SOUTH SHORE — Charter school Art in Motion will operate out of two locations for the upcoming school year, as renovations are underway to establish a full arts campus for middle and high schoolers by 2023.
Art in Motion‘s expansion project will bring a broadcast studio, recording studio and theater alongside additional classroom space to the school’s South Shore campus, 7415 S. East End Ave. Construction is set for completion in fall 2022.
During construction, the school’s seventh- and eighth-graders will continue to attend the main campus that opened in fall 2019.
High school freshmen and sophomores will attend a satellite campus at 7522 S. Greenwood Ave. in Grand Crossing for the entire upcoming school year. The building is owned by New Life Covenant Church Southeast, which is one of the school’s partners along with rapper and actor Common.
With the Grand Crossing campus, “the high school kids will get their own space” separate from the middle schoolers — much like they’ll have once renovations are complete, said Kara May, Art in Motion director.
The dual locations will only operate for the next school year, May said. All grades will return to the renovated South Shore campus for 2022-’23.
Art in Motion will expand to enroll sophomores this year, the latest in a plan to add one grade each year until 2023-2024, when the school will open to seventh- to 12th-graders.
The school occupies about 35,000 of the South Shore property’s 110,000-square feet, May said. After the renovations, the school will occupy about 90,000-square feet. The rest of the space will be used by the adjacent Closer Look Imaging MRI clinic.
Through the pandemic, Art in Motion students “had to be much more independent as learners because they weren’t sitting in front of a teacher,” May said.
As students return to school, educators will continue to embrace “the fact that there are so many different modes” by which students can complete assignments — such as submitting a video as opposed to giving an in-class presentation, she said.
“We’re thankful we were able to continue to offer academic and arts opportunities for students over the course of the pandemic, and we’re thankful to our families for hanging in there with us,” she said.
A Wiz in Motion event June 12 showcased the visual art, podcasts, dance videos and other works students created during virtual learning.
The event served as a “capstone” for students’ core art classes, with an in-person festival on school grounds and a virtual screening of their take on the musical “The Wiz,” May said.
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