History and Overview

Zephyr’s Education Philosophy
Creativity is freedom and power. Belief in one’s ability to think creatively and find solutions to problems is an empowering and life-altering characteristic. People of all ages need opportunities to discover and nurture this characteristic. Through its exceptional arts education programming Zephyr consistently reinforces these values. Zephyr engages students physically in the art of dance, and through the process of developing movement, students engage physically in the experience of learning.

Zephyr’s Experience
Zephyr has been teaching dance in Chicago, nationally and internationally since 1994. Zephyr artists have developed numerous classes, workshops and residencies for early childhood, pre-school, grade school and high school age students, college and university students, as well as underserved populations including, at-risk youth and senior citizens.

Teaching Highlights & History:

  • Zephyr received national recognition for Zephyr Project M2: Math in Motion through a MetLife Partners in Arts Education Program grant funded by the MetLife Foundation and administered by the National Guild for Community Arts Education. One of 12 organizations nationally to receive such funding, Zephyr Project M2 epitomizes the Foundation’s goal to “improve teaching and learning in the arts and promote exemplary partnerships between community arts education providers and public schools.”
  • Zephyr received funding in 2009 from the Illinois Arts Council to create and teach a series of assessment training workshops for teaching artists, arts educators and administrators across the state.
  • Zephyr was selected by, and received funding from, the Illinois Arts Council in 2008 to create and teach a 2-day workshop based on its model of arts integrated education at the Arts Council’s annual statewide artist training.
  • From 2004-2011 Zephyr taught Zephyr Project M2: Math in Motion at Oscar Mayer Elementary School, using dance to teach and enhance students’ understanding of mathematics in grades 3-8.
  • From 2004-2009 Zephyr implemented and taught TAIL (Teaching Arts Integration Laboratory) an after-school arts program at Audubon Elementary School for grades K-8.  TAIL uses movement, theatre and visual arts skills to help students learn Spanish.
  • Since 1997 Zephyr has been the Arts Partner in Residence at Holstein Park, creating and teaching multi-disciplinary dance classes for all ages to the West Bucktown community.
  • Zephyr was in partnership with Blaine Elementary School from 2000-2006 teaching arts integrated curricular lessons in music and dance for Blaine’s pre-school program.
  • From 2000-2007 Zephyr was a partner organization with Arts at the Center of Teaching and Learning at the Chicago Teacher’s Center of Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.
  • From 1994-2007 Zephyr taught residencies in the Chicago Public School system through the Lakeview Education and Arts Partnership, one of nine Chicago Arts Partnership in Education projects.