Artists in School/Communities Grant Guidelines

A group of elementary school children gather round to talk with artist Ashley Laverty

Program Description

The Artists in Schools/Communities (AiS/C) Grant program provides funds to hire artists from the Nebraska Arts Council’s Teaching Artist Roster to lead interactive sessions conducted online or in-person. During the sessions, artists share expertise with participants through creative and educational demonstrations, performances, or guided arts activities in a variety of disciplines. Sponsors may hire an artist for an AiS/C Visits program consisting of three sessions or an AiS/C Residency consisting of ten or more sessions.

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New for residencies starting July 1, 2021 or later:


Nonprofit organizations incorporated in Nebraska that are federally tax-exempt, public agencies and subdivisions of governmental agencies, including PreK-12 accredited schools. Colleges and universities may apply only when significant public participation is planned, with substantial evidence of service beyond the campus community.

Restrictions of the Category

Applicants may submit up to one Visits request and one Residency request for the same artist at a particular school or organization per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). NAC reserves the right to limit funding. Deadline Grant applications are due at least six weeks before the AiS/C program start date and are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply as far in advance as possible.

Grant Amounts

Applicants may request $300 for a series of three Artist Visits or between $550 – $1,650 for 10 to 30 Residency Sessions. There is no cash match required. Important: NAC issues grants to the sponsoring school or organization, not to the artist. The applicant is responsible for paying the artist.


Grants apply only to contractual artist fees. Use this budget worksheet (Budget worksheet in Word link) to calculate the Artist Fee(s). This worksheet will need to be uploaded in the online grant application.

AiS/C Visits are calculated at a set fee of $300 for a series of three sessions which includes planning time.

AiS/C Residencies are calculated on a per-session fee of $50. The Artist is paid one pre-planning session for every ten hours of activity sessions.

Additional Expenses Sponsors are responsible for, if applicable, to be negotiated directly with the artist:

Process to hire an artist and apply for a NAC grant:

Step 1: Select an artist from the NAC Teaching Artist Roster. Only those artists with (Virtual) next to their name are available for virtual AiS/C programs.

Step 2: Contact artists directly before applying for a grant, and involve them in all aspects of planning the sessions, including design of activities, setting learning objectives, and scheduling. To start the conversation, inform the artist if you are interested in the AiS/C Visits program (3 sessions) or a longer AiS/C Residency (10+ sessions). Keep in mind these AiS/C program requirements while planning:

Step 3: Once arrangements have been made with the artist, obtain a signed contract, using NAC’s artist agreement form. It must be signed by both parties and uploaded in the online grant application. Terms in this agreement are subject to grant approval by NAC.

Step 4: Apply in NAC’s online grant system: For assistance in creating an account in the NAC grants system, please email or call 402-595-2124.

AiS/C Artist Background Check Policy

Individuals who are approved for the Artist Roster have been vetted regarding their artistic expertise and suitability as teaching artists. The Nebraska Arts Council does not conduct criminal background checks as part of this process. When contracting with artists, each school or organization should apply its own policy.

Prior to being added to the Artist Roster, the NAC conducts an extensive review process for individuals who apply for it. Applicants are required to submit credentials, references and letters of recommendation for review. In addition, applicants are interviewed by a panel of arts and education professionals who assess the individual’s suitability for working with groups, in particular children. The Nebraska Arts Council also monitors Sponsor Evaluations of AiS/C residencies in order to ensure that Roster Artists meet high professional standards.