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United Arts Council

School Planning & Innovation Grants

School Planning & Innovation grants are intended to assist in the development of long-term, innovative, and arts-based educational programs that involve teaching artist(s) or arts consultant and may involve partners or collaborators. Programs developed must demonstrate strong connections to the Common Core and NC Essential Standards. Schools may apply for a one-year planning grant. If a planning grant is awarded and the project is successful, the applicant may apply for an implementation grant in the School Project or Youth Arts category, if applicable, in subsequent years. Receiving a planning grant award does not guarantee funding for implementation. United Arts will also consider innovative concepts/projects that contribute to a change in instructional practice, leadership in the arts or an increased emphasis on the arts in the school culture.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants in the School Planning and Innovation category must:

  • be an accredited PreK-12 public, private, or charter school located in Wake County or a PTA that supports one of these schools;
  • attend an application workshop;
  • meet with United Arts staff (if required); and
  • be in Good Standing as defined in General Grant Policies (previous recipients only).

Eligible applications must:

  • be for arts-related programming to take place in Wake County; and
  • request at least $1,000.

Eligible programs must:

  • take place between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019; and
  • be compatible with the applicant’s mission.

Applicants for School Planning & Innovation grants may not apply in any other United Arts grant category.  

Maximum Grant Request

Schools may apply for a maximum of $6,000 or up to 50% of their project expenses, whichever is less. School Planning and Innovation Grant funds must be matched one-to-one, although applicants may use salaries of participating faculty as part of their match. School Planning and Innovation Grant funds may not be matched with other United Arts grants.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications in the School Planning and Innovation category will be reviewed and scored by a grant peer review panel according to the following criteria:

Project Quality 55%

  • Degree of innovation and/or need for project/concept proposed for development
  • Extent to which the project/concept aligns with Common Core and/or NC Essential Standards
  • Quality and clarity of project plans and potential for proposed activities to meet project goals
  • Evidence of planning among teaching artist(s)/consultant(s), school administrators, teachers and other key participants
  • Qualifications, background and expertise of the teaching artist(s)/consultant(s) including demonstrated ability and skills in working in a K-12 educational setting
  • Potential of activities to extend (current/future) participants’ knowledge and/or skills in the arts and/or other curriculum areas

Project Management and Impact 35%

  • Administrative capacity, resources, planning and expertise to carry out the project
  • Appropriate evaluation strategies that are aligned to project goals
  • Efforts to document and share the project as appropriate
  • Extent to which the proposed planning activities will assist in making informed decisions about how and if to proceed with implementation
  • Engagement/impact on teachers or students
  • Efforts to involve a diversity of participants

Compliance 10%

  • Completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of application
  • Completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of reports and other requirements


PO Box 26388
Raleigh, NC 27611

Phone: (919) 839-1498
[email protected]