Artist Residencies

Who May Apply

Pre K–12 schools, school systems, nonprofit arts or community organizations or partnership teams consisting of at least one school and one arts group may apply for this funding. Organizations designated as State Arts Resources (SAR) can be a part of an Artist Residency project but cannot be the lead applicant. 


This category supports standards-based, long-term (10 days and longer) artist residencies that provide students with the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge and skills in the arts. Educators and artists collaborate to design an artist residency that meets the specific needs of the school and engages students in hands-on, participatory arts learning. At a minimum, artists work with the same group of students for 10 days during the residency. Residency days and weeks do not have to be consecutive. Residencies can take place either as a part of the school day or outside of the classroom. 

We are interested in residencies that demonstrate how teams of educators and artists can work together to build curricula, deliver instruction, and learn from each other. We encourage applications that articulate a plan of support for sustainable change in teaching practices. 

Within this category, there is a special focus on artist residencies that use the arts as a way to address challenging and adverse childhood experiences. These types of residencies may take place outside of the school, after regular school hours, or on weekends – in times and places where youth most need constructive, proactive, enriching activities. Partners may include alternative schools where students who are not successful in mainstream classrooms are placed or juvenile justice departments.  Examples may include: 

  1. An apprenticeship/leadership program to provide teens with hands-on job training in the arts and enterprise under the mentorship of professional artists
  2. Workshops that provide teens with in-depth art instruction and opportunities to interact with and learn from professional artists

Allowable Expenses

Grant amounts range from $5,000 to $15,000. Organizations may not apply for more than 10-percent of their prior-year cash operating expenses. Organizations with prior-year expenses between $20,000 and $50,000 are eligible to apply for $5,000, the minimum grant award.

Grant funds may be used for artist fees, marketing, contractual fees, artist/contractor travel, and other project-related expenses. Grants may not fund fees for student artists and ensembles. Up to 25-percent of the requested grant funds can be used for administrative expenses. All grants must be matched dollar for dollar except those serving rural, low-wealth counties designated Tier 1, which are eligible for 75 to 100 percent funding. Organizations must make a strong case for financial need if the cash match is less than one-to-one. 

How We Make Funding Decisions

Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • Artistic Merit
    • Quality of the artists involved in the residency (professional artists with a demonstrated body of work).
    • Appropriate payment to artists.
  • Project Impact
    • Potential for long-term impact on participants.
    • Appropriateness of the project to the applicant’s mission, audience, community, and/or constituency.
    • Involvement of racially and culturally diverse artists as integral to the project and participation, and reflective of student demographics when appropriate.
  • Potential for Successful Implementation
    • Clearly stated, achievable, participant-based goals (no more than 3); one or more of these goals must support N.C. Arts Education Essential Standards.
    • Quality and clarity of project plans and potential for proposed activities to meet project goals.
    • Evidence of planning and strong partnership between team members over time.
    • Strength of management and resources necessary to carry out the project (i.e., appropriate budget, appropriate resources, qualifications of project personnel).
    • Appropriate evaluation strategies and performance measurements to assess student learning that reflects attainment of specific project goals. 
    • Evidence of financial commitment and letters of support from partners.

How to Apply

NOTE: Applicants cannot submit proposals in both AIE grant categories. They must choose either cARTwheels or Artist Residencies.

The 2020-21 deadline is Monday, March 2, 2020. The application will be available online on January 7, 2020. Applicants will submit the form electronically through the GO Smart portal ( Applicants will be asked to provide the following information on the application. Information must address the funding criteria. 

  1. In one or two paragraphs, provide a clear and concise overview of your proposed project.  Summarize what will happen and who will be involved in achieving your goals.
  2. Provide a brief description (no more than 100 words) of the planning process that occurred prior to submitting this grant proposal. Include 1) the involvement of artists, school personnel and other key partners and 2) dates, location and purpose of all planning meetings.
  3. Provide a description of each artist (artistic company members and/or independent teaching artists) and contractor involved in the project. Include: 1) their credentials; 2) relevant experience working with the target population; 3) rate of payment for their services; and 4) racial and cultural composition.
  4. Provide a description of the intended participants, including the age/grade level for the core group(s) of students. For each participant group include 1) estimated numbers and 2) racial and cultural composition.
  5. Include two or three participant goals. One or more of these goals must support N.C. Arts Education Essential Standards. Explain how these goals will impact participants.
  6. Provide a detailed description and timeline for all project activities. For classes and workshops, include the number and length of sessions and the age/grade level of participants. Explain how these activities support the goals and arts standards identified in question #5 above.
  7. Describe the specific strategies and methods that will be used to assess student learning and evaluate the residency. Explain how these assessment/evaluation strategies support the goals and arts standards identified in question #5 above. 

For tips on your application including strategies for your narrative and work samples/support materials click here.

Support Materials and Work Samples

Applications without support materials and work samples will not be considered. Work samples should provide evidence of the quality of the artists’ work (not student work). No headshots or highly edited promotional videos will be accepted.

All applicants must upload the following support materials:

  • Signed letters of intent from the teaching artist and all organizations, schools, artists or other key personnel involved in the project.
  • Résumé(s) of proposed artist(s)

For artist(s) work samples, please upload:

  • Up to 5 images, or
  • Up to 5 pages of writing, or
  • Up to 5 minutes of video


Michelle Burrows
A+ Schools Program Director
(919) 814-6503
Email Michelle