Department of Tourism
711 E Wells Ave
Pierre, SD 57501
P: 605-773-3301
F: 605-773-5977

Artists in Schools & Communities

Artists In Schools & Communities (AISC) grants provide professional artists to schools and other South Dakota nonprofit community organizations to encourage and supplement the arts in educational settings and foster positive community development through life-long learning experiences in the arts.

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.


Artist applications for the Artists In Schools and Communities program must be made on line through SDAC’s e-grant system on or before September 1. Hard-copy application submitted through the mail or by fax will NOT be accepted. Endorsements will be announced in December for the fiscal year starting July 1. Artists are endorsed for a three year period.

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  $19,200 Total Fee  $4,800 Total Fee $1,200
School/Community Cost $9,600 School/Community Cost $2,400 School/Community Cost $600
SDAC Cost $9,600 SDAC Cost $2,400 SDAC Cost $600        

For AISC residencies involving two or more artists, fees are higher. Contact the Arts Council for further details.

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 $400. 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.

Criteria for Awarding Grants

Applications are reviewed by arts discipline panels with consideration given to:
• 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.

NOTE: Discipline panelists consider the quality of the applicant’s work as demonstrated by the artistic documentation submitted. Because the quality of this documentation will play a critical role in panel ratings and funding recommendations, great care should be taken to ensure the submission of quality digital images, DVDs, and/or CDs.
Applications are also reviewed by the Council’s Arts in Education Panel with consideration given to:
• 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.

Applications Procedure

How to Prepare and Submit an Application

Applications for the Artists in School and Communities Program must be made on line through the South Dakota Arts Council’s e-grant system on or before September 1 Hard-copy applications submitted through the mail or faxed will not be accepted.


To successfully apply for this grant, you will need to (1) complete some pre-existing forms, (2) write supporting documents, and (3) electronically attach these documents to the application. If you create documents using Word, you may attach them directly to the application. If you create documents using a different word processing program, you must convert them to “PDF” files using Adobe Acrobat Writer before attaching them to the application. Failure to either use Word or convert files to PDFs may result in our inability to read your attachments. When you name your files, be sure they have the appropriate extension – “doc” for Word documents or “pdf” for PDF documents.

Before completing the application form, read the Glossary, Grant Application Codes, and guidelines.

To prepare and submit an application, follow the steps below:

  • Complete Applicant Profile

  • Complete Application Information

  • Artist Statement. Attach an Artist Statement including your goals and objectives for bringing the arts into South Dakota school/community residencies. This information will be used in the AISC Roster. Create in Word or convert to PDF before uploading.

  • Resume or Biography. Attach a resume or biography no longer than five pages. Create in Word or convert to PDF before uploading.

  • References. In the space provided, list three references with addresses and phone numbers.

  • Letters of Support may be included but are not required. Scan the support letters and upload them or mail them with the signature page.

  • Residency Outline. Attach residency outline(s) no longer than five pages, which includes objectives, sequential activities and a supply list with approximate costs. If applicable, include outlines demonstrating appropriate activities planned for different age levels, i.e. elementary, middle school and high school. Create in Word or convert to PDF before uploading.

  • Artistic Documentation. Attach examples of the artist’s work i.e. digital images, manuscript. Specific instructions for uploading the files are given in the Manage Work Samples section. Not all fields are required but be as complete as possible. DVD and CD’s will need to be mailed to SDAC, 711 E Wells Ave, Pierre, SD, 57501 along with the Signature Page. CD's can be converted to MP3’s to be uploaded. You can get CD converters FREE online by searching for CD to MP3 converters.

  • Signature Page. After completing all the above requirements for this grant, print (print the Signature Page while in the PDF view), sign, and mail the “Signature Page” to the South Dakota Arts Council, 711 E. Wells Ave., Pierre, SD 57501.

  • Submit application. Review the PDF application and then submit it electronically.

Link to e-grant system for the Artist In Schools and Communities application


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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