CHICAGO ARTISTS SHARING STORIES OF CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Founded in 2018 by Chicago photographer, Suzette Bross, CPS Lives is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization that pairs Chicago artists, designers, creatives, thinkers, makers, and educators 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 through local Chicago Public Library branches, as well as existing on the CPS Lives website as an accessible digital archive of history for students, families, community members, educators, administrators, policymakers, and the general public.
CPS Lives seeks to expand our knowledge of the space students inhabit through the work of our artists produced in the public schools. The artists seek to enlarge our understanding of the places students inhabit and their worldview through the use of cultural processes. How public spaces are enriched and developed through the presence of visual production increases the level of the students' cultural literacy and becomes palpable to the larger civic community, both politically and culturally. This program creates ties to local communities through the exhibitions in their library branches. By creating this relationship in the public space of a city library we come to understand the complexity and importance of the public school system and the increasing importance of these public sites, their value, their diversity. The public sites of schools and libraries are not fixed and untouchable, but are dynamic and informed by us.