Bring the arts to your students, professional development to your staff, and a reason for the whole school to celebrate.

School Grants are now available from the Artists-in-Education (AIE) Residency Grant Program for the 2015-2016 School Year.

Please download the guidelines and application using the links on the right hand sidebar.

Technical Assistance is available for applicants, see here for details:

Questions? Contact Danielle Bursk, Artists-in-Education Administrator, at or call (609) 633-1184.

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Why Have A Residency?

The arts matter. National education research1 shows that the arts promote cooperation, cultural understanding and tolerance of different viewpoints. They boost communication skills, heighten empathy and lift self-esteem. The arts engage learners through auditory, visual, tactile and kinesthetic activities; students of all abilities — including those with learning difficulties, limited English proficiency or behavior problems — can experience success and fulfillment through experiences in the arts. In addition, the arts can strengthen understanding of other core subjects, including reading, writing, math, science, social studies and languages.

“Bringing art into the classroom offers teachers and students a chance to slow down, to approach content at a tangent instead of head-on, to linger with an idea long enough to manipulate it (write a poem, make a charcoal sketch, improvise being an armadillo), to use something known (such as the value of pi) in a new and entirely personal way. Although the creative moment often comes in a flash, it arrives through an accumulation of moments of slow learning. This is true for all learners: artists, teachers, students, perhaps even school boards.”

J.C Todd, Poet
NJSCA Distinguished Teaching Artist

The goal of an arts residency is to build a supportive, creative environment, in which teachers/staff and artists work together to offer learners new knowledge and experience in the arts. Residencies aim to teach the skills, techniques and concepts of the art form while building learners’ self-confidence and self-expression. And residencies can assist schools in meeting the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards in the Visual and Performing Arts and the federal No Child Left Behind act.

“The importance of the arts in No Child Left Behind is clear. They’re an important part of a well-rounded, complete education for every student. The knowledge and skills that learning in the arts imparts uniquely equip young persons for life.”

Margaret Spellings,
US Secretary of Education (2005–2009)

An effective residency program is flexible and collaborative. Artists work with teachers and other staff to design a residency that draws on the artist’s strengths and meets the needs of the site. By planning, consulting and working together, artists, educators and community members can design a residency that fosters joyful learning and has lasting impact on all participants. All effective residencies include a hands-on staff workshop led by the artist, in which teachers, support staff and administrators can practice new skills in the art form; exchange ideas and discuss ways to extend the residency through follow-up and cross-curriculum activities.

Dance Residency at Morris County Vocational High School, Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, Denville
Dance Residency at Morris County Vocational High School,
Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, Denville

An Effective Residency:

  • helps create an atmosphere of curiosity, imagination, discovery, empathy and reflection among learners (including the artist, teachers, administrators, students and the community)
  • makes the arts basic to education by allowing learners to engage in and reflect on the creative process
  • is teacher-driven with essential guidance and support of school leadership
  • is site-based and planned collaboratively by the school staff and artist
  • is based on school needs and goals as determined by the site
  • encourages teacher collaboration, especially among classroom teachers and arts specialists
  • makes stronger connections between the school and the larger community
  • has clear, realistic and articulated goals and desired outcomes
  • maximizes the artist’s expertise, talent and ideas
  • serves as professional development for teachers and staff
  • challenges the site with new skills and knowledge to move beyond its current practice in arts education
  • is transformative for teachers, students and teaching artists, and ultimately, the school culture
  • supports the Core Curriculum Standards in the Visual and Performing Arts and Language Arts and Literacy (see Resources: AIE Residency Impact).

1 Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement (2006)