Columbia College Chicago

About CCAP

About CCAP


The Center for Community Arts Partnerships (CCAP) was founded in 1998 at Columbia College Chicago. CCAP is committed to transforming lives through the arts. To fulfill this mission, CCAP develops programs that expand learning, connect Columbia College Chicago to schools and communities, and build a new generation of engaged artists.


CCAP exemplifies Columbia College Chicago’s commitment to community engagement by building deep, reciprocal partnerships with schools and community-based organizations across the Chicago metropolitan area. These partnerships engage Columbia College Chicago students and faculty in real-world experiential learning and applied research, while also extending the learning environment for K-12 students and community members. Our practice recognizes the unique needs and expertise of each partner, an approach based on mutual trust, respect, inclusiveness and voice.


CCAP works to impact three focus areas and audiences:

Each year, CCAP works with over 750 Columbia College Chicago students, 50 Columbia College Chicago faculty members, 5,000 children and youth, 600 parents of public school students, 200 classroom teachers, 30 staff members of community-based organizations, and 150 teaching artists in partnerships with over 40 public schools and 35 community-based organizations.

Read our latest impact report which spotlights CCAP’s work in 2013–2014. We hope that the numbers (pulled from program evaluations) and stories (of a diverse range of participants) paint a compelling picture of the breadth and depth of CCAP’s impact as an animating force through our partnerships with the city, schools, and community-based organizations.

Annual CCAP Summary Data   CCAP Impact Report - Part 1   CCAP Impact Report - Part 2


CCAP’s vision is to use the arts and creativity to make teaching and learning in K-20 grades deeper and more meaningful, so students of all ages can thrive in the 21st century. Our programs test and build best practices in the following fields:

Arts Integration: An approach that combines learning in the arts with other academic content to enhance skills and understanding within each area, as well as to spark new ideas and critical thinking by making connections and relationships between the areas.

College and Career Readiness: A commitment to helping young people gain access to and succeed in post-secondary education and careers by building their academic content knowledge, learning strategies, confidence, mentorship networks, and knowledge of college and career pathways.

Community Schools: A philosophy that places schools at the center of the community with programming and partnerships that provide resources for students and their families to address the needs of the whole child and remove barriers to learning.

Connected Learning: An approach to learning in the information age that seeks to enhance the participatory agency of learners by focusing on learners’ interests, active production, peer culture, shared purpose, and linkages across school, home and community.

Experiential Learning in Higher Education: An educational practice that enhances both academic learning and career skills by incorporating direct hands-on experience into curriculum, as well as other aspects of college life such as internships, volunteering, service, research, paid work, and other opportunities.

Teaching Artistry: A field in which professional artists approach their teaching practice as a critical component of their artistic practice, with equal amounts of commitment, expertise, and reflection.