Community School of the Arts Approved for Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

May 18, 2016

Community School of the Arts at Wheaton College (CSA) was recently approved for a $10,000 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works grant.

The grant will benefit CSA’s Community Outreach for Developing Artists program (CODA), which provides free music and visual arts instruction to students in DuPage County.

CODA partners with Marquardt School District 15 in Glendale Heights, Queen Bee Schools District 16 in Glendale Heights, and West Chicago Elementary School District 33 to provide early childhood music classes and Suzuki violin and recorder classes to students who would otherwise lack such access to the arts.  CODA’s programs focus on holistic student development by building language proficiency, character, and cultural awareness through the arts.

CODA also provides classes for immigrant and refugee children through World Relief DuPage and conducts visual arts classes for senior citizens with the Addison and West Chicago Park Districts.

“CSA is extremely grateful for the NEA Art Works grant. These funds will help ensure the continuity of our current outreach to over 1,700 students per week and may allow for expansion to other schools and districts in DuPage County,” says Paula Cisar, Interim Director of CSA. “Research shows that students with an arts-rich experience are more likely to achieve positive outcomes, academically, socially and civically. Partnering with NEA and our other generous grantors allows CODA to continue providing artistic access to children who, without CODA, would not have this arts experience.”

NEA Art Works grants recently approved more than $82 million in funding to local arts projects and partnerships across the nation with an emphasis on lifelong learning and community engagement.

Community School of the Arts at Wheaton College provides music lessons and art classes to students from 50 Chicago suburbs. For more information, visit