Arts Education Grants


Puppeteer Chantal VanWierts demonstrates Toy Puppet Theatre to attentive 3rd graders

Puppeteer Chantal VanWierts demonstrates Toy Puppet Theater to attentive 3rd graders

Grant funds are available for ARTS EDUCATION programs in Columbia, Greene & Schoharie Counties for artists (musicians, literary, performing artists, etc) or arts organizations working in partnership with a K-12 public school.  Not intended to replace the role of certified art teachers, these grants seek to enrich & enhance student experience of the arts and creative process. Eligible projects must involve at least one class and include 3 contact periods between the same artist/group and students.  These funds provided by the Decentralization program of New York State Council on the Arts and administered by Greene County Council on the Arts in partnership with Questar III. Technical assistance at any stage of the process is available, just give us a shout!  The next funding cycle will be for the fall 2014/spring 2015 school year NOTE: Our application deadline HAS CHANGED!  Deadline for application will be July 31, 2014.  For information call 943-3400 or email  Guidelines & Applications are available here: AE Regrant GUIDELINES 14-15  & AE app 2015.

Basic Requirements:

  • A teacher and a core group of students (one or more classes) must be identified who will have sustained contact with the same artist or organization for a minimum of three (3) contact sessions. These contact sessions must be separated by at least one day.
  • Generally, the school partner contributes some cash toward the expenses of the project. The more the school is able to contribute, the higher the proposal may score during panel deliberations.  A 50% match to the request in the form of cash and/or in-kind resources is required and can come from PTSO funds, BOCES arts cosers, district professional development funds, fundraisers and other grants.
  • In most cases the artist or arts organization will be the primary applicant (if based in the same county as the collaborating school).  When the artist/arts org is from outside the county, a local conduit such as library or PTO may serve in this capacity.  The participating school itself cannot be the applicant.
  • Projects do not need to be interdisciplary, but often the more successful and imaginative projects are, and reflect collaboration between artist & different subject area teachers.
  • Projects MUST focus on exploration of art & artistic process 
  • Projects MUST center on the development and implementation of sequential, hands-on study that incorporates one or more art forms

Our 2014 Arts Education Awards include: 

 Columbia County:

  • John Farrell & Taconic Hills Elementary - $2605 for Where We Live: Learning Around the World, a multidisciplinary project with Farrell and students and teachers from MukwashiTrustSchool in Zambia to create an informative collaborative video.  Grade 3 students will investigate music, art, songwriting, writing, and videography as well as discover the differences and similarities in the lives of their Zambia school partners. 
  • Valatie Free Library & Ichabod Crane Elementary$2500 in support of Storytelling Life Moments to Develop Personal Cultural Awareness and Prevent Bullying for grades 4 & 5.  In this eight session program, professional storyteller Marni Gillard will engage students in the practice of dramatic storytelling and polishing speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.
  •  Valatie Free Library & Ichabod Crane Elementary$2500 for Words that Move Us, a workshop series with Ulster County based dancer-educator Susan Griss for grade 2.  Words will employ elements of dance and movement to increase reading comprehension skills in addition to exploring dance as a language for communication.            

Greene County: 

  • Athens Cultural Center & E.J. Arthur Elementary - $850 in support of Playing with the Fables: Interpreting Aesop’s Fables through Toy Puppet Theater, a multi-disciplinary project of writing, visual arts and performance for grade 3 with Chantal Van Wierts of Magic Lantern Puppets. Students will be introduced to the history of toy theater and collaborate in small groups to produce their own short puppet play. 
  •  Catskill Rotary & Catskill Elementary - $2675 in support of Early Literacy Through Stories & Songs for Kindergarten.  Musician/Songwriter John Farrell and nonprofit Bridges of Peace and Hope will lead the students in writing and illustrating original songs and stories through onsite workshops and teleconference collaborations with Sunset Elementary School in Craig, Colorado.   
  • Catskill Community Center & Cairo-Durham High School - $750 in support of Utopian Visions, a design, writing, and sound recording project investigating social and societal relationships for Grade 12 with Catskill-based teaching artist Laura Anderson.  Culminating “visions” will be shared with the community on “Kids Brain Radio, a youth only radio show on WGXC. 
  •  Ruth Leonard & Catskill Elementary$3250 in support of Flora & Fauna Murals, a biological and artistic exploration of the RamsHorn Livingston Preserve ecosystem in Catskill for grade 5.  Students investigated the five biomes of the Preserve with Leonard and naturalist Larry Federman and visually interpreted their discoveries in several large murals using collage, painting, and drawing.   

Schoharie County:        

  • Morgan Kelly & Middleburgh Elementary$870 for Parade Puppets in Middleburgh, a 6-week residency in which grade 3 students will design and construct large scale paper mache puppets based on two themes selected from the 3rd grade curriculum.  Project will involve literacy, storytelling, biology and ecology and be led by Morgan Kelly, a professional teaching artist and puppet builder since 2006.

 Arts Education Partnership award recommendations are determined by a combined Greene,Columbia, and Schoharie County review panel with experience applicable to the task.  Awards are made in accordance with NYSCA guidelines.  For information on any of the awarded programs, or to discuss a potential artist/school partnership for the 2014-15 school year, contact Director of Community Arts and Arts Education Grants, Colette Lemmon at 518-943-3400/  We’re available to help!