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Chicago Ballet Arts’ mission is to provide equitable access and opportunity to high-quality ballet training to all with the desire to learn. In the process, we strive to instill in our students a love of dance, a respect for the classical disciplines necessary in a performing art, and an expanded capacity for excellence.


CBA encourages family and community involvement in the efforts of our students so that their success can be viewed as part of the permanent fabric of life and can stand as an example of the relationship between rigor and achievement. 


Chicago Ballet Arts (CBA) is a nonprofit organization and was founded by Clare Carmichael in 1986 and was born from a desire to create a school that infused the rigor of a pre-professional dance program with a nurturing environment that would provide opportunities for all with the desire to learn. A non-profit organization, it has served Chicago's north and northwest neighborhoods for over 35 years. The school began at Montay College, where it quickly became recognized for its commitment to excellence for training and performances. In 1995, CBA moved to West Rogers Park where it continued to flourish. In 2005, Patti Eylar and Leslie Saunders took the helm as Co-Directors, serving for 15 years. Together, they guided the school through continued growth and secured CBA’s home in Evanston in 2020. ​


In August of that year, CBA welcomed Maliwan Diemer as its Artistic and Executive Director and that September, opened in its new location at 915 Foster Street. In addition to its long standing Preparatory and Pre-Professional Divisions, the school now includes an Adult Divisions, which provides expanded offerings for a diverse range of dancers. CBA alumni have gone on to prestigious university dance programs and professional dance companies. The founding principles of diversity and inclusion remain core values and the school is proud to continue its dedication to quality and community.


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Chicago Ballet Arts is grateful to be the recipient of a Cook County Nonprofit Relief Grant. This opportunity is supported by Cook County Arts, an initiative of the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development made possible with American Rescue Plan Act funds.

2024-25 programming is partially supported by a grant from the Evanston Arts Council, a city agency supported by the City of Evanston, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency.

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Chicago Ballet Arts is a proud member the

Evanston Performing Arts Collective.

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