Grants and Opportunities

Building Public Will for Arts Education:  Finding the right words for making the case for arts education

The current public perception of arts education is that it is a nicety, rather than a necessity.  Arts educators need to reframe the perception of the arts.  When asked, most parents will say that they want their child to be successful in life.  Book publishers and testing companies have done a wonderful job at connecting life’s success with high scores on tests.  Arts educators have not done such a good job at reframing that belief with the more inclusive belief that life success is dependent upon intellectual flexibility, the ability to learn and adapt to changing situations, the ability to formulate solutions to problems and to apply imagination.

 Arts education is not solely about making more artists and musicians.  It is also about providing students with broader and more inclusive capacities such as critical thinking, problem solving, discipline, persistence, and imagination.  It is about opportunity.

Arts educators can build Public Will by doing the following:

  • Reframe arts education as a provider of skills that strengthen creative capacities that make individuals and communities stronger
  • Engage the community intimately in all its sectors via performances, exhibitions, to the value of arts to the lives of young people
  • Reframe the message of arts education by shifting references from individual disciplines (art, drama, music, dance) to broader capacities such as:
    1. Arts education opens opportunity
    2. Arts education:  the spark of innovation
    3. Creativity is the foundation of opportunity
    4. Arts education makes students more successful
    5. Arts education makes life better
    6. Open minds; free opportunity
    7. Create Opportunity/Create Prosperity
    8. Arts education creates links and connections in a multi-cultural world
    9. Creativity enriches our lives
    10. Inspiring creativity is one of the best investments we can make
    11. Invest in Imagination!
    12. Creativity is the foundation of opportunity

 These messages about arts education do two things.  They demonstrate relevancy to people’s lives and they identify benefits that reinforce community needs and values.  By reframing the message about arts education, arts educators are identifying with the broader concepts of school-wide reform with arts positioned at the core.

 When the community has embraced arts education, individuals in the community will develop the expectation that every child will receive arts instruction.  When this happens we will begin to institutionalize the instruction of creativity, imagination and inquiry in our schools and the arts will become a necessity for all children.

 Inspired by a lecture given by Eric Fishman at the July 2008 Education Leadership Institute, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Local Grants


Kravis Teacher Field Study Grant

The Kravis Teacher Field Study Grant is funded by George Kravis for k-12 visual art teachers.  The grant provides funds for travel to major cities in order to visit art collections.  Application deadline is October 30th.More

Center of the Universe

Center of the Universe grants are funds that are  available to music teachers, grades K-12 for individual classroom awards of up to $500 each.  They are provided by a local music organization called “The Center of the Universe”.  Teachers may use these funds to purchase consumable supplies such as music, reeds, and mouthpieces or may apply those funds to purchase instruments.  The grant is competitive and has a deadline of October 31st each year.  Awards are communicated to recipients two weeks later.


Kaiser Grant

Myrna Kaiser provides $5,000 each year to classroom art teachers so that they may purchase supplies to create “fine craft” projects.  Fine Craft is a discipline that rests between Crafts and Fine Arts.  It involves the craftsmanship of the crafts but also the creativity and innovation of the fine arts.  This is a competitive program which awards 10 - $500 each, grants to art teachers in grades K-12.  Applications are sent out annually from the Fine Arts Office to all visual art teachers.  The deadline is traditionally October 31 with notification of awards two weeks thereafter.More

The Assistance League of Tulsa

Every year the Assistance League of Tulsa provides funding for special projects for Tulsa Public Schools Fine Arts Teachers (see attached grant application).  You may answer directly on the form or provide additional material. 


When the committee meets to decide upon the winners they will be specifically looking for proposals that outline a special project.  These grants are not designed for the purchase of classroom supplies or equipment that are not associated with a standards-based lesson or unit.  Winners of the grants in past years outlined a creative lesson that was standards based.  Supplies and equipment requested were only included as a vehicle to support to the successful completion of that lesson or unit.  The grant request should be limited to $2500.  You may apply for multiple projects.  However, only one grant per selected teacher will be awarded.  Special attention will be given to proposals that have not been funded previously and that develop a creative lesson that might not have happened without the grant support.



The Grant Development Office provides many resources for teachers seeking grants, including 28 pages of Grant Opportunities.  Fine Arts teachers will likely find the most opportunities under the General School/Classroom and Arts/Music/Theater categories.  Contact Rochelle Klein, Grant Writer, at 918-746-6830 or if you have any questions or need assistance.

Government or Nationally Based Grants

National Endowment for the Arts

Early Childhood: Projects provide arts learning activities for young children who are not yet of kindergarten age, and professional development for teachers, artists, and others who work with them.

School-based: Projects involve children and youth in grades K-12 and are directly connected to the curriculum and instructional program of schools.

Community-based: Projects occur outside of the regular school day and year in a variety of settings, offered by arts organizations or other community-based, non-arts organizations in partnership with artists and arts groups.

Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation

Melody Program helps K-12 school instrumental music programs that take place during the regular school day.
  • Public, private and charter schools may apply, however, schools must be Title 1 or be able to demonstrate financial need.
  • Schools must have an established instrumental music program (i.e. concert band, marching band, jazz band and/or orchestra) that is at least three years old. If your school offers Orff/classroom music only, it is NOT eligible to apply.
  • Schools must have an existing inventory of instruments.
  • Schools must apply separately (please provide information for the applying school only, do not include information for other schools within the district even if the music teacher teaches at more than one school).
  • Requests should not exceed $10,000 worth (retail value) of musical instruments. Full or partial requests may be awarded.

Special Projects Program helps before and after-school music programs.

  • Programs must be at least three years old.
  • Programs must have an existing inventory of instruments.
  • Requests should not exceed $10,000 worth (retail value) of musical instruments. Full or partial requests may be awarded.
  • If any portion of your music program takes place during the regular school day, please use the Melody Program application.

Target Corporation-Arts Grants


Target funds arts programs that bring the arts to schools or make it affordable for youth and families to participate in cultural experiences, such as school touring programs, field trips to the theater or symphony, or artists residencies and workshops in schools. Programs that make the arts accessible to school children are of particular interest to us.


March 1, 2015 is when application dates for the year will be posted.  Most grants average between $1,000 and $3,000.

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