To increase opportunities for short-term artist residencies that engage communities and learners in 20 hours or less of arts-based instruction.
The Arts in Practice grants program provides support of up to $1,500 (15 percent cash match) to eligible Virginia Pre–K-12 schools, nonprofit organizations, and units of local and tribal government for short-term residencies focused on participatory and experiential learning conducted by professional teaching artists. VCA Teaching Roster Artists who are permanent Virginia residents can apply for up to two Arts in Practice grants per grant cycle. Funding is available on a first-come-first-served basis and applications will be reviewed by staff in the order in which they are received. The shape and schedule of the residency is up to the school/organization and the artist. An intensive residency may occur over one to three days, or it may be appropriate to have more residency activities of shorter duration, such as two hours a week for six weeks. For residencies that are more than 20 hours, please apply for the Education Impact Grant.
- Virginia’s public Pre-K–12 schools
- Virginia private, federally tax-exempt schools
- Virginia nonprofit organizations
- Virginia units of local and tribal government
- Current VCA Teaching Artist Roster participants who are permanent Virginia residents
- Organizations receiving GOS grants may not apply for Arts in Practice Grants.
- Eligible applicants may apply for no more than two Arts in Practice Grants within a grant cycle.
Meets the basic eligibility requirements as listed on page 9 of the Guidelines for Funding
- Short-term active participatory residency including for schools and communities not to exceed 20 hours
- Residency activities could include workshops, demonstrations with a participatory component, and individual or community projects
- Synchronous or asynchronous virtual learning with a specific Virginia population
- An elementary school engages a dance artist for four weeks to conduct 45-minute weekly sessions with each third-grade classroom to integrate movement with their study of migration.
- A poet is brought in by a community center to work with a group of senior citizens on memory and personal history through poetry.
- A theatre artist conducts a workshop for teachers of rural second-language English learners to develop lessons utilizing theatre performance techniques to support language development.
- A nonprofit organization coordinates a one-day military/veteran’s family event where teaching artists conduct mini-workshops and demonstrations.
- The Arts in Practice grant is not intended to support concerts, assemblies, or field trips.
- Assessment is required to measure residency effectiveness in meeting the program goals.
Between July 1, 2023, and April 15, 2024, by staff in the order in which they are received. Applications will be accepted until the funds are fully committed, but no later than April 15, 2024.
Up to $1,500 (15 percent cash match). Grants are awarded from available funds on a first-come, first-served basis.
Grant awards to organizations must include a 15 percent cash match. Sources of matching funds may include revenue from the project activities such as ticket sales, contributions from foundations or corporations, government support from federal or local sources, or cash from the organization’s own accounts.
In-kind contributions cannot be counted as part of a cash match. In-kind contributions are the dollar value of materials and services that are provided to a project at no cash cost from sources other than the applicant, e.g. volunteer hours or donated space. However, it is important to document and include information on in-kind contributions as part of the application budget. In-kind donations help to demonstrate a community’s support of a project.
Criteria for Evaluating Applications
The Virginia Commission for the Arts is interested in innovative, collaborative art programs and/or services with the following priorities:
Education Impact—The extent to which there is an active, two-way engagement between the applicant and the audience/community in the planning, participation, and evaluation of the proposed activity, including intentional strategies to reach new, underserved, under-resourced, and under-represented communities.
Artistic Excellence—Supported evidence of artistic knowledge and skills and demonstrates a committed effort to provide its audience/community with an innovative, impactful, and quality artistic experience.
Instructional Excellence—The extent to which the applicant can demonstrate sound educational practices and pedagogy.
The following forms will be provided by the VCA via upload in the online grant application:
- Project Budget Form
- Signed Certification of Assurances
- Virginia W-9 Form
Applicants must generate and upload the following documents:
- Teaching Artist(s) Resumes
- Residency/Workshop Lesson Plan
- Three Documents Reflecting Artistic Excellence
- One Document Reflecting Instructional Excellence
- Letters of Reference
- IRS 501(c)(3) Determination Letter
Criteria for Funding
- Demonstrated need by the applicant school or organization for the proposed residency
- Financial need of the school or community organization for the requested grant
- VCA Teaching Roster Artists working with populations with limited arts access
- Applicants must complete and submit the online application at least six weeks before the proposed activity, to take place between August 15, 2023, and June 15, 2024.
- The Commission staff will review Arts in Practice grant proposals for completeness and eligibility.
- The Commission staff reviews proposals and notifies the applicant promptly.
- After receiving confirmation of a grant award, grant funds will be processed prior to the planned activity.
- Awarded applicants are required to submit a final report within 30 days of the completed activity and no later than June 15, 2024.