Chicago mom wants to make early childhood arts education more accessible

Bubbles Academy is celebrating its 15th anniversary, and the birth of a new endeavor.

The Bucktown early childhood arts enrichment center just announced the creation of a new non-profit organization, Whole Child Arts. Whole Child Arts will take the popular Bubbles Academy class model to satellite locations, partnering with community organizations and schools, in an effort to bring early childhood arts education into underserved neighborhoods at no cost to participants.

Natalie Monterastelli, co-owner and executive director at Bubbles Academy, will oversee the organization, with close collaboration from a board that consists of performers, art therapists and local influencer moms.

“Every child deserves the right to receive developmentally appropriate early childhood education,” she says. “Whole Child Arts provides these programs as well as training for parents and teachers on how to integrate multi-sensory activities and principles at home and in the classroom.”

Bubbles Academy, 2184 N. Elston Ave., Chicago, will also open its doors to more families in its flagship space through the creation of scholarship programs and new policies that allow parents to transfer makeup classes to families in need. Additionally, a nature playground, expected to open in spring 2019, will serve as a gathering area for free community arts programs.

This year’s Bubblespalooza, held 2-7 p.m. Sept. 22 at Bubbles, celebrates the popular playspace’s 15th anniversary with concerts, bounce houses, open play and art projects, with 100 percent of the proceeds funding Whole Child Arts. $10 per child from 2-4:30 p.m. or 4:30-7 p.m. or $15 per child for the entire event.

An adults-only Launch Gala, also funding Whole Child Arts, will be held at Bubbles 6-10 p.m. Sept. 21 with dinner, dancing, live music and adult art projects. $100 per ticket or $150 per couple.

For more information on Whole Child Arts, visit

Lori Orlinsky
Lori Orlinsky
Lori Orlinsky is an award-winning journalist and bestselling children's book author. She is the mom of three little ladies who keep her on her toes.
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