Chicago Ballet Arts' mission is to provide a structured, affordable ballet program with high professional standards for Chicago's diverse north and northwest communities. 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.
Through our family concerts and open studio policy, we hope to encourage parental and community involvement in the efforts of our students, so that their success can be viewed as part of the permanent fabric of family and community life, and can stand as an open example of the relationship between rigor and achievement.
Chicago Ballet Arts, founded by Clare Carmichael (Founder and Director Emeritus), is a non-profit arts organization which has served Chicago's north and northwest neighborhood children and young adults since 1986. The program began at Montay College, where it flourished for eight years. In 1994, Montay College closed. In order to save the ballet program, a new location was sought in the neighborhoods it was designed to serve.
In 1995, Chicago Ballet Arts leased space at St. Scholastica in west Rogers Park. Garden level areas were fully renovated into two professionally equipped studios, a small dressing room, office space and waiting room. Expansion into additional studio space was completed in the summer of 2002. Patti Eylar and Leslie Saunders served as Co-Directors for 15 years in this location, guiding the school through much growth and securing the school's new home in 2020. They now serve as Directors Emeritus and remaining an integral part of the faculty.
In August of 2020, Chicago Ballet Arts welcomed Maliwan Diemer as its Artistic and Executive Director. The school opened in its new location at 915 Foster Street in Evanston, IL in September. The new facility is filled with natural light and includes three fully equipped studios, an upstairs loft and ample storage space. Chicago Ballet Arts continues to serve serious classical ballet students from the surrounding communities and is proud to have alumni pursuing dance both in college and professionally.