Ground Breaking - shovels and hard hats

Distinctive Schools is proud to launch the official start of construction on the 70,000 square foot campus expansion at Art in Motion, located in Chicago’s Grand Crossing neighborhood. Art In Motion was founded in 2019 in partnership with Emmy, Grammy and Academy Award-winning artist, actor, author and activist, COMMON, New Life Covenant Church Southeast, and Distinctive Schools. 

“This space is symbolic of everything that AIM has been built on – Community, Creativity, Love, and Excellence,” says Director, Kara May. “ We are not just building a school, we are building and strengthening a community of learners, leaders, and changemakers. We are removing barriers to education. We are listening to what students and families need, and working together to create a community hub, to deliver on innovative, personalized, creative educational pathways.”

Art in Motion is located at 7415 S. East End Ave., and provides innovative arts opportunities and experiences in visual arts, music, digital media, dance, creative agency, and literary arts. In addition to traditional classroom space, Art in Motion will be adding performance space, a recording studio, broadcast studio, dance lab, visual arts lab, as well as interior and exterior courtyards. 

Chris Annmarie Spencer, Principal at Wheeler Kearns Architects, shared "It's been a pleasure to collaborate with Distinctive Schools over the past two years to re-envision a former industrial building as a space that reflects Art in Motion's mission and innovative approach to education."

The ground breaking ceremony took place on November 17, 2021, and featured student performances, as well as remarks from founding partners and leaders. Founding Partner, Pastor John F. Hannah, of New Life Covenant Church Southeast shared, “This school is bringing the arts back to our community. Art In Motion is giving young people an opportunity to express themselves, and this expansion, this development in the community is going to bring additional opportunities to our children.”  

The future of Art In Motion integrates community supports and services within the school building to address trauma, mental health, and wellness, including: before and after school programming for students, classes and workshops for parents & guardians, partnerships with local health clinics, and deepened community partnerships. Scott Frauenheim, CEO of Distinctive Schools shared, “Art In Motion’s expansion is another step in the right direction for the future of education and the city of Chicago. By focusing on schools as equity focused community hubs, we will give students, families and partners access to the innovative and arts integrated academic, health care and social services that they need to not just cope, but rather to thrive.”