cARTwheels Teaching Artist

Reminder: Please review general grant eligibility and guidelines before proceeding.


The North Carolina Arts Council is excited to reintroduce cARTwheels, an Arts in Education Grant Program which provides high quality arts performances and residency experiences for students and schools. For this new iteration of the program, cARTwheels teaching artists will develop programmatic content that directly responds to timely and important issues that are being faced by students and educators in communities across the state.

For the immediate program cycle, cARTwheels will focus on building students’ resiliency through the arts. In-school performances and arts experiences will focus on creative practices and programmatic content that support students’ problem-solving skills and promote healing, reflection, and self-empowerment through the arts.

We also intend to refresh the program by offering teaching artists the opportunity to apply or re-apply as potential cARTwheels artists rather than follow the previous agency-selected model. We believe this transparent approach to serving artists and constituents will strengthen the program, respond to requests from schools, and encourage high quality artistry in our arts education programming. 


The goals for the North Carolina Arts Council’s cARTwheels program include:

  • Provide high quality stage performances and residency experiences to students across the state, ensuring programmatic content addresses the current needs of schools and students’ lived experiences.
  • Actively expand the program’s statewide outreach, particularly in underserved counties where students have less exposure to quality arts education programming.
  • Provide participants with exposure to artists of racial and culturally diverse backgrounds that reflect the demographics of many of our counties and support the needs and goals of their schools.

Why resiliency?

Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the lives of students throughout the state. From having to learn in a virtual and isolated environment during the early phases of the pandemic, experiencing grief due to the loss of a caregiver or role model within their community, or having to overcome barriers and challenges due to on-going staff disruptions within their schools, it is evident that the pandemic has had a profound impact on students and their well-being.    

In addition to the shared experience of growing up during a global pandemic, many students experience additional forms of trauma and stress in their daily lives. This may include natural disasters in their communities, the loss or separation from a caregiver, food and housing insecurity, and societal barriers to resources. The arts can play a significant role in helping students develop resiliency and space for healing, which in turn will ensure they thrive both academically and outside the classroom. 

Resiliency is an important life skill, and it is something that we continue to build and develop throughout our lives. The arts provide a platform for students to better manage and tolerate uncomfortable emotions, develop their creative thinking and problem-solving skills, and promote self-reflection and confidence. For this new version of cARTwheels, teaching artists will provide residencies and performances that illustrate a strong understanding of and responsiveness to the social-emotional needs of students by modeling skills in their artistic practice which can aid in healing and building resiliency.

The North Carolina Arts Council is seeking proposals from teaching artists whose work and practice authentically integrates resiliency and social-emotional learning and the arts. Please visit the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s Social Emotional Learning (SEL) webpage and the SEL Standards Mapping Documents created in collaboration with A+ Schools of North Carolina for more information on how SEL is implemented in schools. 

Application dates

  • Due: Sunday, July 31, 2022
  • Roster placement notification: September 2022

Grant amount

  • cARTwheels artists may receive between $3k - $15k for their in-school performance and accompanying teacher professional development and student workshops.

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Who may apply

Eligibility requirements

Individuals or artist groups must:

  • Have been a North Carolina resident for a minimum of one year
  • Have either a BA or BFA in their specific art form, or an equivalent in training and experience (this must be clearly documented in the application)
  • Have demonstrated (five years minimum) teaching experience relevant to arts education
  • Must be 21 of age or older at time of application

Program parameters

The cARTwheels program has a very specific structure of services to grantees. If selected for placement on the cARTwheels roster, teaching artists must be able to travel the state as warranted by awarded grant contract(s), have demonstrated excellent communication and organizational skills, and provide the following:

  • Two 50-minute large group performances (or large-scale activity as deemed appropriate to the artist’s discipline)
  • A two-hour teacher workshop so that teachers can implement concepts of the artist’s work instructionally
  • Small student workshops related to the artistic discipline (number TBD by artist)
  • Tech rider
  • Teacher guide (to include relevant background information, cultural/biographical material, vocabulary, methods, and resources)
  • A comprehensive price for their program including all components and travel costs
  • Visit 3-4 schools per semester 

Expectations for acceptance onto the cARTwheels Teaching Artist Roster

If offered placement on the cARTwheels Teaching Artist Roster, artists must agree to:

  • A three-year commitment to the program
  • Provide all necessary performance/activity materials (see Program parameters)
  • Complete an annual update and agreement
  • Be a North Carolina resident while on the roster

Scope and allowable expenses

cARTwheels artists may receive between $3,000 - $15,000 for their in-school performance and accompanying teacher professional development and student workshops. These funds include all artist expenses (artistic fees, travel, lodging, meals and supply costs). 

Program timeline

  • If offered placement on the cARTwheels Artist Roster, artists will work closely with the Arts in Education Director during Fall 2022 to submit updated materials (see Program parameters) which will be shared and promoted on the cARTwheels Grant Program webpage.
  • The application for schools to apply for a cARTwheels grant will be made available in early 2023. Grants would provide funding for cARTwheels performances/activities for the 2023-2024 school year
  • Schools and cARTwheel artists will be notified of grant awards in August 2023; and will proceed with the grant award contract and payment process in Fall of 2023.

How we make funding decisions

North Carolina Arts Council staff will review all applications for eligibility and completeness. Incomplete applications will automatically be disqualified. Guest panelists will review applications using the criteria listed below and make recommendations for approval.

6-8 artists will be selected to participate on the cARTwheels roster. To ensure the roster is reflective of the arts sector and school communities of North Carolina, Arts Council staff and panelists will take into consideration the applicants’ arts genre, geographic, racial, and cultural diversity.

Review Criteria

  • History of successful programming/performance/ exhibition (as artists)
  • Ability to comply with all aspects of the cARTwheels program
  • Artistic proficiency. The artist:
    • Provides work samples that illustrate knowledge, experience, training and/or applied practice in a specific art form
    • Illustrates a passion for artistry and activating creativity in others
    • Creates work that is responsive to and important within its cultural context
    • Creates work that communicates unique perspectives
    • Displays a combination of aesthetic, technical skill, and delivery that is engaging emotionally, educationally, or intellectually
  • Performance/residency design and instruction with a focus on resiliency, social emotional learning and the arts. Teaching artists engage and support students with diverse abilities, needs, and cultural backgrounds. The artist:
    • Provides pathways for students to explore the creative process and supports them in developing resiliency through problem-solving, self-reflection, social awareness, and self-empowerment
    • Responsibly addresses trauma by creating moments of positivity and healing in their workshops and/or programs
    • Illustrates an understanding and responsiveness to students’ social emotional needs in order to foster a safe and inclusive classroom
    • Provide moments of consistency, ritual, and choice-making in their workshop culture
    • Practices self-care and resiliency within their own artist practice
  • Evidence of strong educational programming, communication skills, and collaborative planning.
    • Provides all requested application materials
    • Performance/activities are clearly outlined in the application; this includes information regarding program content, fees, timelines, contact information, and details information about artists participating in the program.
    • Demonstrates proven experience planning and facilitating in-school artists residencies for PK-12 students

Application information

Submit your application through the GO Smart grant portal. The following questions and documents will be required for the application.

  1. Provide a statement of intent in the written narrative of the application. Artists must address the following questions:
    • Why would you be an excellent cARTwheels artist?
    • What can you offer the students of North Carolina?
    • How do you integrate resiliency and social emotional learning into your artistic practice?
    • Do you have prior experience in facilitating resiliency-focused arts education programming for PreK-12 audiences?
  2. Provide a written description of the proposed program activity/performance(s). Description should include: number of artists who will participate, general content of the performance, and how you will engage the audience.
  3. Illustrate how the program activity/performance(s) will promote connections with North Carolina’s Common Core curriculum and Essential Standards Information about the state’s curriculum standards.
  4. Illustrate how the program activity/performance will promote resiliency and connections with North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction’s 5 competencies with Social Emotional Learning (SEL) requirements.
  5. CV/Resume of all artist participating in the program; please include relevant work history, educational background, and information about how the artists reflect the demographics of North Carolina
  6. Work sample performance videos, audio clips, images
  7. Two letters of recommendation regarding work with large groups of students or schools
  8. Sample teacher’s guide/materials with outline of activities for teacher’s workshop
  9. Itemized budget to include all artist fees and all travel costs
  10. Tech rider
  11. Agreement to obtain a criminal background check for all members of group should they be selected.

Staff contact

Please email the Director of Operations Vicki Vitiello at for assistance.

Grant Application Assistance

North Carolina Arts Council staff are here to assist with grant applications. Visit our application assistance page for resources and grants staff contact information. 


For accessibility questions or accommodation requests, please contact the North Carolina Arts Council's Music and Dance Director, Accessibility Coordinator Jamie Katz Court at or (919) 814-6502.