The Cultural Arts Booking Fair, now known as the Expo is an annual event during which artists have the opportunity to connect with school representatives and begin the process of scheduling programs at schools. Only artists accepted into Artists in Schools (AIS) may participate. Schools planning to apply for an Artists in Schools grant must send at least one representative to secure eligibility.
The Expo is free and open to the public, and additional attendees may include representatives who book programs for organizations, local municipalities, communities, and neighboring county schools.
This day-long event includes a trade show format with booths, as well as a showcase:
- Booths: Artists in Schools artists are eligible to reserve a booth (those with writer residencies may reserve a table) where they can greet the public and share information about their program(s). Booth space is limited and assigned annually on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Showcase: Two stages run simultaneously for artists to demonstrate a seven-minute excerpt of a program. AIS artists who register for the booking fair may apply to showcase; approximately 40 are selected with priority given to artists who are new to Artists in Schools and those who did not showcase in previous years. A separate Writers Showcase occurs, during which all writers have a five-minute allotment to present their writer residency program(s).
The Expo occurs annually at a Wake County public school on a Saturday in August. AIS approved artists receive detailed information about the registration and fees in early summer.