA and Grace Place Episcopal Church to bring students beyond the walls of conservatory while sharing high quality performances with our local South Loop community. Renewed by faculty at CCPA and head pastor Reverend Amity Carrubba, the series features the music conservatory throughout the 2019-20 school year. The series takes place during rush hour on Thursday evenings. Performances begin promptly at 5:30PM and are followed by a light reception in the sanctuary during which performers and audience greet one another. Additionally, Grace Episcopal church has a notable connection to civic engagement and activism in Chicago. Grace Episcopal church cultivates a special relationship with the homeless community around the South Loop, with congregants organizing meals and care packages for community members in need.

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