Artists in Schools

The Artists in Schools program is supported by the State of Alaska and the National Endowment for the Arts with additional funding from the Rasmuson Foundation. Artists in Schools (AIS) residencies should provide high quality arts experiences and training for students, teachers, and the greater community. Successful applicants will:

  • demonstrate the way in which a residency will augment the arts curriculum and the Alaska State Content Standards for Art and connect to other core curriculum;
  • include a professional development opportunity for teachers in integrating the residency discipline into future teaching; and
  • create a plan for engagement between the artist, school and local community.

An AIS School Guide is available and can help in planning your residency and applying for a grant. The Statewide Teaching Artist Roster (STAR) is provided as a guide to help identify a teaching artist eligible to provide AIS residency activities.

Successful applicants serve as chief sponsor, designer and coordinator of the program. Technical assistance in the form of artist contract templates, procedure guidelines, etc. are available from the Alaska State Council on the Arts staff. If your district/school has not applied for an AIS grant in the past you MUST contact the program director, Laura Forbes, at; (907) 269-6682 or toll free in Alaska at 1 (888) 278-7424.

Deadlines for submission are April 15 (for the following school year) and November 1 (for the current school year). Applications and guidelines are available online at Please read all the guidelines and information carefully. If you have questions, please call or email the AIS program director.

Ninilchik Students on stage at Cordova School

Students of Cordova School, Elizabeth Ware, teaching artist, 2010.


Public school districts/schools or private, nonprofit schools in Alaska are eligible to apply to the Alaska State Council on the Arts for an AIS grant. Nonprofit organizations and/or parent groups can provide assistance to schools in the application process. If a nonprofit is the applicant, they must provide a letter on district/school letterhead detailing how the nonprofit organization's plan augments and supports the district-approved arts curriculum. If there is no approved arts curriculum for the school or district, applicants will be asked to detail the steps being taken to develop and/or adopt an arts curriculum in the district, and the way in which the school/district is working to meet the Alaska State Art Content Standards in the absence of an adopted art curriculum. The Artists in Schools Program is meant to augment and enrich arts education in Alaskan schools, rather than replace it. All applications must be complete or they will not be considered for funding. If a district/school has received funding in the past year and has not fulfilled the grant requirements, a clearly articulated explanation must be submitted or the application may not be funded. All ASCA programs are governed by Alaska Administrative Code 20AAC.30.010-30.985.

AIS Grants will fund up to $5,000 for individual schools and up to $15,000 for district-wide applications. Individual schools must provide 1/3 of the cash expenses as match for the proposed AIS project. Districts must provide a 1:1 match. Please note: whether multiple schools from a single school district apply individually, or a school district applies on behalf of multiple school sites, districts will be limited to $15,000 total AIS funding, for FY14. Eligible expenses include a maximum of $1,000/week in artist fees, supplies for the residency, administrative fee of no more than 20% of the total expense, phone, postage and marketing. View the School Guide for budget examples. If an artist charges more than $1,000 per week, the school is responsible for funding the additional amount, over and above the required match. Housing and per-diem is the responsibility of the school and/or district and should be listed in the in-kind budget.

The Alaska State Council on the Arts will not fund:

  • Residencies lasting less than two weeks per application. Shared residencies that last less than two weeks in each school should be submitted jointly, with one school serving as the lead applicant.
  • Residencies that are designed to be an isolated arts experience and have no connection to the district's approved arts curriculum or Alaska State Content Standards for the arts. For example, projects that do not contain outcomes or follow through of skills.
  • Incomplete or late applications.
  • Funding for organizations or schools that received funding in prior years, but failed to file a final report.