Old Town School of Folk Music
Founded in 1957, the Old Town School of Folk Music provides a wide range of music, dance, theater, and visual arts courses to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. The School provides broad access to over 700 class offerings, private lessons, and workshops that span a wide range of artistic genres. The Old Town School’s critically acclaimed concerts showcase some of the finest and most diverse local and touring artists. Ticket prices remain among the most affordable in the city and special events like the Chicago Folk & Roots Festival and World Music Wednesdays make music accessible to all with free and reduced-priced programs.
Regarded as the largest independent community arts school in the United States with 280 staff and faculty members who serve 7,000 students per week, the Old Town School is also supported by 3,000 members, 400 active volunteers, and an events audience of 105,000 per year. The School provides outreach and field trip programs to over 11,000 children and serves 700 families through student financial aid. Plans for an expanded, state-of the-art education facility are underway across the street from the main location in Lincoln Square. The $18 million campaign is currently underway with $9.7 million raised to date, along with an annual fundraising goal of $1.5 million.