Case StudiesChicago Arts Partnerships in Education

Increasing student attendance by improving their marketing and logistics.

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The Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE) aims to provide visual, digital, and performing arts into classrooms across Chicago. They do this through partnering professional teaching artists and CPS teachers; integrating digital, art, music, theater, and dance into the classroom curriculum; and partnering with external researchers to determine the impact of their programs.

The Challenge

Resolve pain points and identify opportunities to increase after school program attendance by exploring program operations and designing branded artifacts to support their marketing efforts.


Discovery workshops to define scope then collaborative sessions to resolve pain points at a service level. Also, define their new brand identity for the after school program.

Project Month/Year

June 2021 to April 2022

Problem Statement

Relative to their lower-grade school programming, attendance for the high school-based programs tends to be lower. CAPE wanted to identify ways in which they can improve enrollment for their after school art programs.

Our Approach

With the challenge in mind, the team facilitated a series of discovery workshops to identify pain points and opportunities. This work defined the scope which was part service delivery and brand design.


Discovery Workshops

The Code for Chicago team facilitated a series of ongoing workshops to gather insight into the problem. In these moderated sessions, the team learned at a high-level how the after school program operated during the whole school year. The partner expressed that it was helpful to talk through their process, and the visuals helped make these abstract thoughts more concrete. Ultimately, this defined the scope of work that the team would work on: improving their workflow at a service level, and creating branded artifacts to facilitate their marketing.

Service Design

Through a series of collaborative sessions, the team met with the partner to work on this service blueprint. The purpose of this artifact was to define at a granular level what they do around the school year. Exploring workflows from different perspectives (e.g. students, the coordinator, the teacher, the school admin) helped the team understand how these relationships intertwine and how they may impact recruitment.

Through this exercise, the team learned that the relationship between the coordinator and liaison was important because the latter helped put the word out about their program. Hence, the strategies facilitated included establishing a regular meeting cadence with their liaisons, improving their data tracking methods, and identifying new opportunities to market their program.

Brand Design

Since it was important to increase marketing, the team helped establish a new brand identity for CAPE’s after school program. This process included defining the brand’s vision with the partner.

Additionally, the team utilized Pinterest to align on visual direction and met over a series of meetings to iterate and define their new brand. Through this exploration process, the team and the partner intended to “mature” the current CAPE branding using a darker, glossier palette. The team wanted a bolder typeface that felt “fresh” and “confident.”


In addition to providing support at a service level, the team designed several branded assets for CAPE which included templates for posters and Instagram in Canva, an updated logo, stickers, and a new style guide.