Art in Motion’s New Leadership and Community Development Accelerate South Shore Growth

Dion Steele meets with Art In Motion families in preparation for back to school.

The start of the school year is a time of new beginnings and renewed energy, and I look forward to sharing new strategies, supports, and opportunities with our AIM community.”

—Dion Steele

CHICAGO, Illinois, USA, Sept. 8, 2022 / — Distinctive Schools is proud to announce the new direction of its Art in Motion campus in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood. Art in Motion is delighted to welcome Dion Steele as Director of Art In Motion. Steele joins the Art In Motion (AIM) community as they continue to develop their community hub model and near the completion of a major campus facility expansion project.

Steele has been a youth and community advocate, administrator, entrepreneur and educator for over twenty-five years. He comes to Art in Motion with over 10 years of school leadership experience; after serving as Director of External Partnerships and Extended Day Program at the University of Chicago Charters, and Deputy Director and Director at Urban Prep Academies, and most recently Deputy Director and Acting Co-Director at EPIC Academy. He has taught history, Hebrew scriptures, urban music and music production at Hales Franciscan, Urban Prep Academies and University of Chicago Charters, to name a few. For the past few years, he has been a college professor, teaching an introductory ethics course for students pursuing a career in law.

“I feel very lucky to be here – and I am honored to lead this community into the future. The start of the school year is a time of new beginnings and renewed energy, and I look forward to sharing new strategies, supports and opportunities with our AIM community,” said Steele.

In addition to his work as an educator, Steele is a DJ, music producer, graphic designer, videographer and painter. Steele received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and his master’s degree from the University of Chicago.

Partnering with Art In Motion’s Founding Director, Kara May, who now serves as Director of Partnerships and Creative Development, AIM is embarking on a new model, bridging the gap between school and community to develop the school as a community center. AIM will partner with families and community organizations to provide comprehensive educational opportunities, programs and support in the service of academic success. The goal is to build a foundation of learning, expand enrichment opportunities, and actively engage families and the South Shore community. May shared, “I am excited to provide a deeper layer of support for strong partnerships with our founding partners Common and The Lynn Group, and New Life Southeast Covenant Church, and I am working to bring incredible new partnerships and opportunities to our students and community. I will continue to be part of AIM and look forward to all the amazing things that await our community.

In addition to programmatic developments, Art In Motion is gaining momentum. The Art in Motion campus expansion project is well underway and will expand the school’s current space at 7415 S East End Avenue, Chicago, IL 60649 to include an additional 70,000 square feet of classrooms, studio and of outdoor spaces. Special features include a performance space, recording studio, broadcast studio, dance lab, visual arts labs, as well as indoor and outdoor courtyards.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the bright future of the Art In Motion community,” said Scott Frauenheim, CEO of Distinctive Schools, “Welcoming Mr. Steele, expanding our campus, and serving the largest cohort of students that AIM has ever seen. , we are thrilled to be rooted in the South Shore community and know that we are uniquely positioned to provide unparalleled opportunities for young artists and educators.

Art in Motion opened in September 2019 at 7415 S. East End Avenue and offers innovative artistic opportunities and experiences in the fields of visual arts, music, digital media, dance, creative agencies and literary arts. The result of a community-driven campaign to bring an arts-focused high school to the area, Art In Motion welcomes students who live in the city of Chicago. There are limited spaces remaining for the 2022-23 school year for students in grades 7-11. Art In Motion accelerates student success through an innovative personalized learning model and reimagines the educational experience to address student inequities. It will increase by one grade level each year to serve grades seven through twelfth next year.

For more information, including application and registration information, and our facility expansion work, please visit

About Distinctive Schools
Distinctive Schools is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and accelerating the work of charter schools serving children from historically marginalized backgrounds. The team includes passionate educators and determined leaders who innovate, lead the way, and collaboratively lead a transformation of public education, while ensuring that each student at Distinctive Schools thrives in college, in his career and in life. To learn more, please visit

About moving art
Art in Motion (AIM) is a tuition-free school of choice. Founded in 2019, AIM currently serves students in grades 7-10. The school cultivates a strong culture of learning and working and actively integrates artistic, cultural, linguistic and social-emotional learning materials throughout the educational day. Strong relationships are the foundation of the AIM model; each student meets regularly with a mentor. Art In Motion helps every child become an engaged and inquisitive learner, a confident self-advocate, and a creative problem solver by setting high expectations and fostering a positive culture that honors diversity, collaboration, and optimism through arts.

Molly Quinn
Distinctive schools
+1 815-370-2775
write to us here
Visit us on social media:

Norma P. Rex