School Participation & Grants

Artists in Schools (AIS) supports Wake County schools' efforts to bring arts programming to their students. One of the primary methods of support is grant funding.

Schools eligible to apply for grant funding must meet the following criteria: 

  • be a public, charter, or nonprofit private school located in Wake County;
  • attend an annual Training Session for Cultural Arts Representatives;
  • attend the annual Cultural Arts Booking Fair; and
  • submit application for AIS grant(s) by the deadline.

If awarded grant funding, schools must adhere to all Artists in Schools policies, such as using specific contract templates, preparing for artists' visits, and submitting evaluations. After a school receives its award notification, it may use United Arts' contract templates and other services to ease facilitation of additional programs scheduled during that same school year; these programs must adhere to the same policies and timelines as grant-funded programs.

Grants to Schools through Artists in Schools Program

Eligible schools may apply annually for a maximum total grant award of $1,400, which is contingent on the availability of funds. 

Schools may apply for grant funding to support programs that are:

  • selected from the Artists in Schools Directory;
  • presented during the school day; and
  • scheduled between October and June (unless at a year-round school).

Each school may apply for a maximum of four grants, including: 

  • Performance Grants: schools may apply for up to 50% of the artist’s fee or $325 (whichever is less) for up to two performances by different artists;

  • Workshop/Residency Grant: schools may apply for up to 50% of the artist’s fee or $375 (whichever is less) for one workshop or residency; and

  • Writer Residency Grant: schools may apply for up to 50% of the writer’s fee or $375 (whichever is less) for one writer residency.

Schools submit grant applications annually each September. Applications require tentative dates to which the school and artist have agreed; therefore a school must communicate with an artist before submitting a grant application. Award notifications are emailed within a few weeks of the deadline and programs may begin in early October. 

Grant awards do not cover the total cost of an artist fee. Schools or their PTAs are required to contribute the additional funding needed to support artists working with their students. If a grant request is partially approved, or not approved, and the school cannot afford to pay the entire artist fee, schools are instructed to notify artists immediately to cancel the program. At the time a school submits a signed contract to United Arts, it must also submit its portion of the artist fee. Schools write a check made payable to United Arts Council. United Arts issues payment to artists after completion of a program and required evaluations have been submitted.