cARTwheels Program Grants

Reminder: Please review General Grant Information and Eligibility Requirements before proceeding.


cARTwheels, an arts in education grant program, provides high-quality arts performances and residency experiences for students and schools. This year, the cARTwheels program focuses on building students’ resiliency through the arts. In-school performances and arts experiences provide creative practices and programmatic content that support students’ problem-solving skills and promote healing, reflection, and self-empowerment through the arts.

Application dates

  • Open: January 5, 2024
  • Due: March 1, 2024

Who may apply

K–12 schools and school districts in North Carolina may apply for this funding. Nonprofit arts organizations are eligible to apply for this category in partnership with their county’s school district. 

Applicants to cARTwheels Program Grant may not also apply for the Arts in Education Artist Residency Grant. 

Scope and allowable expenses

cARTwheels program engagements typically include:

  • A teacher workshop (required, two to three hours): to help teachers create entry ways for their students to the performance, and to implement program concepts into the classroom.
  • Live performances or artist residency experiences: two 50-minute, high quality, age-appropriate performances or arts experiences that engage students’ imaginations. These performances will be presented ideally at local performance venues.
  • Residency activities in the schools and in the community as per selected artist's description on the roster.
  • Study guides to introduce students to the performance. Guides include activities and resources that make curricular connections and facilitate extensions in the classroom.

Allowable expenses

Grant funds can only be used for cARTwheels artist fees as noted. These fees include all artist expenses (artistic fees, travel, lodging, meals and supply costs). Each grantee will enter contracts directly with companies. To fulfill the matching requirement, applicants will cover:

  1. All venue expenses, including items on the technical rider
  2. Student transportation 

Please indicate these costs in your project budget. The total grant request cannot exceed the cARTwheels artist fee listed.

How we make funding decisions

cARTwheels grant recipients will be selected based on the following review criteria, with priority given to applicants in Tier 1 counties and applicants that have not received cARTwheels grants during the most recent grant cycle. 

Review Criteria

  • A record of strong partnership and planning between a venue, the schools, and the organizations comprising the host team.
  • School and/or district commitment to professional development for teachers.
  • Commitment of the host site team to participate in all aspects of the program.
  • Financial commitment for program costs not covered by the Arts Council grant, including venue costs and student transportation to performances.
  • Ability to take on local responsibility for the program.
  • Efficiency of routing and tour scheduling.

Application information

Applicants cannot submit proposals in both Arts in Education grant categories. They must choose either cARTwheels or Arts in Education Artist Residencies.

Submit your application through the GO Smart grant portal. The following questions and documents will be required for the application. Reach out to your staff contact for questions or application assistance.

Profile questions

In addition to contact information, you will be asked to submit your organization’s mission statement, an organizational history, and both an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number.

Application narrative

  1. Identify the host team (school representatives, a venue partner and/or a sponsor such as a local arts council). Include the names of organizations and the primary staff that will organize the cARTwheels program in your community.
  2. Describe the working history between the various host team members, including the planning process to ensure that the team will host a successful cARTwheels program.
  3. Explain how cARTwheels fits into the overall plan for professional development for school personnel in the coming year. Include information about how you will promote and encourage attendance at the teacher workshop. 
  4. Indicate your preference between the artistic companies and why you have made that selection. The Arts Council will make every effort to honor your selection; however, we award grants based on many factors, including efficiency and scheduling. Indicating a preference does not guarantee award of that specific company.

Support materials

Upload signed letters of intent from all partner organizations in the host team. Letters of intent must include:

  1. The names of the schools participating in the program and their commitment to participate in all program components, including the teacher workshop.
  2. An estimated number of students who will participate in the program.
  3. Partners’ commitments to cover the additional expenses associated with the program activities, such as venue costs and student transportation to a performance venue.

Staff contact

Arts in Education Director 
(919) 814-6504 
Email Vicki Vitiello 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.