50,000feet is proud to announce the underwriting of two scholarships in partnership with the Chicago Public Schools and the Design Museum of Chicago as well as the financial support of The Cooper Union Saturday Program in New York City. Made in honor of 50,000feet’s staff and clients, both of these financial contributions are designed to support students and their families with financial resources to pursue their passion for the arts.
This year, the global pandemic has highlighted the critical need for access not only to health care and financial literacy but also to social and academic activities that contribute to personal development and the quality of life in our communities. Investing in public art education allows us to promote creativity and appreciation of the arts with more students at critical points in their lives and encourage essential skills in communication, problem-solving, emotional intelligence and self expression.
The All City Elementary and High School Visual Arts Exhibition in Chicago
Each year, the All-City Visual Arts Exhibition offers scholarships for Chicago’s public elementary and high school students. These unrestricted scholarships support students’ ongoing pursuit of creativity, whether it be in purchasing supplies, taking classes or other applications.
In partnership with the Design Museum of Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools Department of Arts Education hosts the annual All-City Elementary and High School Visual Arts Exhibition, providing a unique opportunity to showcase student achievement in visual and media arts and exhibit their work in highly visible, public exhibition spaces in the city. Artwork is submitted by parents, art teachers and students, and juried by a committee of teachers, administrators and Design Museum staff.
“I grew up with a mother who was an educator, an arts lover and a product of Chicago Public Schools. She pushed me and my siblings to explore the arts not because she wanted us to be artists but so that we would all become more complete human beings,” shared Mike Petersen, Principal at 50,000feet. “Our hope is that this grant allows for more students to gain the exposure to the arts that they crave.”
The Saturday Program at The Cooper Union
Since its founding in 1969, the Saturday Program at The Cooper Union helps level the playing field in the college prep pipeline by preparing students to apply to and excel in undergraduate programs, whether in the arts or other disciplines. Cooper Union does this in part by offering free art classes to underserved NYC public high school students while giving Cooper Union undergraduates experience as instructors. The program combines arts outreach, near-peer mentorship and social justice education into an innovative curriculum committed to equitable, diverse, anti-racist, pro-LGBTQIA and de-colonial work and learning spaces. By providing young people with a safe space and resources to exercise their innate creative faculties, The Cooper Union Saturday Program helps students to become fully engaged citizens making a positive impact on their communities and in the world. In keeping with Peter Cooper’s belief that education should be as “free as air and water,” the program ensures that all students can attend for free, providing basic art materials for them at no cost.
“Every student has a universe of potential all their own, and we all lose when that potential is not realized because of economic limitations or lack of access to educational opportunity,” stated Chris Prescher, Principal at 50,000feet. “Sometimes it only takes a little recognition to unleash our ability and instill confidence to grow. We hope that these grants help open a door for deserving students.”