It is a rare school that has sufficient resources of its own to offer exceptional arts-rich experiences to its students. Public and private funding sources are available to help. Writing grant requests and seeking philanthropic support from private donors or businesses do take time, and your school’s arts team can be a crucial support.
Not all grant requests are successful. However, one thing is predictable and consistent—100 percent of unwritten grants receive no funding.
The following list provides a starting point to explore free and low cost complementary programs, as well as potential grantors and other sources of external funding.
POPS: PROFESSIONAL OUTREACH PROGRAMS IN SCHOOLS
FREE ARTS EXPERIENCES FOR STUDENTS AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR TEACHERS
POPS groups are professional arts organizations in Utah that receive funding from the Utah State Legislature to provide performances, workshops, demonstrations, and arts experiences for students in the K–12 schools. (Read details on services offered by POPS in each of the following art form specific sections or at popsutah.org.) POPS organizations also provide free and subsidized opportunities for teacher development in arts skills and pedagogy. Performance matinees, museum tours, and field trips are often free as well, however, busing costs may need to be covered by the school. Additionally, inclusive arts programing for students with disabilities is offered by Art Access (accessart.org) and the Inclusive Arts Festival.
BEVERLEY TAYLOR SORENSON ARTS LEARNING PROGRAM: K–6
The Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTSALP), administered by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE), has been a major catalyst for propelling arts integrated learning in Utah schools.
The BTSALP provides matching grants to school districts to facilitate hiring arts specialists who shape arts-integrated instruction in their elementary schools. To date, research suggests that this program increases student performance in every subject—from language arts and social studies to math and science. The program is currently housed in 300 Utah elementary schools in 31 districts (including over 30 charter schools) and is serving approximately 202,800 students per year.
BTSALP arts specialists—in the fields of dance, music, theater, and visual arts—work alongside classroom teachers to develop lessons and projects that integrate non-arts core curricular explorations with the arts disciplines. The goal of the USBE is to expand BTSALP statewide, so that every elementary school student in Utah is served.
The USBE invites interested schools and districts to apply for funding. Once schools have received initial funding, they are eligible to continue in the program.
UTAH DIVISION OF ARTS AND MUSEUMS (Visit artsandmuseums.utah.gov for more details.)
UDAM encourages partnerships in the classroom between teachers and professional artists to increase active student engagement in the creative process by offering Arts Learning Grants up to $7,000. Teachers are encouraged to partner with artists as a tool for professional development as well. UDAM also offers a Teacher-Initiated Project grant that gives teachers the opportunity to study one-on-one with a professional artist. TIPs provide teachers a chance to develop their skill and passion in the art form of their choice.
UDAM provides a limited number of site-specific professional development workshops in the arts. School faculty determine the discipline and instructional plan and UDAM funds the presenter. UDAM further partners with multiple arts organizations to offer professional development workshops in dance, music, theater, and visual arts throughout the state.
UDAM maintains a roster of approved teaching artists in dance, music, theater, visual arts, media arts, folk arts, and creative writing. Artists are selected for both artistic and educational excellence. UDAM additionally offers technical assistance in writing grants, developing long-term arts education goals and access to prevailing research in arts education. Advocacy tools produced by UDAM such as the Ten Lessons the Arts Teach, the arts/science brochure, and a parent arts education advocacy booklet can be shipped to schools upon request.
|Arts Learning Grant
||Teacher-Initiated Project Grant
UTAH PARENT TEACHER ASSOCIATION (PTA) ARTS EDUCATION GRANT
- Offers funds for arts programs in Utah schools sponsored by individual PTA units, matching funds that local school PTAs provide for enhancing art programs for elementary and secondary students
- May be requested to improve an existing arts program or to create a new one—including funds for supplies, musical scores, royalties and rights to scripts, costuming, theatrical props, etc.
- Up to $500 from Utah PTA, additional funds may be available from local PTA
- Due February 1
Your local arts council may be able to support your arts mission
PHILANTHROPY AND CROWDSOURCING
Please follow your district policy regarding teachers and schools raising funds for the arts. Many districts have foundations that do fundraising for the district. Philanthropy could include donations from foundations, businesses, or individual donors who share your vision, mission, and values. Some philanthropic gifts can be substantial. These relationships often require cultivation, trust building, and time.
Crowdsourcing refers to a funding effort that raises small amounts of money from a large number of people, usually on the internet. The following crowdsource funding sites are specifically designed to help teachers solicit funds to purchase supplies, materials, and/or equipment to support their curricular and co-curricular work. Generally, teachers describe their projects, the intended educational outcomes, and the list of materials and resources they need in order to complete their project successfully. Donors from their community, from across the country, or from around the world can contribute funds to their project.
ONLINE RESOURCES TO SUPPORT ADMINISTRATORS
National Arts Standards Website
The website for the National Core Arts Standards includes several resources to support administrators and leaders in arts education who are seeking to strengthen or build educational arts programs in their communities and schools. Below is a brief description of the available online resources. Resources can be found at www.nationalartsstandards.org/content/resources.
More Information on the Core Standards for the Arts—NCCAS Conceptual Framework
The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards has provided several documents that describe the development, purpose, intended goals, and theory behind the development and adoption of the National Core Arts Standards. As our state core standards are similarly organized and developed, this resource offers deeper insight into the curriculum that should be taught in educational arts programs and will aid in hiring, assessing, and supporting the arts educators at your school.
The College Board Research Documents (www.collegeboard.org)
The College Board created resources on this site to illuminate the connections between the core standards in the arts and other areas of education, child development, and with preparation for post-graduation. The following topics are addressed in their online resources.
- The connection between the core standards in the arts and the common core
- The connection between the core standards in the arts and the development of twenty-first century skills (developed in partnership with P21)
- A description of how the core standards in the arts are connected to college-level expectations in the arts
- Current research and best practices related to arts education and child development
Opportunity-to-Learn Student Standards
The national arts education organizations in dance, drama, music, and visual arts each provide approximately 20–40 pages of in-depth details regarding standards for curriculum planning, staffing, facilities, safety, and resources needed to support strong educational arts programs.
National Arts Education Organizations Advocacy Websites
Additional resources to support educational arts programs can be found at the following websites.
- National Arts Education Association—https://www.arteducators.org/advocacy
- National Dance Education Organization—https://www.ndeo.org/advocacy
- National Association for Music Education—https://nafme.org/advocacy/
- Educational Theatre Association—https://www.schooltheatre.org/advocacy
- American Alliance for Theatre and Education—https://www.aate.com/advocacy
- Americans for the Arts—https://www.americansforthearts.org/advocate
Accredited Schools Online (https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/resources/school-fundraising/)
Online learning is increasingly common. Today, millions of students at all levels access digital learning both inside and outside the walls of their schools. While many think of online schooling as geared solely toward high school and beyond, elementary school students can also benefit from supplemental or fully online school programs.