About Us

The Arts & Education Exchange is a free online service, made possible by Arts Alliance Illinois. It connects educators with arts providers to give students an opportunity for expression and self-discovery through creative outlets such as ballet, theater, or pottery.

What can the Arts & Education Exchange do? Here are a few examples:

  • An African dance company collaborates with a high school history teacher to complement his unit about African cultures
  • A visual art teacher finds a teaching artist to work with to incorporate stop motion animation into her curriculum
  • Readers theater actors bring The Scarlet Letter to life with a dramatic reading for an English class
  • A principal learns about arts education funding sources for her school
  • A musician learns how to evaluate the impact of his program that teaches students about Abraham Lincoln through song

More About the Arts & Education Exchange

The Exchange is an easy-to-use, online directory for arts providers to post details, pictures, audio, and video about their programs. These can range from learning about Abraham Lincoln through song to finding out about recycling through dance.

Educators can tap into this user-friendly Exchange to search for arts programming that helps them encourage student success.

Educators also can post specific arts requests for their classrooms in the Exchange. For example, a high school history teacher could ask for an African dance company to complement his unit about African cultures. A visual art teacher might seek a way to incorporate stop motion animation into her curriculum.

Arts providers can search the requests for projects and respond to educators to craft ideal programs.

The Exchange is open to educators and arts providers throughout Illinois. Arts providers that are based outside of Illinois but do programming in Illinois also are welcome to join the Exchange.

This Exchange will help ensure that every Illinois student has access to a full range of arts programming, while meeting state standards. This service is the first-of-its-kind in Illinois.

Programs found on the Exchange are meant to enhance a school's existing arts resources. Arts partners and teaching artists should complement – not replace – certified arts teachers in the classroom. Read more about our position on certified arts teachers and arts integration.

Arts Alliance Illinois – in partnership with the Illinois Arts Council, the Illinois State Board of Education, Ingenuity Incorporated, Chicago Public Schools, and a consortium of arts education stakeholders – is launching the Arts & Education Exchange.

Questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or email


The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation 
JP Morgan Chase 
Chicago Composers Forum 


Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago Artists’ Coalition
Chicago Arts Educator Forum
Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education
Chicago Jazz Philharmonic
Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture
Chicago Public Schools
Columbia College Center for Community Arts Partnerships
Illinois Alliance for Arts Education
Illinois Arts Council
Illinois Arts Education Association

Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance

Illinois Association of Museums
Illinois Association of School Administrators
Illinois Education Association
Illinois Federation of Teachers

Illinois Music Educators Association
Illinois Principals Association
Illinois State Board of Education
Illinois Theatre Association
Ingenuity Incorporated
League of Chicago Theatres
Office of Lt. Governor Sheila Simon

An Arts Alliance Illinois initiative, in partnership with the Illinois Arts Council and the Illinois State Board of Education