Art Education

Teaching Artist Ben Seamons holds a mosaic workshop for Brennemann teachers as they contribute to our latest piece.


The 21st Century Community Learning Center, implemented in Brennemann Elementary School for the next 5 years, is funded by the Illinois State Board of Education. This program will help students improve their test scores and grades while exposing them to culturally enriching art programming designed to enhance their learning, social and behavioral skills, as well as continue Beacon Street’s mission- to build community through diversity. Through arts education and tutoring sessions, we hope to create an enriching atmosphere that incorporates the wonderful diversity of Uptown and the penetrating learning experience that only the arts can provide. Beacon Street is very excited to partake in this educational program and will strive to promote the success of our neighborhood youth.

2nd and 3rd grade students work on the latest mosaic piece.


The Arts Impacting Achievement (AIA) program is a research grant funded through the United State Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement. This program will build upon the research base that has been created over the past decade demonstrating that using the arts as a catalyst in the classroom significantly affects student achievement across the curriculum while providing arts education. Prior schools to receive arts education have been profoundly affected through the emphasis on arts and how inner city students respond to an opportunity to explore self-expression within the learning process.

The AIA partnership was one of 34 grants funded for the 3 year period from 2003-2006. AIA is an Illinois partnership led by Beacon Street Gallery and the Chicago Teachers' Center at Northeastern Illinois University, in conjunction with Elgin Schools and three Chicago Public Schools: Chase Elementary, Chopin Elementary, and Von Humboldt Elementary. The program also collaborates with Steppenwolfe Theatre, Zephyr Dance Ensemble, Hamilton Wings, the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education, Arts for Learning Chicago and the LEAP network.

2nd and 3rd grade students work on the latest mosaic piece.


Sponsored by Chicago For Youth, The Master Artist Program teaches literacy, visualization and acting skills to youth at risk on the North Side.


(Lakeview Education and Arts Partnership)
Beacon Street is a founding partner in LEAP a program that is increasing student achievement through integrating the arts across curriculum in Chicago public schools.  In partnership with Chicago Teachers Center, Sulzer Library, Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, Lakeview High, Blaine, Audubon, and Ravenswood Elementary Schools, artists from a number of disciplines work with teachers to integrate the arts into the curriculum in developing projects from socials studies to mathematics.  LEAP was chosen by Harvard's Project Zero/ ARTS SURVIVE as one of eight promising partnerships and has been featured on Channel 11's Artbeat.  LEAP is funded by Annenberg Challenge and Chicago Arts Partnership in Education. LEAP has also been duplicated in England.

Beacon Street Literary Press

Beacon Street Gallery has recently been awarded a grant by the Illinois Arts Council to establish the Beacon Street Literary Press.  The press aims to publish poetry, short stories, novels, memoirs, essays, as well as visual and photographic essays.  Articles by Beacon Street Artists on education are also hoped to be published.  The first project to be published is a book entitled Wisdom in All, Ancient and Emerging containing poetry, stories, and thoughts of youth from ages 7 to 17, and from diverse social and cultural backgrounds.  Call the Gallery for details (773)525- 7579.


Asian fish panel from "The Medicine Wheel Murals." Installed in the Brennemann arts wing.


Hosted in Belfast by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith (sister to J.F.K.) In June 1999, Beacon Street Gallery was invited to participate in the 'Partners in Peace' annual international youth forum on conflict and its resolution. Four youth from our arts and writing programs attended the conference, hosted in Belfast, Northern Ireland, along with youth from South Africa and Ireland.; Participating members Joe Nelson, Tuan Dang, Francisco Juarez& and Meghan Murphy worked on poetry dealing with issues of conflict, and produced a large scale painting which they brought to the conference.  Issues explored in this painting included freedom from repression and injustice, and the mutual building of a society free from racism and war.  The participants were accompanied by Pat Murphy from Beacon Street, and Jackie Murphy from LEAP.


Beacon Street Gallery collaborated with the Chicago Park District, Gallery 37, and 75 youth & community members from the Uptown area, to work on a 118 foot Venetian glass mosaic which is now permanently displayed at Claredon Park Field House.  The mosaic was created by Patricia M. Murphy, the founder and Director of Beacon Street Gallery and assistant Julia Sowles, an artist who began her mosaic career with the Chicago Public Art Group and studied for two years at Spilimbergo Mosaic School in Italy. Youth from Beacon Street Gallery's Summer Jobs Program began work on the mosaic during the summer of 1999.  During the Fall & Spring semester of the school year, work moved to Lakeview High School where students continued to work on its completion after school.  The project took two years to reach its completion.

Beacon Street After School classroom at Joseph Brennemann Elementary School.


Lead artist Ginny Sykes is currently working with associate artist Corrinne Peterson, on a three year mosaic project for Stockton Elementary School.

Kindergarten students paint animal tapestries representing symbols of good forture from around the world.


Sponsored by the Department for Human Services, Chicago for Youth Office, YouthNets were developed to create a 'network of youth development throughout Chicago's neighborhoods, community based and supported by all levels of governement, where young people can find opportunities and support'.  Beacon Street Gallery, now entering its third year as a YouthNet, provides educational, artistic, and recreational activities for youth in the Uptown area.  YouthNet has been a natural extension of the arts education programs which have been running at Beacon Street for 17 years.  Our focus on the arts aims to enhance personal and cultural awareness, intellectual and artistic growth and self-esteem.  For details on our current YouthNet programs, please call (773) 525-7579.

Folk and Ethnic Performing Artist Directory
Educational Programs featured on our new Children's Blog!