Chicago Arts Non-Profit Partners With Corporate Leaders to Launch 'Arts-Wired' Schools

Jun 02, 2010, 11:00 ET from Urban Gateways

Jenner & Block and Fifth Third Bank Adopt Schools to Prepare Students for the 21st Century

CHICAGO, June 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Urban Gateways: Center for Arts Education is pleased to announce the official launch of the Urban Gateways Arts-Wired Program (, which infuses the arts into struggling schools to transform them into high-quality hubs of learning with the support of corporate partners.  

Through Arts-Wired, a corporate partner adopts a Chicago-area school for a period of four years, during which Urban Gateways -- Chicago's oldest and largest arts education organization -- delivers in-depth, customized arts programming, in order to increase the academic achievement levels for all students. That arts programming includes:

The first two corporate leaders to fund or "adopt" an Arts-Wired School are Jenner & Block and Fifth Third Bank, which have adopted Fairfield Academy (6201 South Fairfield, Chicago) and Roosevelt Middle School (2500 Oak Street, Bellwood), respectively.  

Local businesses were a natural partner for this project, since they have a vested interest in preparing the next generation for the workforce. "Fifth Third Bank's commitment to building strong communities begins with a quality education for children to give them the best possible start in life.  We are proud to play a role in making this innovative program a success," said Chip Reeves, Fifth Third Bank Chicago Market President. 

The Arts-Wired Program also provided a way for businesses to encourage their employees to further support their community.  Jenner & Block challenged its personnel to raise half of the $30K goal it needed in order to bring the Arts-Wired program to Fairfield Academy.  The response to this challenge from across the firm was overwhelming, with more than $22K raised.

"The arts are an important part of a robust education that every child deserves," said Jenner & Block Chairman Anton R. Valukas, who has spearheaded the Jenner & Block's firm-wide support of Fairfield for several years.  "The Arts-Wired curriculum will help Fairfield students to grow academically in all subjects, bolster their confidence and broaden their horizons."

SOURCE Urban Gateways