Who We Are


CHICAT educates, empowers, and elevates the talents of individuals, transforming lives and catalyzing equitable, inclusive spaces for individuals to learn, work, and grow. CHICAT pursues its mission by providing an enriching learning environment with access to emerging technologies, artist-led classes, and standards-based vocational training to support each person’s pathway.


United, our communities will become stronger, ignited with hope, opportunity and vitality. We strive to make an impact in our neighboring communities—North Lawndale, Little Village, and Pilsen—to help our students change the future. An important part of CHICAT’s educational commitment is to reach and teach individuals who experience barriers to academic achievement and/or sustained employment. We believe that we all deserve access to the resources necessary to provide a higher quality of life with socioeconomic stability, interpersonal and professional development and gainful employment.

Our Story

Opened in 2017, CHICAT is based on a successful model created in Pittsburgh by social entrepreneur and MacArthur Fellow, Bill Strickland. Strickland founded the Manchester Bidwell Corporation, a center dedicated to help adults-in-transition and youth in underserved communities realize their own genius through arts and technology. CHICAT is a part of the network of Manchester Bidwell’s National Center for Arts & Technology (NCAT).

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