Beginning January 2019, public school arts educators in Orange County Public Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will be able to apply for small grants of up $250 to help with costs related to their creative and professional development. The new grant program is designed to assist arts educators in advancing their careers by helping with expenses including:
- Travel expenses such as meals, lodging and transportation related to workshops or seminars or to do research related to his/her art form.
- Expenses such as registration fees, substitute teacher costs or required supplies related to workshops, master classes or coaching that enhances the teacher’s abilities and/or allows the acquisition of Continuing Education Units.
- Purchase of supplies, materials or equipment necessary for the completion or production of work which is considered to be essential to the advancement of his/her teaching career.
The grants are available to any public school educator in Orange County teaching in the visual or performing arts. Educators will be able to apply for the grants online and the funds will be allocated on a rolling schedule until they have been depleted for each fiscal year, ending June 30.
This new grant program is the result of research the Orange County Arts Commission (OCAC) conducted to determine areas of need within the arts community. The research took place in 2017 and early 2018, and included surveys and listening sessions with public school arts educators from both local school systems. Participants unanimously identified a need for assistance in obtaining Continuing Education Units through professional development opportunities. Funding resources available for teachers of subjects such as math and science are often not available to arts educators, resulting in individuals having to pay out-of-pocket for expenses such as hiring a substitute teacher. Teachers also expressed a need for assistance in advancing their creative growth. By helping arts educators continue to grow in their art form, the OCAC hopes to further enhance the quality of arts education in our public schools.
Created in 1985 as the official government agency on the arts by a Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), the Orange County Arts Commission (OCAC) serves as a clearinghouse for arts information, facilitator of arts programs and advisor to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners regarding the arts. As the Designated County Partner of the North Carolina Arts Council in Orange County since 1985, the OCAC is responsible for sub-granting state and county funds to arts organizations, schools and artists throughout the county. Our mission is to promote and strengthen the artistic and cultural development of Orange County, North Carolina.