Dion Steele, Principal at Art In Motion

Distinctive Schools is proud to announce new leadership at their Art in Motion campus in Chicago’s South Shore Neighborhood. Art in Motion is thrilled to welcome Dion Steele as Principal of Art In Motion. Steele joins the Art In Motion (AIM) community as they continue to develop their community hub model and approach the completion of a major campus facility expansion project. 

Steele has been a youth and community advocate, administrator, entrepreneur, and educator for over twenty-five years. He comes to Art in Motion with over 10 years of experience in school leadership; having served as Director of External Partnerships and the Extended Day Program at University of Chicago Charters, and as Assistant Principal and Principal at Urban Prep Academies, and most recently Assistant Principal and Co-Interim Principal at EPIC Academy. He has taught History, Hebrew Scriptures, Urban Music and Music Production at Hales Franciscan, Urban Prep Academies, and University of Chicago Charters to name a few. In recent years, he has served as a college professor, teaching an Introductory course in Ethics for students pursuing careers in Law. 

“I feel very fortunate to be here – and I am honored to lead this community into the future. The start of the school year is a time for new beginnings, and renewed energy, and I look forward to sharing new strategies, supports, and opportunities with our AIM community,” Steele shared. 

In addition to his work as an educator, Steele is a DJ, Music Producer, Graphic Designer, Videographer and a Painter. Steele earned his Bachelors at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and his Masters at the University of Chicago. 

In partnership with Founding Principal of Art In Motion, Kara May, who is now serving as Director of Partnerships & Creative Development, AIM is embarking on a new model, bridging the gap between the school and the community to develop the school as community hub. AIM will partner with families and community organizations to provide well-rounded educational opportunities, programs, and support in service of academic success. The goal is to build a foundation of learning, expand enrichment opportunities and actively engage families and the South Shore community. May shared, “I am excited to provide a deeper layer of support for the strong partnerships with our founding partners Common and The Lynn Group, and New Life Southeast Covenant Church, and am working to bring amazing new partnerships and opportunities to our students and community. I will continue to be part of AIM and look forward to all the amazing things in store for our community.”

In addition to the programmatic developments, Art In Motion is growing in footprint. The Art in Motion campus expansion project is well underway, and will expand the school’s current space at 7415 S East End Avenue, Chicago , IL 60649 to include an additional 70,000 square feet of classroom, studio, and outdoor spaces. Special features include performance space, a recording studio, broadcast studio, dance lab, visual arts labs, as well as interior and exterior courtyards. 

“We could not be more excited about the promising future of the Art In Motion Community,” shared Scott Frauenheim, CEO of Distinctive Schools, “In welcoming Mr. Steele, expanding our campus, and serving the largest cohort of students AIM has ever seen, we are thrilled to be rooted in the South Shore community, and know that we are uniquely positioned to provide unparalleled opportunities for young artists and educators alike.”  

Art in Motion first opened in September 2019 at 7415 S. East End Avenue, and provides innovative arts opportunities and experiences in visual arts, music, digital media, dance, creative agency, and literary arts. The result of a community-grown and led campaign to bring an arts-centered high school to the area, Art In Motion welcomes students who live in the city of Chicago. Limited seats remain for the 2022-23 school year for students in grades 7–11. Art In Motion accelerates student achievement with an innovative personalized learning model, and reimagines the educational experience to address inequities for students. It will grow one grade level each year to serve seventh through twelfth grade next year. 

For more information, including application and enrollment information, and our facility expansion work please visit https://www.aimchicago.org/