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The Chicago Artivism program at the Chicago History Museum collaborates with high school educators, their students, and local community artists to promote civic engagement through a critical analysis of Artivism (Art + Activism) and Chicago’s historical narrative. High school educators receive culturally responsive curriculum, which integrates local examples of Artivism to promote a deep understanding of the different ways art has impacted change in the city of Chicago. Throughout the school year, students learn local Chicago histories that have often been ignored and have their artistic skills developed through workshops with local Chicago artists. Teaching artists work directly with students to connect concepts and topics learned through the curriculum to art that students create. At the end of the school year, students are encouraged to share their work, contributing to change in Chicago with the histories of art as activism in mind.

Drawing of city buildings in foreground with migrant workers laboring in a field behind it
Student Artwork

Program Components


Educators must participate in two educator workshops, eligible for Illinois State Board of Education CPDU credits, which will introduce them to program content and enhance their lessons plans.


Educators are given access to culturally relevant nonfiction, bilingual (English/Spanish) articles with accompanying lesson plans that center the history of Artivism in Chicago.


Museum staff and local Chicago teaching artists will visit schools to host art-based and history-based workshops with students throughout the school year. Youth will gain access to various local Chicago artistS and their artmaking process. Museum staff will partner with educators to directly support them in the classroom.


Upon completion of the program, students and their families are invited for a special visit to the Museum where student work will be showcased.

Participation Expectations

In participating in the Chicago History Museum’s (CHM) Chicago Artivism program, you agree to the following:

  • Participate in all professional development opportunities provided
  • Integrate the curricular resources and activities into your instruction
  • Assist Museum educators in coordinating parent workshops, Museum and classroom visits
  • Bring students on a field trip to the Museum in coordination with curricular resources
  • Assist Museum educators in the execution of Chicago Learners Family and Community Day
  • Assist Museum educators in evaluating the program

Upon your participation, you will receive the following from CHM:

  • A curricular toolkit that includes bilingual (English/Spanish), nonfiction texts and literacy activities
  • ISBE continuing education credits
  • Bus transportation for students to visit the Museum (limit 1 bus per teacher)
  • Bus transportation for students’ families to visit the Museum during Chicago Learners Family and Community Day (There will be a limited number of buses per school, assigned to each school on a first come, first served basis.)
  • In-school classroom support leading up to culmination of program
  • A stipend at the conclusion of the program

Chicago Artivism Application

Thank you for your interest in Chicago Artivism. We will be accepting applications for the 2022-2023 school year between June 22 and August 31, 2022.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the program, please contact Ivan Guzman, Chicago Learning Collaborative Teen Programs coordinator, at [email protected] or 312.799.2151.

This program is made possible by the Polk Bros. Foundation.

Interested in participating in the Chicago Artivism program? Contact our program coordinator.

Want to support the Chicago Artivism program? This program would not be possible without the generous support of our community. Please consider donating today.

Want to get involved? See our volunteer and internship opportunities

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Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories