School Project Grants

School Project grants are intended to enhance and strengthen arts education in Wake County, to broaden or deepen programs offered for Pre-K through 12th-grade students and/or to encourage collaborations between artists and schools. The majority of project activities must take place within the school environment, school day, and school year. Professional development activities may occur outside the school environment or school day. Field trips may occur outside the school environment. School Project grants are not intended to substitute for a school's arts education program. Funds cannot be used for permanent personnel positions.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants in the School Projects category must:

  • be an accredited PreK-12 public, private, or charter school located in Wake County; non-profit organizations established to support school-based arts programs (i.e., band boosters, art boosters, etc.) are not eligible to apply;
  • attend an application workshop;
  • meet with United Arts staff (if required); and
  • be in Good Standing as defined in General Grant Policies (previous recipients only).

Eligible applications must:

  • be for arts-related programming to take place in Wake County; and
  • request at least $1,000.

Eligible programs must:

  • take place between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018; and
  • be compatible with the applicant’s mission.

Applicants for School Project grants may not apply in any other United Arts grant category. 

Residency Requirements

School Project grants are not limited to residencies; however, residencies must include hands-on activities with at least one core group of students (minimum of five contact hours per student) and one planning session, for which the artist(s) must be paid. Residencies should accomplish one or more of the following:

  • Emphasize learning in, through or about the arts
  • Encourage integration of the arts into the school curriculum
  • Provide professional development to train teachers in integrating the arts into the curriculum
  • Encourage and support the understanding and appreciation of our community's cultural heritage and diversity

In addition, residencies must include two or more of the following:

  • Professional development or in-service workshop(s) led by the artist(s) for educators, administrators and/or arts educators
  • In-school or community-based event, such as a performance or a reading/presentation by the artist(s)
  • Participatory family night, led by the artist(s), that involves adults and students in joint hands-on activities
  • An event that shares the work of students done during the residency
  • Residency-related field trip for core group of students (museum, gallery, performance)

Maximum Grant Request

Schools may request 50% of their project expenses. Grant awards will not exceed 50% of the project expenses. The maximum grant award is $6,000. School Project Grant funds must be matched one-to-one in cash, although applicants may use salaries of participating faculty as part of their match. School Project Grant funds may not be matched with other United Arts grants.

Evaluation Criteria

Each application will be evaluated on an overall impression of the applicant's strengths in the following areas:

Project Quality 55%

  • Quality and clarity of project's goals and potential for proposed activities to meet goals
  • Qualifications, background and expertise of the artist(s) involved including demonstrated ability and skills in working in a K-12 educational setting
  • Effective integration of the project into the school's curriculum
  • Enhancement of the school's current arts program (if applicable)
  • Potential of activities to extend participants' knowledge and/or skills in the arts and/or other curriculum areas
  • Evidence of planning among artists, schools, teachers and other key participants

Project Management and Impact 35%

  • Administrative capacity, resources, planning and expertise to carry out the project
  • Efforts to involve a diversity of participants, including persons or groups not ordinarily participating in arts activities; e.g., special education classes, etc.
  • Potential for long-term impact on participants
  • Appropriate evaluation strategies that are matched to project goals

Compliance 10%

  • Completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of application
  • Completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of reports and other requirements