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Nearly $500k Raised at 40th Anniversary Gala for The Chicago Academy for the Arts

Musical Theatre performance at Chicago Academy for the Arts 40th Anniversary Gala on May 14, 2022 at Chicago's Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. |

Notable Chicago Restaurateur and Arts supporter Rick Bayless addressing guests at Chicago Academy for the Arts 40th Anniversary Gala on May 14, 2022 at Chicago's Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. |

Chicago Academy for the Arts |

Funds enable Chicago's premier independent arts high school to provide opportunities, scholarships to promising young artists.

Chicago Academy for the Arts has been home to young artists, inspired teachers and arts advocates for 40 years. We honor their legacy with a continued pledge to empower artists for decades ahead.”
— Jason Patera, Head of School, Chicago Academy for the Arts
CHICAGO, IL, USA, May 31, 2022 / -- For four decades, The Chicago Academy for the Arts (The Academy) has provided world-class education for aspiring young artists in the fields of music, dance, theatre, media arts, musical theatre, and visual arts. As one of Chicago's leading arts and culture high schools, and one of the most diverse schools in Illinois, The Academy created an unmatched and transformative educational model. Students are inspired to expand their potential through rigorous arts training paired with an esteemed academic curriculum.

Notable alumni include Cecily Strong (Saturday Night Live actor, author, comedian - 2002, Theatre), Lara Flynn Boyle (award-winning actress - 1988, Theatre), Justin Trantner (award-winning musician and music producer - 1998, Music and Musical Theatre), Lalah Hathaway (award-winning singer - 1986, Music), Tom Gold (award-winning choreographer - 1986, Dance), and Kevin Mimms (actor and current "Jake from State Farm" - 2008, Theatre)

"It feels like much more than just a school. The things I learn here are more than an education."
​- Asim Baraka, student ​ (2023 expected, Musical Theatre)

The Academy celebrated this milestone with a gala at Chicago's Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel on Saturday May 14, 2022. 300 distinguished guests, including alumni and current and former students were in attendance. Nearly $500,000 was raised, with an astonishing $268,000 during the 90-minute event.

Graduates of The Academy earned nearly $39 million in college scholarships over the past five years and gained admission to the nation’s best universities and conservatories. Most students go on to pursue competitive careers in the arts, as well as the sciences, humanities, business, and more. Alumni exemplify the powerful effect of art and arts education as Broadway stars, Grammy winners, engineers, and entrepreneurs. This special evening highlighted students, alumni, and all those that call The Academy “home.”

The Academy would like to thank the Gala Co-Chairs Mara Georges and Rusty Hernandez-Sanfilippo, as well as the gala's sponsors:

Patricia & Ken Hunt
Michael & Kelly Finnerty
Levoyd Robinson & Marianne Colon
Justin Tranter
Emily Barr & Scott Kane
Mara Georges & Michael Mutz
Rusty Hernandez-Sanfilippo & Jeffrey Sanfilippo
Rick & Deann Bayless
Todd & Sharon Walbert
Sandy & Monica Williams
Carlos & Dr. Marina Claudio
Dr. Serafin DeLeon & Dr. Jennifer Chan
Nora Fleming
Krista Linn & Dominique Leonardi
Law Office of Nishay K. Sanan, Esq.
Richard & Susan Sanders
Steven Schloss & Dr. Judith Wilen

The Academy needs your assistance to support its students in awarding over $1 million in annual scholarships to nearly 50% of its student body. For more information on donor opportunities, please contact Event Director Tanya Pietrkowski at 312.421.0202.

Ryan Arnold
DeSoto & State Communications, Inc.
+1 312-600-7380
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