Center for Arts Policy, Columbia College Chicago
The Center for Arts Policy (CAP) at Columbia College Chicago evolved from a series of forums (“Democratic Vistas”) that began in 1994, emerging from a concern about the ways the arts had become a political football in the country’s “culture wars.” An early and ongoing concern of the center was to consider how the arts contribute to the practice of democracy. Some of CAP’s most significant projects included a study of “The Informal Arts in Chicago Neighborhoods,” published in 2002, and “Learning and the Arts,” an effort to develop a case statement for the arts as an essential part of the education of all children, which was developed in the 2005 book Putting the Arts in the Picture: Reframing Education in the 21st Century. In 2006, CAP took over publication of the Teaching Artist Journal, the professional publication for teaching artists. This reflected the center’s findings that the best and most innovative arts-education projects were the products of work by teaching artists, leading CAP’s next large project, a national study of teaching artists. Columbia College Chicago closed its Center for Arts Policy (CAP) on August 31, the end of the 2008 fiscal year. The decision reflects a need to focus resources at a time of growing financial challenges to higher education.