Educator Grant

Educator Grants assist South Dakota teachers in presenting an activity or project in any arts discipline(s) that serves to educate their students in the arts.

The funding category is designed to:

  • Enable teachers to reach students more effectively through special arts activities.
  • Assist in the development of quality arts education programs in the applicant’s school.
  • Encourage arts activities that are especially creative or innovative.
  • Assist teachers in obtaining professional development in arts education.

Examples of projects or activities which may be funded include but are not limited to the purchase of supplies, professional development workshops/conferences, the development of arts curricula, the importation of artists to supplement a particular classroom educational activity, student field trips to arts events that are particularly innovative, technology, etc.

South Dakota educators who are seeking funds for arts-related projects and activities in their schools and who are employed by public, private, or tribal K-12 nonprofit educational institutions may apply for an Educator Grant. Homeschool educators may apply if they are members of a homeschool association which is designated as a federally tax-exempt nonprofit corporation under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code, and must demonstrate that multiple students throughout the association will benefit. Teachers need not be arts specialists to apply.

Educators at colleges, universities, and other post-secondary institutions may not apply.

All applications must be submitted at least 45 days prior to the start of the activity. A limited amount of South Dakota Arts Council funding is reserved for these grants. When that amount has been depleted, no more Educator Grants will be awarded during the current school year. Contact the SDAC office to be sure funds remain before you submit an application.

Grant Amount
Educators may request up to $1,000 in non-matching funds. When preparing an application, be realistic in the amount requested. The submission of a realistic budget is one of the criteria on which grant awards are made so you should be sure not to inflate what your actual expenses will be.

**Grants awarded to fund travel expenses for professional development will be paid as reimbursements with proof of purchase required at the time of payment request.

Educators may apply for only one Educator Grant per school year. All grant activities must fall between July 1 and June 30 of the year for which the grant was awarded.

After a grant has been awarded, the grantee may request funds throughout the school year. You should request no more than what you will actually spend in a 60-day period. Additional requests may be submitted as more funds are needed. The final payment (10% of grant) will be withheld and made upon receipt of the grant evaluation.

Criteria for Awarding Grants
Applications are reviewed by SDAC staff with consideration given to:

  • Complete description of the activity.
  • How the activity will impact students and make a positive contribution to arts education in the applicant’s school.
  • Artistic quality of the proposed activity.
  • Realistic budget showing cost estimates.
  • Fiscal management: indication of the applicant’s ability to manage and complete the proposed activity.

Special consideration will be given to:

  • Especially innovative or creative projects.
  • Involvement of  minority, geographically isolated, or students with disabilities.
  • Inclusion or development of advocacy, visibility, or public awareness of the arts as addressed in the narrative.

Application Procedure
How to Prepare and Submit an Application
Applications for the Educator Grant must be submitted to the South Dakota Arts Council at least 45 days prior to the proposed activity. The application may be downloaded, filled out, printed, and mailed or scanned and emailed to the SDAC office. IMPORTANT: The standard application form for this grant is also used for other interim grant applications. For the purpose of the Educator Grant, enter your name (the name of the educator) on the line “Applicant Organization.” The applicant for all Educator Grants is the teacher, NOT the school. Grant awards will be paid directly to the teacher.

The following support materials should be included with the application:

1. Grant narrative of no more than three (3) typed pages.
• Introduce the narrative by providing a description of the activity for which you are requesting funds. The description should help the grant reviewer visualize what will occur during the project period. Assume that the person reading your application knows nothing about you, your school or your proposed activity. Be as specific as necessary to give the reader a good understanding of what you propose.

• Following the project description, explain how the proposed activity will make a positive impact on the arts and students in your school by restating and answering each of the following questions:

    • What are the identified needs that this activity addresses?
    • What are the outcomes the activity is expected to achieve?
    • How will the success of the project be evaluated?

2. Resume of the educator applying for the grant.
3. Budget page including cost estimates for supplies, travel, personnel, programming, etc. as well as explanations of any items in the budget that the reader of the application may find unclear. For example, if you include mileage, how was that figure computed?
4. Additional supporting materials (optional), i.e. lesson plans, photos, programs, posters, reviews, letters of recommendation, or anything that speaks to the artistic quality and/or the need for this activity.
5. Apply online [application linked here]. Reach out to staff with any questions [staff list linked here].

Grant Evaluations are due no later than 30 days after the end of the activity. An evaluation form will be provided with grant award materials. It is also available on SDAC’s website:

Subsequent grants are dependent upon receipt of complete evaluation reports.