Artists in Schools & Communities

Artists interested in applying to participate in the South Dakota Arts Council's (SDAC) Artists in Schools and Communities (AISC) have through Sept. 4 to complete application.For complete programming information, resources, and instructions to apply, visit the AISC applicant portal at

The Artists in Schools & Communities residency program supports teaching artist residencies to enhance the educational process and provide inroads to learning that are engaging, creative, and meaningful. The intent of the program is to enrich and support quality education, not to supplant or substitute school-based arts education programs or services more appropriately provided by state certified arts instructors.

The Artists in Schools & Communities (AISC) program 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 for their own artistic development.

AISC grants support schools and non-profit organizations hosting teaching artists from the roster. Artists must apply to join the South Dakota Arts Council’s teaching artist roster.

Applications for the teaching artist roster and grant guidelines will be posted soon.

Are you eligible?

Read ALL the guidelines prior to applying for ANY SDAC grant. Applicants that do not meet the eligibility requirements will not be reviewed. Contact SDAC staff with any questions regarding eligibility.

  • Professional artists in all arts disciplines are eligible to apply. The South Dakota Arts Council defines professional artists as individuals who earn 50% or more of their income from their artistic work.
  • 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 will have the discretion to accept or decline residency requests.
  • Artists who live and work in South Dakota, Indigenous artists, and artists who live in bordering states are given priority.


  • Anyone pursuing high school diplomas, graduate, undergraduate, or professional degrees.


  • Artists are endorsed for three years. Second- and third-year participation is contingent upon successful evaluations.
  • Artists who have been endorsed through a panel review process at least twice and who have received favorable evaluations are not required to reapply.
  • Artists remain on the AISC roster if they are active and in good standing. Active participation includes contracted residencies, presentations, workshops, and/or participation in professional development. In good standing means that the artist received satisfactory evaluations and worked with SDAC staff to address any concerns.
  • Artists that do not wish to continue participating on the AISC roster, please notify SDAC staff.

Grant Amounts

Grants, to the AISC local sponsor, include half the artist’s fee plus mileage. At the end of the residency, the sponsor is responsible for paying the total artist fee and mileage to the artist.

Artist's Fees:

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.

AISC 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.

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