Artists in the Schools

A group of students wearing masks made during an Artist in the Schools drama residency

Artists in the Schools drama residency with teaching artist Bonnie Kim at
Chiefess Kapiolani Elementary School in Hilo


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 $1.5 million to date. In the 2014-2015 school year, 91 schools will receive AITS grants.

The deadline for 2015-2016 AITS grant applications is May 1, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.

The AITS Guidelines and application materials for the HSFCA Artists in the Schools 2015-2016 Program are available below. This year, for the first time, the grant application must be completed on-line. We recommend using one of the following browsers–Safari, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox—to view this Artists in the Schools webpage and access the on-line application. If you use Lotus Notes to view this webpage, the capabilities of the on-line application will be limited.

Once you start filling in answers, you can return to edit or continue for only four (4) weeks. Be sure to complete and submit the application within that time. Prior to starting, you may visit the site an unlimited number of times. In order to have your information saved you must click the “Next” button before closing your browser and you must continue your application from the same computer and the same browser each time.

Be advised that if you use your Lotus Notes browser to complete the application, you will not be able to save your information and will need to complete the application in one sitting.

In addition to answering the application questions on-line, you will be instructed to download:

• Signature Form (print out, sign, scan, upload to site), and
• Budget Spreadsheet Form (fill in, save, upload to site)

If you are unable to scan and upload the Signature form, please mail a hard copy postmarked by May 1, 2015 to: Vivien Lee, Arts Program Specialist, Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, 250 S. Hotel St., 2nd Floor, Honolulu, HI 96813

We will work on making the process easier next year – thank you for your patience with our first on-line AITS application.

Also for the first time this year, special consideration will be given to applicants with a high Free and Reduced Lunch percentage and/or rural location. See the Guidelines 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 2015). Please note that schools will receive their grants only if and when the HSFCA receives the necessary funding.

Guidelines & Application Forms

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
Application Reference Materials