Artists in the Schools

Click here to view information about the Artists in the Schools Program

Click on the image above to view the AITS Program Presentation


The Artists in the Schools (AITS) Program is under the jurisdiction of the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (HSFCA). We are pleased to have AITS as one of our programs, as arts education is a top priority in the HSFCA Strategic Plan: “Strengthen arts education pre-K through 12 and plan for lifelong learning.” The AITS Program provides an engaging, creative and fun learning experience based on the Fine Arts standards, through residencies with qualified teaching artists from the Artistic Teaching Partners (ATP) Roster. Many of these artists integrate their art form with other core curriculum areas, such as language arts, math, social studies, and science, meeting both Fine Arts and other core standards.

All public schools, including charter schools, are eligible to apply to the HSFCA for grants of up to $6,000 per school for artist residencies. Schools must use a teaching artist from the HSFCA’s Artistic Teaching Partners Roster. A residency consists of 5-8 or more sessions by the artist with the same students. The learning experiences must support the Fine Arts Standards from the Department of Education Hawai‘i Content and Performance Standards III. Schools must contribute 10 percent of the grant amount received, in cash, towards residency expenses.

The Hawaii Community Foundation has been generously contributing matching funds to the AITS Program since 2008-2009, totaling over $2 million to date. In the 2016-2017 school year, 94 schools will receive AITS grants.

The application process is now closed. Information is for reference purposes.

New for 2017-2018: The HSFCA Art in Public Places Program is funding a new category of AITS grants. The goal is to increase students’ appreciation of, and engagement with, the permanent works of art at their school.

Neighbor Island schools that have an HSFCA Permanent Work of Art (PWA) that was installed on campus after 1993 are eligible to apply. Click here to see a list of eligible schools and artworks. Oahu schools are not eligible at this time. As with all AITS residencies, an AITS APP residency engages a core group of students for 8 or more sessions (elementary), or 5 or more sessions (secondary), in standards based lessons in fine arts—visual arts, dance, drama, music, and literary arts. The emphasis for this new category of grant, however, is on interpreting the PWA by means of these art forms. The requirement that schools contribute 10% of the grant amount received will be waived for this pilot. (Schools receiving a “regular” AITS grant will still need to contribute 10%.)

Schools interested in the new AITS APP pilot grant category should contact Vivien Lee, SFCA Arts Program Specialist at 808-586-0768 prior to filling out an application. The application questions and forms are the same as on the regular AITS grant, except for the budget form. HSFCA expects to fund up to 26 grants in this new category. See AITS APP FAQs for more information.

The AITS instructions and additional application forms for the HSFCA Artists in the Schools 2017-2018 Program are available below.

The HSFCA is using an updated online application system this year called GO Smart to receive and review grant applications. To access the AITS application on the GO Smart website, please click on the following link, This electronic grants application system allows the HSFCA to capture and archive applicant information and allows grant review panels to review applications in consistent formats and structures. Please be sure that you have read the Grant Instructions (see below) before beginning an application, as there is additional, important information regarding the application process and a preview of all required questions.

Applicants will first be prompted to create an applicant profile on GO Smart website. The school is the applicant for the Artists in the Schools grant.  Each applicant/school creates a Profile that can be used year after year. Please see Instructions for CreatingApplicant Profile below.The school should work with the artist to develop and write the application.

Username and Password will need to be shared amongst all people involved in writing the application.

Applicants are encouraged to develop responses to all application questions and information requests using the AITS Application Questions Word.doc and to copy and paste completed responses into the GO Smart application. Within the GO Smart system, applicants are presented with a series of questions and requests for information. Some of these questions and requests require applicants to use checkboxes and drop-down selection screens and others require a narrative response.

Below are some general suggestions to help applicants navigate the GO Smart application process:

  • Multiple Users – To avoid losing work, ensure that only 1 person is working on the application at any given time. Multiple users should communicate frequently.
  • GO Smart “times out” if an applicant remains on one page for an extended period of time. To avoid losing work, save often using the “Save Work” button at the bottom of each page.
  • Applicants must use tab or mouse to move from question to question. When an applicant hits “enter,” the system will save the page, but will not move to the next question.
  • Narrative responses are limited to a maximum character (not word) count. Applicants will be notified on each question if the maximum character count has been exceeded.
  • Formatted text is not accepted by GO Smart; applicants cannot bold, italicize or underline text or change font style or size.
  • Once submitted, applications cannot be revised.
  • See “Tech Tips” on the GO Smart website for more help

Special consideration will be given to applicants with a high Free and Reduced Lunch percentage and/or rural location. See the Instructions for details of how schools will be reviewed and selected to receive a grant. Selected schools will be notified as soon as the funding is secured (possibly in Fall 2017). Please note that schools will receive their grants only if and when the HSFCA receives the necessary funding.

2017-2018 AITS Partnership Grant Application Instructions (PDF)
2017-2018 AITS Partnership Grant Application Instructions for Creating Applicant Profile (PDF)
2017-2018 AITS APP List of Eligible Artwork (7 pg PDF)

Additional Application Forms
• Please choose the appropriate budget form for your grant category:
2017-2018 AITS Partnership Grant Application Budget Form (1 pg writable spreadsheet)
2017-2018 AITS APP Partnership Grant Application Budget Form (1 pg writable spreadsheet)

• The following forms apply to both grant categories:
2017-2018 AITS Partnership Grant Application Signature Form ATP Teaching Artist (1 pg PDF)
2017-2018 AITS Partnership Grant Application Signature Form LT Lead Teacher/School Contact (1 pg PDF)
2017-2018 AITS Partnership Grant Application Signature Form P Principal (1 pg PDF)
2017-2018 AITS Application Questions (5 pg fillable form)

AITS Grant Recipients Since SY 2007-2008

map of hawaii that leads to map shows which public and charter schools have received an AITS grant since School Year 2007-2008,

This interactive Google map of Hawai‘i shows which public and charter schools have received an AITS grant since School Year 2007-2008, the year that HSFCA took over responsibility for the program. Click on any school to see the grant year, grant amount and teaching artist that provided the residency. Green marked schools have received at least one grant. Red marked schools have not yet received a grant.


For more information on the Arts Education Program, contact Vivien Lee, Arts Program Specialist, via email at or call (808) 586-0768.

Related Links

AITS Teaching Artist Roster (aka Artistic Teaching Partners Roster)
Artistic Teaching Partners
Arts Education Resources