Artists in Schools & Communities

Artists In Schools & Communities (AISC) is a residency program for K-12 schools and community organizations, with matching funds from the South Dakota Arts Council (SDAC).

Artists In Schools & Communities is designed to:

  • Provide students and communities an opportunity to work with and learn from a professional artist.
  • Assist in the development of a school/community commitment to the arts as basic to education and life-long learning.
  • Serve teachers by providing a resource person in a specific arts discipline who can help develop methods of creative teaching and assist schools/teachers in meeting educational content standards.
  • Serve communities by providing artists to assist with community betterment, i.e. artistic and environmental design projects, theater residencies, murals, classes and workshops, etc.
  • Support individual artists by providing time during the residency to pursue their own artistic development.


  • Professional artists in all arts disciplines are eligible to apply.
  • Artists must be willing to travel throughout South Dakota, to work in residencies year round, and to work with a variety of grade and age levels.
  • Artists are also encouraged to develop plans for community-wide residencies in addition to standard school residencies.
  • Artists are endorsed for three years. Second and third year participation is contingent upon successful evaluations. New artists may be added to the roster annually.
  • Priority is given to South Dakota artists.
  • Artists who have been endorsed through a panel review process at least twice and who have received favorable evaluations are not required to reapply but should notify SDAC staff if they do not wish to continue roster participation.

Artists who have not completed a residency in a three-year period may be removed from the Artists in Schools and Communities roster and asked to reapply at the discretion of Arts Council staff. Artists with extenuating circumstances who cannot meet the requirement to complete a residency may request a leave of absence from the AISC roster.

Criteria for Awarding Grants
In reviewing applications, panelists consider the following:

  • Quality of the artist’s work and indication of exceptional talent within the art form.
  • Demonstration of a sustained high level of performance throughout career.
  • Quality of the applicant’s work as demonstrated by artistic documentation submitted. Artistic quality plays a critical role in panel ratings and funding recommendations. Artistic quality is determined only by the quality of the submitted documentation.
  • Ability to encourage and supplement the arts in South Dakota schools/communities as a resource person.
  • Proposed activity effectively serving students and teachers.
  • Ability to assist in the development of making arts basic to education.
  • Past evaluations from schools, if appropriate.
  • Ability to contribute to a balance among arts disciplines.


Artists/arts ensembles are invited to apply to participate in the South Dakota Arts Council’s (SDAC) Artists in Schools and Communities program. The application deadline is September 24, 2022. Apply online at

Visit the Applicant Portal for Teaching Artists for resources for completing the application. Online at

Grant Amount

Matching grants, which include half the artist’s fee plus mileage, will be made to the AISC local sponsor. At the completion of the residency, it is the sponsor’s responsibility to pay the total fee and mileage to the artist.
Artist's Fee:

One Semester Residency   One Month Residency   One Week Residency  
Total Fee  $25,600 Total Fee  $6,400 Total Fee $1,600
School/Community Cost $12,800 School/Community Cost $3,200 School/Community Cost $800
SDAC Cost $12,800 SDAC Cost $3,200 SDAC Cost $800        

For AISC residencies involving two or more artists, fees are set at $2,600 per residency week. SDAC grants will be awarded for multi-artist residencies at $1,300/week with the sponsor matching the remaining $1,300/week.

In-state artists will be paid for their mileage at state rates, (round-trip from their home address to the residency site). Out-of-state artists will be reimbursed for round-trip mileage or round-trip airfare, whichever amount is less, usually not to exceed $500. AISC artists who live in South Dakota will receive additional mileage during residencies three weeks or longer.

Local sponsors are required to provide housing in a motel or similar facility unless such facilities are not available or unless the artist requests to stay in a private home. Private housing requests should be initiated by the artist, not by the sponsor. If the residency is in the artist’s home town, this provision does not apply. If the residency is within daily driving distance from the artist’s home, additional mileage reimbursement (over and above that provided by SDAC) may be paid in lieu of the sponsor providing housing.

Residency art supplies are the responsibility of the sponsor. Artists should contact the sponsor before the residency to determine supply need and costs.


Artists recommended for endorsement to the AISC roster will be asked to submit to a state/federal background check and release the results to the South Dakota Arts Council office before the Council approves the recommendation. Costs of background checks will be paid by the South Dakota Arts Council, but artists will be responsible for paying fees associated with fingerprinting at their local law enforcement agencies. A criminal conviction does not necessarily disqualify an artist from endorsement by the South Dakota Arts Council. Results will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Artist’s evaluations of residencies are due 30 days from the ending date of the activity. Information required on the Evaluation Form includes description and comments on the residency, rating of the residency, number of students and teachers benefiting, explanation of additional activities and plans for residency follow-through.

Artists In Schools & Communities residencies are also evaluated by local sponsors within 30 days after the completion of a residency.

Subsequent grants are dependent upon receipt of completed evaluation reports.

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