CPS Lives is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization that pairs Chicago artists, designers, thinkers and makers with a Chicago Public School during the academic year to collaborate on a project, sharing the unique and individual story of each Chicago Public School.  Each story will be celebrated and exhibited throughout the city in local Chicago Public Library branches and other exhibition spaces, as well as existing on the CPS Lives social media and website as an accessible digital archive of public school history for students, families, community members, educators, administrators, policymakers & the general public.

The Chicago Public School system is the nations third largest school district, serving over 322,000 students in more than 630 schools. The sheer scale and complexity of the Chicago Public School system renders it opaque to the general public, where stories of its successes and resilience remain untold. This project shows the power of public education in Chicago. Our artists produce artwork that provide a unique window into the Chicago Public School system, generating support and reinforcing belief in the Chicago Public School mission “to provide a high quality public education for every child in every neighborhood”.


  • Suzette Bross (she/her)

    Founder & Executive Director


  • Sophia Padgett Perez, Artistic Director,

    Sophia Guadalupe Padgett Pérez (she/her/they/them)

    Artistic Director


  • vero rose smith, cps lives, nonprofit, suzette bross, chicago public schools, artist residency, chicago art

    Vero Rose Smith

    Director of Development


  • Lissette Bustamante (she/her)

    Marketing + Communications Manager


  • Grace Tenneh Kromah

    Associate Director


  • Juan Neira, Chicago, CPS Lives, Non-Profit Organization, Chicago Public Schools, Artist Residency

    Juan Neira (he/him)

    Development Consultant

Board of Directors

  • Molly Kelly


  • Michael T. Noonan


  • Cheri Hubbard


  • Rhonda Brown, Artists,

    Rhonda Brown

  • Jenn dixon, cps lives, chicago public schools, world chicago

    Jenn Dixon

  • Kelly Costello, Artists,

    Kelly Costello

  • Yumi Ross

  • Marielle Lifshitz

  • Cyraina Johnson-Roullier, Modern Literature and Literature,

    Cyraina Johnson-Roullier

  • Smita Shah

  • Michel Frendian

Advisory Board

Susan Aaron

Teri Boyd

Nora Daley

Tricia Van Eck

Terry Evans

Vikki Hood

Karen Krehbiel

Carrie Lannon

Caroline Older

Lori Smedley

Leslie Thomas

Gary Schechner

Matt Siber

Jan Tichy

Jay Wolke

Brooke Hummer

Jeff Phillips


Each donation supports our organization, our artists, and the schools we work with! All donations are greatly appreciated, no matter the amount, your contribution helps CPS Lives make a difference!