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Arts Partners

Artist Residencies in Schools for Arts Learning
Deadline: April 11, 2014

Grant Coordinator: Catherine O'Brian
(603) 271-0795

These FY15 Grant Guidelines are valid for fiscal year July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Artist Residencies in Schools (AIR) grants provide partial funding to bring juried teaching artists into classrooms and public schools to support creative learning and skills development in the arts. AIR grants funded by the State Arts Council are intended to show best practice for this work and can support residencies in variety of arts disciplines.

Why are Artist Residencies in Schools Valuable?

Participation in the arts increases students' abilities to problem solve, collaborate with others, use critical thinking skills, and make positive decisions. Research shows that an education in the arts has broad academic value, enables students to reach high levels of academic achievement, improves overall school performance and supports an environment that is conducive to overall learning and career readiness.

A richer arts experience for students can provide:

  • Opportunities for students to be actively engaged in the creative process and transfer skills to other subject areas;
  • Improvement of academic achievement and motivation to learn in all other subjects;
  • Promotion of social development and participation in their school and wider communities;
  • Preparation for careers in creative fields in the 21st century that require creative and innovative thinkers.

Artist residencies taking place in public schools and alternative education sites allow a school to:

  • Enhance curricula in the arts;
  • Develop successful models for arts integration and interdisciplinary, thematic and project-based learning;
  • Develop partnerships with local arts and cultural organizations.

Maximum Grant Request
Requests may be made for $1,000 - $4,500.

Important Note: All grant categories and amounts are subject to change, depending upon availability of state and federal funds for any fiscal year.

Required Match
At a minimum, grants must be matched on a one-to-one basis.
In-kind contributions of goods and services may comprise one half of the required match and will also be considered by the reviewers as evidence of support and commitment by the school, community and/or partner organization. State Arts Council funds may not be matched by other State Arts Council or National Endowment for the Arts (federal) funds.

Note: Cash match can include the percentage of time applied to the project by salaried employees of the school (teachers & administrators). When applicants provide materials and equipment needed for the residency, the cost of these may be included in the budget as cash match.

In addition to the cash match, applicants are responsible for hospitality and transportation of the teaching artist. The specifics of these arrangements are individually negotiated between the artist and school/host site. The Council encourages applicants to cover round trip travel costs to and from the artist's home for each visit made to the residency site. The calculated cost of this can be included as in-kind match.  Both the cash cost and in-kind costs of the artist’s daily fees and travel should be noted on the budget expenses form.

(See glossary for more information of cash & in-kind match.)

Who May Apply?
Any public school (pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12), or any nonprofit organizations serving as alternative education sites for special needs students (pre-K to age 21) in New Hampshire, that are publicly funded or have 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service and are incorporated in the State of New Hampshire.

Note: Nonprofit alternative education sites and charter schools may need to provide additional information about the organization's budget, financial report, and board of directors. See Required Support Materials.

In order to provide broad and fair distribution of the State Arts Council’s limited grant funds, for FY2015, organizations and/or schools may APPLY for ONE grant in the following categories:

Please consider carefully your project and the grant category that best suits it. If you have questions, please contact the grant coordinator listed.

Further restrictions include:

  • A school may not receive more than one AIR grant during a school year per school or school level (elementary, middle and high school within a greater school complex).
  • Private or parochial schools are not eligible for AIR grants, due to limited funds. They may, however, apply for a General Project Grant or Youth Arts Project Grant for fee support to bring an artist into the school. They are also encouraged to make use of the Arts in Education Artist Roster, ask for technical assistance from the State Arts Council's AIE Coordinator, and attend the annual Arts in Education conference and other workshops offered throughout the year.
  • Artist residencies supported from another State Arts Council grant are not eligible.
  • AIR grants may not be used to replace the normal school district expenses of full time equivalent (FTE) teachers, materials, equipment, construction, and capital expenditures.
  • Fundraising expenses.
  • Please refer to the list of ineligible expenses.

Sample Projects
Examples can be found at NH Arts Learning Network under "Resources".

Application Review Process
A panel with expertise in the field of arts and education meets to review and rank applications according to the funding criteria listed. Whenever possible, a State Arts Councilor facilitates the panel meeting. Funding recommendations are then passed along to the State Arts Councilors for review and approval. If a grant of $5,000 or more is recommended, or the applicant's cumulative total of grants received from the State Arts Council for that fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) is $5,000 or more, the grant recommendation must also be submitted to the Governor and Executive Council for approval. Errors and omissions may affect a panel's evaluation of your application, so please prepare your application carefully and follow instructions.

Required Elements of a State Arts Council funded Artist Residency
AIR proposals must include:

  • At least one artist from the Arts in Education (AIE) Artist Roster. Schools may also work with other qualified artists from their community with appropriate teaching and artistic background. Resumes and work samples are required for artists not on the AIE Roster.
  • An in-service workshop for teachers.
  • A culminating event, appropriate to the arts discipline, involving students, teachers, parents, volunteers, and the community.
  • A partnership with a local arts or community-based organization.

Additionally, schools awarded an AIR grant are required to send their AIR site coordinator (or other arts team representative) to the State Arts Council's annual Arts in Education Conference. The cost of registration (approximately $200 per individual) may be included in the AIR budget request. Note: School teams of teachers, parents and principals are encouraged to attend. Discounted rates may be offered to teams of three or more from a school.

Funding Criteria
The following criteria are used by reviewers to rank applications:

Quality of Arts Learning, Experiences and Programs

  • Adequate planning with the proposed resident artist(s) and partners.
  • Connection to and support of New Hampshire's Arts Frameworks and the National Standards for Arts Education.
  • Enrichment of the arts curricula through the residency events.
  • Quality of residency plan, the in-service workshop for teachers and the culminating event.
  • Plans for access to persons with disabilities and to underserved populations.

Administrative Capacity

  • Clarity of the overall proposal.
  • Support and commitment of staff, parents, and community for implementing residency activities.
  • Evidence of how the residency will help build school and community support for making the arts an essential and valued part of the school curriculum and environment.
  • Clarity of the budget and ability to meet the required match.
  • If applicable, evidence of how the residency will enhance previous Artist in Residence projects.

Strength of Partnership

  • Evidence of a partnership with a local arts or community-based organization.

Documentation and Evaluation

  • Evidence of appropriate project evaluation, documentation, and arts learning assessment. For ideas on model projects visit the NH Arts Learning Network website.

Applicants are encouraged to:

  • Plan residencies where designated core groups of students have meaningful contact with the artist each day of the residency.
  • Develop projects that reach underserved geographic areas and populations, or develop arts programs in disciplines of modern dance, new media, film, jazz, poetry and literary arts.
  • Develop projects with arts integrated approaches to interdisciplinary studies that include other subjects, such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math); history and social studies.

Additional Criteria for Repeat Applicants
The State Arts Council looks for an increase in commitment from applicants who have received previous AIR support. Examples of this increased commitment include:

  • Extended residencies longer than five days.
  • Introduction of new arts disciplines that expand on previous residency work.
  • Innovative scheduling or effective instructional patterns (e.g. working within a block schedule).
  • Interdisciplinary approaches or collaboration among artists in different disciplines.
  • Innovative teacher workshops or other professional development for teachers and staff.

How to Apply
Applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposals with the appropriate coordinator whose name appears above before writing their applications. Draft applications may be reviewed if submitted at least two weeks in advance of the application deadline. First time applicants are especially encouraged to submit draft copies. When sending in a draft, please clearly indicate DRAFT FOR REVIEW in BOLD letters on your submission.

Submitting the application:

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Narrative Questions
The total narrative portion of the application should not exceed five typed pages. Margins (not less than 1”), fonts (not smaller than 12 point), and spacing should provide easy reading for the panelists. Please put the name of the school at the top of each page, number and respond to the following questions in the order in which they appear, noting the section titles in bold.

1.       Background: Give a brief description of your school and community. Summarize any previous artist residencies your institution has held and arts staffing.

2.      Residency Description and Objectives: Briefly describe your proposed residency, the in-service workshop for teachers, and the culminating event for the community. Outline what you hope the project will achieve. State three major objectives (student and programmatic) for this residency; each followed by expected outcomes.

3.      Activities: Why did you select this particular artist(s)?  Describe the planned activities with the artist(s). Specify ways the artist(s) will help you achieve the objectives listed above. For collaborative residencies, state what themes or concepts tie the work of your participating artists together. Describe how you will provide access to persons with disabilities and to underserved populations.

4.      Residency Schedule: Outline the proposed residency schedule. Give a sample schedule for a typical residency day. For collaborative residencies, how and when will artists, staff, and students interact? State approximate contact hours of students with teaching artists. Who is your core group? How and why were they selected? How will non-core students be involved?

5.      Impact of Residency on Increasing or Strengthening Your Arts Programs: Describe how the proposed residency is connected to larger school or district goals/plans.

6.      Preparation and Follow-up: What arrangements were made to prepare participants for this residency? How were teachers, administrators and community members involved? How will staff carry on the artist's work when the residency is over? List three planned preparatory and follow-up activities.

7.      In-service Workshop for Teachers: Describe your plans for actively involving teachers in a professional development workshop with the resident artist(s). What experiential component is planned? How will teachers, administrators, and community members be engaged in the residency?

8.      Evaluation: Explain how you will document the project. How will you evaluate arts learning anticipated outcomes listed above? Will your school use new media and technology to promote, document and share the artist residency?

9.      Financing: Be specific in identifying sources of the cash and in-kind match needed to implement this residency.

10.       Outreach: Describe your public relations and promotion plans. Include a plan for crediting the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts for supporting the projects that are funded. Identify the ways you will involve parents, volunteers and your community.

11.       For Repeat AIR applicants only: How does this residency demonstrate an increased commitment over past Council-funded residencies at your school?

Required Support Materials
Six (6) copies of

  • Letters of support from participating partners (no more than one page per letter)
  • Resume or brief biography and work samples for artists not on NH AIE Artist Roster
  • Sample of artist’s daily schedule
  • Samples of evaluation forms, assessments or rubrics
  • For Charter Schools and nonprofit Alternative Education Sites only:
    • board-approved financial statement
    • a list of board members or arts advisory committee members
    • a single copy of the IRS letter

One (1) copy of

  • For nonprofit organizations only: Tax exempt status letter from the IRS, a copy of the Letter of Good Standing that was received upon registering with the NH Attorney General’s Office.

NOTE: Registration of IRS 501 (c)(3) nonprofits is required every five years, for the years ending in 0 or 5. This registration may be done on-line at

How to Prepare the Application Package
1. Fill out and sign the original application & budget form and make 5 copies.
The following are required signatures:

  • The individual (principal, superintendent, school board president) with the legal authority to sign contracts for the school must sign this application as the authorized official. If a grant is awarded, the check will be sent to that official's attention to be used solely for the purposes described in this application.
  • The AIR Site Coordinator, or person preparing the grant, should also sign the application. Send the original application to the artist(s) with whom you are working for their signature. The artist's signature acknowledges that he/she supports the application and is willing, if funding is available, to undertake the proposed project. The artist will return the application to you. It is the school's responsibility to submit the grant application to the State Arts Council office by the postmark deadline.

2. Complete and make six copies of the narrative questions.
3. Collate the original signed application form and copies to result in 6 sets. Each set should contain the following items arranged in the order in which they are listed:

  • Signed application form (the original application should be with the first set)
  • Narrative questions with pages and questions numbered clearly
  • Letters of support by participating partners (up to three)
  • Samples of evaluation forms, assessments or rubrics

If a charter school or nonprofit Alternative Education Site, include with your first set:

  • Board-approved financial statement
  • List of board members or arts advisory committee members
  • One copy of the IRS letter
  • One copy of the Letter of Good Standing from the NH Attorney General’s Office

4. Include work samples of artists if not on NH Artist Roster (AIE). See submitting work samples for instructions on preparing work samples. * Note: Resumes and work samples must be included unless participating artists are listed on the Council’s Artist Roster or the Traditional Arts and Folklife Listing, are NH Fellowship or Governors Arts Awards recipients, or have served as NH Artist or Poet Laureate; however, you are encouraged to print their biography from the Arts Council website for panelist’s review.
5. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope for any materials that need to be returned.
6. Please do not use binders, folders, or protector sheets. Staples or clips are acceptable. It is helpful if you use post-it notes or label the application cover sheets to indicate original set 1,2,3 etc.
7. Make one copy of everything for your files!
8. Put everything together in one package with the application with the original signature on top. Mail or hand-deliver to: NH State Council on the Arts, 19 Pillsbury Street, 1st Floor, Concord, NH 03301.

Why all these copies?
The original is for the State Arts Council files. Additional copies are for the panelists who will review your application prior to discussion at the panel meeting.

Applications must be postmarked or hand delivered to the NH State Council on the Arts office at 19 Pillsbury Street, 1st Floor, Concord, NH 03301 by 4:30 pm on the deadline date noted above. Office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The office is closed all state and most federal holidays. Late applications will not be accepted. The Council cannot accept applications transmitted by facsimile (FAX) or email. It is not responsible for applications lost in transit. Errors and omissions may affect a panel's evaluation of your application, so please prepare your application carefully and follow instructions.

Applicants will be notified on the status of their application after the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1).

The NHSCA disburses funds appropriated from public sources, both federal and state. Checks are issued by Administrative Services of the State of NH, not the Department of Cultural Resources or the State Arts Council. Upon receipt of properly executed grant forms, the State of New Hampshire generally pays grants under $5,000 to grantees within 4 to 6 weeks. If a grantee is awarded $5,000 or more or has received other State Arts Council funds which brings the cumulative total received for that fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) to $5,000 or above, grants need to be approved by Governor and Executive Council; consequently, payment can take up to ten weeks. All awards are subject to availability of state and federal funds. Therefore, we ask grantees to plan cash flow accordingly.


  • All grant agreements must be returned by January 15th of the fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) they are awarded. Failure to return the grant agreement by that date could result in cancellation of the grant and reallocation of funds.
  • Payment of a grant will be withheld if final reports for previous grants are not in compliance with policy below.

Grant Period & Reporting Requirements
The grant period is July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015. A final report is due 30 days after the completion of your project, but no later than July 31, 2015. An extension of up to three months may be requested. The request for extension must be made in writing, before the deadline for filing has passed to the grant coordinator responsible for administering the grant and should briefly note why the extension is necessary and the date the report will be submitted.

Failure to submit the final report by the required date will result in the organization becoming ineligible to apply for NHSCA funding for two years. Additionally, failure to submit the final report may result in a withholding of funds from any currently awarded NHSCA grant.

Click here for the Final Report Download Center.





Last updated: March 6, 2014

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