Rose and the Rime at the Chopin Theater in Chicago

A good friend recently invited my kids and I to the Chopin Theater to see Rose and the Rime. Although I did want to go and always enjoy small theater productions (the good and the bad!), this was late on a school night and I kept putting off looking into the production and giving her a firm answer that we would go to see it. Finally we said yes and I’m so glad we went! First of all, there is not a bad seat in the Chopin Theater- because we were early we had front row seats. My kids, 6 and 8 years old, were fascinated by the entire production. It was very magical-the actors even interacted with my kids throughout the play.

Reviews that I had previously read compared the story line and production to Disney’s Frozen. That did go a long way with my kids in getting them excited about going, but the 2 stories are very different. After the performance they could not stop talking about it. They kept comparing and contrasting Rose and the Rime to Frozen, meticulously picking out all of the similarities and differences while retelling the stories. Both agreed that it was the best play they’d ever seen and were asking if we can arrange for their classes to take a field trip so their friends could see the show too. I asked my daughter if it was even better than Wicked. She said, “Well… yes, but they’re both my favorite!”

Rose and the Rime program



Rose and the Rime at the Chopin Theater

Arts Integration at it’s Best!!

Arts Integration at it's Best!

Social Studies/Visual Arts at Pirie Elementary

After 4th grade teacher, Ms. Bennett, collaborated with teaching artist, Ellen Tristchler, she jumped into her own arts integrated unit with social studies and visual art!

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Behind the Scenes @ the Lyric Opera with Perez Elementary

CAPE’s 4-6th graders in the Portfolio Design Project ( had the opportunity to go on a private, guided tour of the Lyric Opera. I was with a small group of 4th graders that seemed to be just as fascinated as I was. We went back stage, under the stage, rehearsal rooms, the costume design studio and wardrobe, prop studio, wig studio, we even walked the cat walk!


Block Printing with 2 Lovely Ladies!

Friends, whiskey, sharp carving tools… sounds like fun on a Saturday night to me! It all started with a friend and colleague giving free guitar lessons to 2 fellow colleagues/friends during lunch. One of the perks to working with creative people! Though we all had some very, VERY, basic knowledge of the guitar, he had his work cut out for him. About 2 months and 10 cords later I could almost keep a beat! My 6 and 8 year old think I’m a pro and we should start a band!!

So as a way to say thank you for putting up with us for 2 months with no pay, the 3 of us created a lino-cut block print of his adorable baby boy, Oscar.  Surprisingly no one was injured and we were done just in time for the holidays!


CAPE Event @ Chicago Artists’ Coalition

Chopin Elementary Music Educator, Arturs Weible and CAPE Teaching Artist, Lisa Golda, are pictured below presenting their brilliant arts integration work at CAPE’s annual event Convergence; Light Up Creativity.  To see their work go to and click Chopin!


Researching for a New Project!

It seems like 9 out of 10 artists have a children’s book  on the back burner. Well, this is mine. Not to mention having to young kids and constantly finding and collecting stories and intriguing illustrations that remind of my own ideas. When a colleague of mine (who has a background in music and editing, expressed that she too has always wanted to publish a children’s book, we got right to work. Having a partner to collaborate with has brought structure to this process. It’s alway helpful to partner with someone who has a whole different skill set and perspective, you both bring something unique to the project. The book is still in its early phases…more to come!


Young Audiences Presentation – Baltimore Chapter

What a great way to spend the government shut down! The US Department of Education’s Annual Project Directors Conference was canceled yet again (Hurricane Sandy did it last year). That didn’t stop us from taking a short road trip from D.C. to Baltimore to present CAPE’s work to Young Audiences. They are in the early phases of figuring out how to conduct research on their programs, so YA was interested in hearing more about CAPE’s research practices; how we began researching programs over 10 years ago and how far we’ve come. CAPE has received funding for a number of US DOE AEMDD grants that have allowed us to dig deep into arts integration practices. I manage the Portfolio Design Project (, a 4 year, research based program that students, teachers, and principals through developing portfolio systems for students and teachers while integrating music and language arts or visual arts and language arts. In some cases, arts integration has caught on so much so that integration is happening (for 1 project) between language arts, visual art, music, gym, technology, social studies, and library. Here’s the link for this project

We also visited the Visionary Museum for Outsider Art in Baltimore ( Lots of fascinating art and the best gift shop I’ve ever seen in a museum which turns out to be Chicago based Uncle Fun’s 2nd store ( If you’re a fan of Uncle Fun on Belmont, this place is just as good if not better!


When Work and Home Come Together

My work trip to D.C. was transformed into a family road trip. I’m always looking for opportunities to travel with my kids, something I didn’t experience much in my youth or in adult life for that matter. I’m a firm believer in road trips long and short, alone or with family or friends. During my past 3 years as a program manager at CAPE, I have traveled with in the US more than I ever have.

We walked the National Mall, saw all of the major monuments, visited many of the Smithsonian Museums, took a day trip to Alexandria, and some days just hung out in Dupont Circle (near our hotel).

Washington DC

Vandercook Letterpress @ Columbia with My Bogan HS Students!

Antwonn Minor learning how to operate a Vandercook Press at Columbia College’s Center for Book and Paper Arts during their annual Printer’s Ball.