2018 – 2023


Chicago, IL

Chicago Maritime Arts Center

Chicago Boat Building Program

Chicago Maritime Arts Center (CMAC) is the first to offer a youth boat building program in the City of Chicago in many years. Its after-school, in-school, and summer camp programs connect local students to the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. CMAC is more than the splash of water, kids, and boats, it is a youth development program designed to create new opportunities and experiences. It teaches life skills such as safety, and basic tool use, as well as science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM), teamwork, and a sense of accomplishment through exploring ecology and the maritime arts.

CMAC aims to help kids develop new skills and find new pathways for the future by establishing partnerships with other local nonprofits and yacht clubs to overcome potential barriers to access and experience the Chicago River or Lake Michigan.

CMAC also partners with 11th Hour Racing Ambassador Dave Rearick who teaches one of the boating skills and ecology programs annually each year.

About Chicago Maritime Arts Center

The Chicago Maritime Arts Center (CMAC) is a 501(c)(3), established in 2017 with a mission to bring people back to the Lake and River that created Chicago, to teach marine ecology and the maritime arts, and to help kids find themselves and new pathways by learning to build boats. CMAC is a member of the Teaching With Small Boats Alliance (TWSBA), a more than 25-year movement promoting youth and adult maritime instruction, nationally and internationally.

Header image credit: Chicago Maritime Arts Center

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