Grants & Programs

Arts-in-Education Residency Program

These grants provide support for artist residencies in schools and communities statewide. Residencies last from two weeks to six months. Primary and secondary educational institutions, community colleges, and local community organizations are eligible to apply, as well as four-year colleges and universities if the residency involves local K-12 student population.

The Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) recognizes the arts as a necessity in the development of Illinois students as future contributing members of society and the importance of the inclusion of the arts in lifelong learning. At the heart of the Agency’s Arts-in-Education (AIE) Residency Program is the belief that artist residency projects can make an invaluable and unique contribution to the educational process. A professional artist teaching and creating his or her art on-site can inspire one classroom, one teacher, one school district, or one community to integrate the arts into its ongoing activities and become a vital part of everyone’s learning experience.

The Arts-in-Education Residency Program provides support to Illinois not-for-profit organizations for professional artist residencies lasting from two weeks to six months in one fiscal year. Grant requests for fiscal year 2015 are for activities occurring between November 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015. The deadline to apply is June 18, 2014. Past grants have supported residencies sponsored by libraries, park districts, churches, schools, school districts, colleges, universities, local arts agencies, municipalities, hospitals, community centers, youth organizations, and senior centers.

Program Goals

  • To create a focus around which the educational and civic community can work together to develop or strengthen programs in arts education.
  • To increase the understanding of, and appreciation for, the arts and artists within schools and communities.
  • To provide opportunities for the professional artist to work in a community context.
  • To increase public recognition and support for the arts and arts education.
  • To support arts programming that reflects the diversity and cultural richness of Illinois and encourages active participation from all residents.
  • To assist educators in the initiation of innovative strategies in arts curriculum development and implementation.
  • To collaborate with organizations, educators, and artists throughout the state in order to better meet the arts education needs of the citizens of Illinois.

Residency Options

The AIE Residency Program offers sponsors a number of different options in designing an arts-in-education residency project that will meet their educational and programmatic goals. Review the types of residencies listed below, and indicate the option selected on the eGrant application form.

All residency projects must be developed by the sponsor/host site in consultation with the IACA AIE Artists Roster individual artist or company selected to carry out the residency project.

Individual Artist Residency – lasts for a minimum of four weeks to a maximum of six months and is carried out by a single artist selected from the IACA AIE Artists Roster.

Company Residency - A company residency involves a company listed in the IACA AIE Artists Roster under the disciplines of dance, interdisciplinary arts, music, and theater. At least three members of the resident company are engaged to teach as an ensemble for the duration of the residency. A company residency is contracted for a minimum of two weeks up to a maximum of six months.  

Company residencies require:

  • At least one company performance to be scheduled during the residency. If the performance is open to the community, it also may be considered the community activity for that month.
  • At least two of the three company artists to be engaged for the residency participate in the in-service.
  • The company members engaged for the residency are on-site at least two days each week for the duration of the residency.
  • A guest artist is selected to participate in residency activities at least once each month for company residencies lasting four weeks or longer. Sponsors are encouraged to choose a guest artist from outside the ranks of the resident company.

Multi-Disciplinary Residency - involves two individual artists selected from the IACA AIE Artists Roster who collaboratively plan and execute a series of unique experiences. These residencies are scheduled for a minimum of two weeks up to a maximum of six months. This type of residency project is designed to introduce participants to experiences that combine two art forms in new and experimental ways by highlighting the two roster artists’ unique artistic perspectives and creative processes. First-time sponsors are not eligible to apply for this residency due to the extensive planning required. Experienced sponsors interested in applying for this type of residency should contact IACA AIE staff well in advance of the deadline.

Program Alternatives

Schools, school districts and local community organizations interested in a short-term residency should apply to the StARTS Program. The StARTS Program is designed to support interaction with professional Illinois artists through workshops and classes sponsored by a school or school-district. First-time applicants to the IACA are highly encouraged to apply for this grant before applying to the Agency’s AIE Residency Program.

StARTS Program applications will support an artist, company or ensemble to work on-site for between five and thirty hours over no more than a six-week period. Each project must be designed by the selected artist and applicant organization to provide a creative, hands-on learning experience for a consistent core group of participants. The proposed project must meet a specific community or curricular need as identified by current staff, and expand the artistic opportunities for the targeted core group of participants.