CHICAT Principles

Art + Technology = Our Future, Your Future

Inspired by the ideas and practice of MacArthur Genius Bill Strickland, who has made a positive difference in the lives of young people for over 40 years, CHICAT is fueled by creativity, innovation, and the passion to leverage community strengths, interests, and wisdom.

Starting in Spring 2017, CHICAT will offer life-changing after-school Arts & Technology education for students and innovative vocational training for adults. CHICAT is focused on the connection between art and technology, the power of connecting communities, and engaging and teaching in an inspirational and beautiful environment.

CHICAT Works From These Principles:
  • Every human being is an asset and every life is valuable. All CHICAT hiring, recruiting, teaching, courses, and initiatives spring from this notion.
  • Environment shapes behavior. The CHICAT building, classrooms, event space, the gallery embody this commitment.
  • Creativity fuels enterprise. CHICAT embraces and encourages creative thought. Given the chance to dream, anyone may have an opportunity to create something – a product, artwork, a business – that will change the world.
  • Human-centered design solves human problems and expands human possibility. CHICAT’s approach will tap into students’ deep wells of creativity, revealing ideas and solutions to community and individual challenges, as well as beautiful art.
  • Being engaged in the broader conversation matters. CHICAT will be a civic leader, and encourage civic engagement by all. CHICAT will share promising practices, learnings, and advance these principles forward in the community, city, and region.

It is the simultaneous application of these principles that positions CHICAT as a community of learners that can make a positive impact.

By applying these principles CHICAT creates opportunities for local residents to learn, to ask questions, to be inspired by each other and by their teachers, to be mentored, to build their confidence and skills, to transform themselves and impact positive change in their families and communities. CHICAT is more than a place, it does more than educate and employ, we are building a movement and a community for meaningful change and progress in individuals and in our society.

Who we are

Communities We Serve

Serving communities is what CHICAT exists to do. We strive to make an impact in our neighboring communities with the goal of making and changing the future. An important part of CHICAT’s educational commitment is to reach and teach individuals with profound challenges in academic achievement and/or sustained employment. We believe that these individuals deserve access to the resources necessary to provide a higher quality of life including socioeconomic stability, interpersonal and professional development and gainful employment.

Meet Our Team
Executive Board
  • Steve Sarowitz
    Board Chair
    Founder and President of Paylocity
  • Dan Miller
    Board VP/ Treasurer
    Founder, Blue Marble Payroll LLC
  • Kate Adams
    Board Secretary
  • Lawrence Brown
    Social Entrepreneur
  • Bill Strickland
    President and CEO
    Manchester Bidwell Corporation
  • G. Sequane Lawrence
    Chicago Center for Arts & Technology
  • Nick Brunick
    Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen
  • Lincoln Chandler
    Strategy Consultant and Researcher
    Chandler Decision Services LLC
  • Dorri C. McWhorter, CPA
    Chief Executive Officer
    YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
  • Xavier Ramey
    Senior Assistant Director for Social Innovation and Philanthropy
    University of Chicago
  • Alderman Michael Scott Jr.
    24th Ward
  • Nicole Jackson
    Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen

Meet our Advisory Committee

  • Nicole Jackson
    Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen
  • G. Sequane Lawrence
    Chicago Center for Arts & Technology
  • Ray Bentley
    Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership
  • David Blackmon
    Chicago Public Schools
  • Brian Bonanno
    Delta Institute
  • Allison Casselberry
    Project Management Consultant
  • Jim Casselberry
    IT Specialist
  • Dr. John Collins
    Illinois Bio Institute
  • Ted Crowder
    Brightseed Collaborative
  • Udayan Das
    Illinois Institute for Technology
  • Kevin Davenport
    Founder & President at Ideal Candidate NFP
  • Ed Davies
  • Elizabeth Doyle
    Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership
  • Bill Gerstein
    Chicago Public Schools
  • Margaret Gonwa
    Holsten Human Capital Development
  • Dr. Kirk Harris
    Fathers, Families & Healthy Communities
  • Patricia Kilduff
  • Stacey Klingbell
    Design for America
  • Cynthia Moore
  • Cynthia Nambo
    Innovative Education Consultant
  • Larissa Nikola-Lisa
  • Antonio Ortiz
    Cristo Rey High School
  • Joanna Papada
    Manchester Bidwell Corporation
  • Teresa Prim
    Prim Lawrence Group
  • Karin Norington Reaves
    Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership
  • Fabian Saldana
    Institute of Latin Music
  • Jessica Sarowitz
    Julian Grace Foundation
  • Alba Santillian
  • Deloris Sewchok
    National Center for Arts & Technology
  • Bobbi Steele
    Former Cook County President
  • Megan Stiphany
    University of Chicago
    Booth School
  • Kevin Sutton
    Foundation for Homan Square
  • Dr. Allison Vasilj
    Rush Oak Park Hospital
  • Regina Wiethrop
    Chicago Public Schools
  • Thomas Worthy
    Chicago Housing Authority
  • Alecia Shipman Young
    National Center for Arts & Technology

Youth Courses

We are all makers - we make our own lives, we make choices, we make mistakes, we make art, we make up our minds, we make friends, we make our own futures. Be a future maker at CHICAT.



CHICAT’s youth courses will explore the intersection of the Arts & Technology. Youth will be highly engaged and asked to learn at a high level in state-of-the-art studios. All courses are offered free of charge.

Courses will include:

  • 3D Maker Lab
  • Digital photography
  • Graphic animation
  • Graphic design
  • Video and audio production
  • Cartooning
  • Drawing and painting
  • Textiles
  • Printmaking

CHICAT partners with a wide network of high-impact organizations and schools working with young people in Chicago including:

  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Chicago High School for the Arts
  • Consuella B York Alternative High School
  • Design for America
  • Instituto del Progreso Latino
  • North Lawndale College Prep Charter-Christina
  • North Lawndale College Prep Charter- Collins
  • Simpson Academy High School for Young Women

The Spirit of CHICAT


Adult Courses

Chicago Center for Arts & Technology is approved to operate by the Private Business and Vocational Schools Division of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Chicago Center for Arts & Technology is not accredited by a US Department of Education recognized accrediting body


    Illinois Board of Higher Education
    1 N. Old State Capitol Plaza,
    Suite 333
    Springfield, Illinois 62701-1377

    Phone: (217) 782-2551
    Fax: (217) 782-8548
    TTY: (888) 261-2881

    General Information:
    Institutional Complaint Hotline: (217) 557-7359

    Link to the Online Complaint System:

Fund the Future

Help us create tomorrow’s future-TODAY.

Contact: Sequane Lawrence-

When CHICAT opens in March 2017, Chicago will join the movement started by MacArthur Genius Bill Strickland and Manchester Bidwell Corporation over 40 years ago. Nationwide, Centers for Arts & Technology (CATs) successfully increase high school graduation rates and equip adults for life-changing employment opportunities. CHICAT will activate a potent set of proven practices, including:

  • Demand-driven, sector-focused employer partnerships
  • Digital skill-building and arts-enabled outcomes for youth
  • Human-centered design and program space that celebrates and elevates individuals
  • Commitment to serving the lowest income, most distressed families

Chicago will be the largest city to establish a CAT and will marry proven national design standards with local need and relevance. CHICAT is located in the Illinois Medical District/University Village neighborhood of Chicago and will primarily serve the residents of the North Lawndale, Little Village, Pilsen, Austin, West Garfield Park, East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park and Lower West Side communities.

We cannot do this alone. Chicago Center for Arts & Technology is seeking $12 million from a diverse and diversified base of supporters to furnish the facility, fund immediate and ongoing programmatic and operating expenses, and begin serving students by early 2017.


The Campaign for CHICAT is the engine necessary to create and deliver these resources to our students. We have the opportunity to catapult an organization from a standing start to a stable, effective community anchor. CHICAT’s strength and proven model make it an excellent philanthropic investment. With support from visionary donors, CHICAT will create clear opportunities for young people and adults—opportunities to learn, to ask questions, to be inspired by each other and by their instructors, to be mentored, to gain confidence and skills, to transform themselves and impact positive change in their families and communities.

Contact: Sequane Lawrence -


“The sand in the hourglass flows only one way. Don’t waste precious time chasing someone else’s definition of success. Live your life with purpose now. Look for the things that inspire you, trouble you, make you feel most alive, and trust in those things to shape your future. They will give you all your heart could ever wish for.”

Bill Strickland

Trust your passion, identify your dreams, and find the courage to share them with others, no matter how many times they call you a fool.”

Bill Strickland

Make the Impossible Possible: One Man's Crusade to Inspire Others to Dream Bigger and Achieve the Extraordinary."

Bill Strickland

Commit yourself to a passion that moves you.

Bill Strickland

Join Us!

CHICAT is growing.
By Spring 2017, CHICAT will have a full team, fueled by creativity and experience, ready to build a movement.
Interested in joining us? Email us at


1701 W. 13th St.
Chicago, IL


Mon - Fri, 9:00 - 5:00