Education Impact Grants

Education Impact Grants

Education Impact Grants

These grants provide Virginia’s Pre-K-12 students and teachers opportunities to work with professional artists in an in-school, after-school, or other community setting, including summer activities.


Provide opportunities for Virginia’s students, educators, and other adult populations to participate in and learn through the arts by working with highly qualified professional artists, in support of lifelong learning.


These grants provide Virginia’s Pre-K-12 students and teachers with opportunities to work with professional artists either in a school setting or through after-school or summer activities. Education Impact Grants may support professional development for teaching artists and educators to work with elementary and secondary school students, or other adult populations in community settings.

Eligible Applicants

  • Virginia public Pre-K–12 schools 
  • Virginia private, federally tax-exempt schools  
  • Virginia 501(c)(3) organizations 
  • Virginia units of local or tribal government
  • Applicants applying for Education Impact Grants may not apply for Community Impact Grants. 
  • All programming must take place in ADA-compliant facilities 

Eligible Activities

  • New or expanded artist residencies for Pre-K –12 students or adult populations, based upon identified learning goals 
  • New or expanded after-school or summer arts education programs facilitated by nonprofit arts organizations 
  • New or expanded training programs for artists or arts integration professional development for teachers who work with Virginia’s Pre-K-12 students 
  • Synchronous or asynchronous virtual learning with a specific Virginia population

The Commission will not fund the same activity by the same applicant for more than three years without significant program expansion. 

Teaching Artists may be proposed in the application with supplemental documentation of the artist’s qualifications or selected from the Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster. Grant funds may be used for artist stipends, equipment, supplies, and costs for documenting and/or evaluating program outcomes. 

Application Deadline

April 1, 2023, by 5:00 p.m. EST, for activities/residencies taking place between July 1, 2023, and June 15, 2024. 

Assistance Amount

Generally, the grant amounts will be between $1,000 and $5,000. Applicants may submit more than one application for a combined total of no more than $5,000 and must provide at least a 1:1 cash match of the requested grant. The Virginia Commission for the Arts will rarely grant more than 50 percent of the cash costs of any project.

Cash Match

Grant awards to organizations must be matched 1:1. For example, if an organization requests $1,000 from VCA, it must have at least $1,000 in cash income from another source (other than state or federal funds) towards the expenses of that same project. Sources of matching funds may include revenue from the project activities such as ticket sales; contributions from individuals, foundations, or corporations; or cash from the organization’s / school’s own accounts. 

In-kind Support

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 arts education 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 and underserved, under-resourced, and under-represented communities. 

Artistic Excellence — Relative to the budget size of the organization, the extent to which the applicant demonstrates a committed effort to provide its audience/community with an innovative, impactful, and quality artistic experience. 

Operational Excellence —The extent to which the applicant can demonstrate sound fiscal and project management. 

Fiscal Agents

A nonprofit, tax-exempt Virginia organization or unit of government may act as fiscal agent for an Education Impact Grant request by an organization that is not tax-exempt or not incorporated in Virginia. The fiscal agent must complete and sign the application and, if a grant is received, is legally responsible for the completion of the project and for the proper management of the grant funds. The Commission requires that a fiscal agent has a written agreement with the individual or organization that will actually administer the project, to avoid misunderstandings. The Commission requires a signed copy of the written agreement between the two parties as part of the application. The fiscal agent may not have a staff member affiliated with any aspect of the project, either as an employee or in a policymaking role such as serving on the board of directors.   

Required Attachments

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) Resume
  • Residency/Workshop Lesson Plan 
  • Three Documents Reflecting Artistic Excellence  
  • One Document Reflecting Instructional Excellence 
  • Two Letters of Reference
  • IRS 501(c)(3) Determination Letter 

Application/Review Process

  1. Applications are due April 1, 2023, by 5:00 p.m. EST.  Commission staff is available for consultation and draft application reviews until March 1, 2023. 
  2. Commission staff reviews the applications and forwards them to members of the statewide, multi-disciplinary advisory panel to review prior to the panel meeting. 
  3. The advisory panel meets with two members of the Commission staff and a Commissioner. Applicant representatives may attend the panel meeting as observers but may not present to the panel. The panelists make their recommendations after a group discussion. Names of Commissioners and advisory panelists, as well as dates and locations of the Commission and the panel meeting, are available on the Commission website.  
  4. The board of the Commission reviews the panel and staff recommendations and takes final action on the applications. 
  5. Applicants are notified of Commission action by email in late June.  
  6. The Commission will generally pay 85 percent of each year’s grant amount by September 15. The final 15 percent will be paid within 30 days after the Commission receives the final report on the grant. The Commission reserves the right to use an alternative payment schedule in special circumstances. Final reports must be submitted within 30 days of the completion of the project and no later than June 1. 
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