Due to budget constraints, many schools have cut curriculum items from the students’ education. These items most often end up being the arts and music and, when this happens, the children suffer. However, UNIVERSO is changing that for elementary students in East Chicago, IN.


UNIVERSO is an educational program that was developed and implemented in September 2015 by the collaboration of several Northwest Indiana organizations including: South Shore Arts, Carnegie Arts, South Shore Orchestra, Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, South Shore Dance Alliance, Communities in Schools and School City of East Chicago. The program has also been partially funded by Foundations of East Chicago.


This program takes place after school in five elementary schools in the School City of East Chicago. At UNIVERSO, children not only learn about traditional art and music, but dance and spoken word as well. The interactive and hands-on format of the program is the draw for the kids and the fact that students are in a safe, educational environment after school gives the parents peace of mind. In addition to providing supervised afterschool activities, UNIVERSO also provides the students with safe transportation home each day and two healthy snacks.


At UNIVERSO, students learn about the life and work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and discuss his impact not only in the realm of music but also history and other disciplines. Students get to create portraits of Mozart and draw their own interpretations of what his songs mean. They also learn how to read music and play various percussion instruments.


Those students involved in the dance part of the program learn about poetry and rhythm along with how to dance in various traditions. The orchestra group reads music and practices using various instruments.


All students involved in UNIVERSO have the opportunity to showcase their work and skills at several Parent’s Nights throughout the year.


For more information on what UNIVERSO is doing to help the students of East Chicago, visit foundationsec.org.


UNIVERSO East Chicago