CCPA Performing Social Justice Residency

Each year, the Chicago College of Performing Arts hosts a guest artist or ensemble that exemplifies the performance of social justice. The artist engages with students, faculty, and staff, through multiple mediums including discussion, lecture, community engagement, and performance. The 2020 artist in residence will be CCPA alumnus Adrian Dunn and will feature his production "Revelations," a collection of gospel and spiritual songs arranged in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Past guests of the CCPA Performing Social Justice Residency have included Boston University Professor, Andre de Quadros, Percussionist, Allen Otte, and Assistant Principal Violist of the Colorado Symphony, Catherine Beeson.

Community Engagement

To help bring students off campus and into the community, 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 opportunities to engage with community in meaningful ways. Last year, CCPA students were involved in over 50 performances. 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. In order to perform at these venues, students must improve their public speaking skills by developing talking points, practice audience engagement, and act as professionals in the community.

Our Community Partners

Center on Halsted – Town Hall Senior Living, Boystown

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. 

Peter Mulvey place Apartments – Chicago Housing Authority, East Lakeview 

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. 

Chicago Public library - Chinatown Branch, Chinatown

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

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 People's music school 

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 – Hospital performances throughout Chicago

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.. In the 2018-2019 school year,  current CCPA students and recent alumni joined Sharing Notes approximately fifty times to perform for patients and their loved ones.

Music@Grace - Grace Place Episcopal Church, South Loop

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.

Student Grant Opportunities

Performing Social Justice Seed Grant

Funded through the Center for Arts Leadership, the Performing Social Justice Seed Grant allows students to apply for funding to turn their arts-related social justice ideas into reality. The grant is supported by faculty of both the Theatre and Music Conservatories via the Performing Social Justice Seed Grant Committee. Students apply for grants and mentorship to fulfill Roosevelt University’s commitment to social justice through their own artistic endeavors. Proposals are open to current CCPA students and alumni in their first full semester following commencement. Accepted past projects have a wide range of topics and efforts, including feminist commentary on gender roles in opera, after school programs by teaching artists for underserved communities, and the use of improvisational composition as a platform to explore the refugee crisis.

In 2018, the committee reviewed 8 proposals and awarded 3 seed grants totaling $10,000 from the Center. Applications for the 2019-2020 grant cycle will open in November of 2019 and close January of 2020.

The 2019 Performing Social Justice Seed Grant 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