STATE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT GRANTS: Additional Information on Arts Education

The NEA envisions a nation where every student is engaged and empowered through an excellent arts education. Arts education is vital to developing America's next generation of creative and innovative thinkers.

Partnership Agreement Support for Arts Education

Partnership Agreement grant support is intended to respond to the objectives, strategies, and programs that each state arts agency develops based on national or state arts education standards, as appropriate, and its state’s needs, opportunities, and resources.
Activities may be offered during or outside the regular school day schedule by school districts, arts organizations, or non-arts organizations or agencies in partnership with artists and/or arts groups. Projects could take place in locations such as schools, arts organizations, community centers, faith-based organizations, makerspaces, public housing, tribal community centers, and/or juvenile justice facilities, and may occur in-person or online.
Possible components of a state’s arts education program might include:

  • Curriculum-based learning in all of the arts disciplines -- creative writing, dance, design, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts -- that is linked to national or state standards, as appropriate, and that meets the developmental needs of all youth.
  • Hands-on instruction in the arts that includes the creation, production, and performance of works of art.
  • Instruction that balances skills development with arts history and critical theory.
  • Sequential programs, taught by qualified teachers, and strengthened by regular engagement with artists, artistic works, and arts institutions to sustain, expand, and deepen students’ understanding of and competence in the arts.
  • Interdisciplinary programs to enhance the richness of the arts learning experience.
  • The arts also can be integrated with other subjects to enable students to make connections across the curriculum.
  • Artists’ residencies where students and teachers can participate in and learn about specific arts disciplines. Residencies may be planned with teachers and other school and community leaders to be consistent with national or state standards, curricula, and arts education programs. Teacher training, follow-up visits by artists, and assistance with the development of curriculum or lesson units are encouraged as components of residencies.
  • Engagement of students with disabilities at all levels of arts instruction and provision of accommodations and adaptive techniques during arts instruction.
  • Grants and/or technical assistance to local arts agencies, arts organizations, service organizations, professional associations, and schools for model or demonstration projects, curriculum development, student assessment or program evaluation, public awareness, research, or other efforts in arts education.
  • Training for teaching artists to increase their knowledge and skills concerning the developmental needs of students; school "cultures," policies, and procedures; and other matters related to their work with students, teachers, and others in pre-K through 12 education.
  • Training for teachers, school administrators, and others to heighten the awareness, knowledge, and skills that are essential to planning, developing, and sustaining arts education programs.
  • Consortia, task forces, or similar groups at the state and local levels which increase communication and awareness, provide program coordination, and/or help develop public policy that is important to achieving the partnership goals for arts education.
  • Cultivation of cross-sector partners, convenings, creation of an arts education data initiative, collective impact consultation, and/or creation of a logic model and an arts education strategic plan, or any other activities that support the development of a plan.