California Arts Council

State of California

Artists in Schools

Central California Art Associaltion

The arts play a critical role in shaping students’ overall well-being and academic achievement. Promoting and supporting arts education is a cornerstone of the California Arts Council’s (CAC) mission. Since 1976, the CAC has supported in-school and after-school arts programs that engage local arts organizations, teaching artists and school communities through the Artists in Schools (AIS) grant program.

In 2016-17, there are four Artists in Schools grant opportunities:

  • AIS Exposure supports field trips and assemblies for underserved students.
  • AIS Engagement supports teaching artist residencies taking place during the school day at school sites.
  • AIS Extension supports teaching artist residencies after school and during the summer months, on both school sites and in community settings.
  • AIS Professional Development supports co-learning opportunities between teaching artists and classroom teachers or school staff.

Applicants can submit proposals and be funded in any/all of these categories simultaneously.

AIS Exposure: The purpose of the AIS Exposure program is to support attendance at professional performances and exhibitions for students who may have limited access to these experiences. The impact of student attendance at these events should be complemented by pre- and post-attendance activities that align to National Core Arts Standards, VAPA Standards, and/or Common Core Standards.

AIS Engagement: The Artists in Schools (AIS) Engagement program supports projects that integrate community arts resources—local artists and non-profit arts organizations—into comprehensive, standards-based arts-learning for PreK-12 students during the school day. Applicants’ projects must take place during regular school hours at the school site, and should address the unique circumstances of the school environment. All projects should be designed to cultivate learning in, through and/or about the arts. AIS projects focus on hands-on participant learning that takes place over a period of time with an identified group of students.

AIS Extension: The purpose of the AIS Extension program is to support arts education programs for PreK-12 students that operate after school and during the summer, on school sites, in artistic venues, and in community settings. The intention of this program is to offer young people sequential, hands-on training in artistic disciplines, including dance, literary arts, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts, that align to National Core Arts, California Visual and Performing Arts, Common Core, and/or Expanded Learning Standards.

AIS Professional Development: Awards of $2,500 will support nonprofit arts organizations and teaching artists to plan and deliver Professional Development (PD) in arts integration to educators and administrators. Professional Development projects should be designed to cultivate student learning in, through and/or about the arts. The Professional Development project can stand alone, or can be in conjunction with an AIS Engagement project at the school. The project must be planned and implemented in collaboration between a nonprofit arts organization, teaching artists, and the school, with full commitment from all participants.

Program Goals

Develop the artistic abilities and creativity of students, and promote life skills such as problem-solving, collaboration, and positive self-expression through the arts.

Develop long-term, in-depth partnerships between schools, local arts organizations and local teaching artists, and create mutually beneficial relationships between classroom teachers and teaching artists.

Contribute to an overall arts-rich school environment, and serve diverse school communities throughout the state.


Staff Contact

Josy Miller
(916) 322-6385

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  • Arts organization, schools, and community facilities must be located in California.
  • Arts organization must have a minimum 3-year history of programming at the time of application.
  • Arts organization must be a nonprofit arts organization or unit of government, or use a fiscal sponsor.
  • Professional teaching artists must show at least 3 years of professional experience in the artistic discipline to be taught, be California residents, and not be full-time students in a degree program.
  • Artist fees should be commensurate with experience and comparable to fees for other local skilled workers.



Application Coming Soon
  • Online Application instructions
  • DataArts
    All applicants to this program are required to complete a DataArts Cultural Data Profile (CDP) profile and submit a Funder Report along with their application. Access or create your account, and complete this part of your application at DataArts.


Guidelines & Application Available:
November 15, 2016

Application Deadlines:
February 8, 2017, 5:00 PM (for Exposure and Extension)
March 8, 2017, 5:00 PM (for Engagement and Professional Development)

Panel Dates
March 15 – 23, 2017 (for Exposure and Extension)

May 8 – 17, 2017 (for Engagement and Professional Development)

Grant Activity Period:
June 1, 2017 - May 31st, 2018