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Chicago Children's Choir Recognized on "Arts Education Day"

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May 15, 2012
Chicago, IL

In support of Chicago Children's Choir's annual Paint the Town Red celebration and in recognition of the Choir’s impact, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have declared May 16, 2012 “Arts Education Day” in Illinois and Chicago.

On Wednesday, May 16 at 11:00 a.m., Chicago Children’s Choir (Choir) holds its annual Paint the Town Red celebration at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion. This performance, free and open to the public, features all 3,000 members of the Choir which includes children, ages eight to 18 in their signature red-clad uniforms, from 51 Chicago Public Schools programs, eight after-school choirs in neighborhoods throughout the city and the world-renowned Concert Choir.

“At every town hall and neighborhood meeting held this spring for the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan, arts education was a major topic,” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “By making a difference in the lives of young people through music, Chicago Children’s Choir contributes to our city’s future cultural enrichment.”

“Arts learning leads to gains in math, science, and reading. It decreases dropout rates and encourages students to stay in school. But, according to the U.S. Department of Education, students who could benefit the most from the arts, those from low-income households, are at schools that offer the least instruction in art, music, theatre and dance,” said Ra Joy, Executive Director of Arts Alliance Illinois. “I applaud Governor Quinn and Mayor Emanuel for recognizing and celebrating the value of arts education and for declaring May 16 ‘Arts Education Day’. Ultimately, every student should experience every art form every day from kindergarten to graduation.”

Josephine Lee, President and Artistic Director of Chicago Children’s Choir, encourages the public to attend this free event. “At Chicago Children’s Choir, we believe it is a human right that every child has the opportunity to experience the arts. By participating in Paint the Town Red, we all can show the world that the arts matter.” Concert attendees can further show their support for arts education by wearing red to the performance.

About Chicago Children's Choir:
Founded in 1956 during the Civil Rights Movement, Chicago Children’s Choir is a multiracial, multicultural choral music education nonprofit organization. The Choir shapes the future by making a difference in the lives of children and youth through musical excellence. The Choir serves 3,000 children, ages eight to 18, through choirs in 51 schools, after-school programs in eight Chicago neighborhoods and the internationally-acclaimed Concert Choir. Under President and Artistic Director Josephine Lee, the Choir has undertaken many highly successful national and international tours, received a Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for the 2008 documentary Songs on the Road to Freedom and has been featured in nationally broadcast television and radio performances, most recently on Oprah, NBC’s Today and the PBS series From the Top: Live from Carnegie Hall. Chicago Children’s Choir raises more than $1.5 million each year to keep programs affordable for all Chicago families regardless of their financial situation. For more information, please visit


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