What is the purpose of the Fund?
The Austin Creative Classroom Fund exists to support the development of arts-rich schools in Austin Independent School District and to expand creative learning opportunities for students. The Fund was originally established to ensure continued access to outstanding arts education by providing additional resources for teachers and students and by supporting innovative successful creative learning projects that may be replicated across the district. The Fund is designed to help teachers meet their instructional goals through the arts, support innovative ideas and practices, and increase the breadth and depth of creative opportunities for students. The Fund is sustained by the generosity of businesses and individuals who share a commitment to our youth and the vision to invest in Austin's creative future.
Who may apply?
While any AISD school may apply, priority consideration will be given to applications from Austin ISD elementary schools with an enrollment of more than 60 percent students who are qualified for the federal free and reduced lunch program and any officially designated Fine Arts Academy (e.g.: McCallum FAA or Lamar FAA). Any teacher submitting an application must obtain an authorizing signature from his or her principal as well as provide a year round cell phone number and email address. Teachers may also form partnerships with community arts organizations to apply for funding, but the grant application must be submitted by the school. It is important to understand that the submitting teacher will be the primary program contact to Mindpop/ACCF. All communications will be sent to the applicant and it is up to the applicant to notify the arts partner of any news regarding program application
When is the grant due for the 2014-2015 school year cycle?
Look for more specific information in January, 2014.
What should I do if I'm having trouble emailing the grant application?
In the unlikely chance the email server is not working properly, print a copy of the grant application and mail it to:
Austin Creative Classroom Fund
5511 Parkcrest #207
Austin, TX 78731
What are the goals of the Fund?
The Austin Creative Classroom Fund:
1. Promotes equity in sequential fine arts instruction in music, theater, dance, visual arts or media.
The Fund may support proposals that provide equity in access to creative learning for students in AISD. Such proposals might provide access to particular programs, or to specific types of art forms or experiences that may currently have unequal support at the campus level. Successful projects that address equity will articulate the existing inequity and explain how the proposal will reduce the gap.
2. Promotes the use of arts across the curriculum.
The Fund may support the integration of arts into core content areas. The Fund's Board of Directors recognizes that the development of high quality cross-disciplinary units may require specialized resources or access to planning time not afforded by traditional school schedules.
3. Promotes partnerships with community arts organizations and artists.
The Fund recognizes the benefits of strong partnerships with community arts organizations and artists to deliver high quality instruction and access to professional performances and exhibitions.
4. Promotes quality instruction through professional development or assessment.
The Fund may support targeted Professional Development activities designed to gain new expertise and skills. Please note that requests to attend a state or national conference will not typically receive high scores in the review process, as the skills acquired in these formats are usually general in nature.
5. Builds community among students, faculty, staff, or community through the arts.
The Fund may occasionally fund activities designed to build common experiences among a school community. Funded activities must have a strong creative learning component, rather than merely a social one. For example, a proposed mural project that using images from oral histories gathered through community interviews and painted by multigenerational volunteers would be more likely to obtain funding than a community block party with art stations.
6. Creates a direct pathway for students to college and career.
The Fund may support activities that create or strengthen a direct pathway for students to enter college and career including innovative projects that help student’s successfully transition to higher academic or career goals.
7. Improves the school’s operations or facilities to support creative learning.
The Fund may support the acquisition of capital equipment and limited facility improvements. Successful proposals will articulate how these improvements or expenses supplement district resources without supplanting improvements generally considered district responsibility.
8. Provides replication and/or sustainability.
The Fund may support projects designed to replicate successful arts activities and programs, as well as projects that promote the sustainability of an arts-rich education.
May my school apply for and receive more than one grant?
Yes, schools can apply for and receive more than one grant.
May a teacher apply for and receive more than one grant?
It depends. If a single teacher submits multiple grants on behalf of his or her entire school body or department, they might very likely receive more than one grant. If a teacher applies for several projects that serve only a small group of their students, it is not as likely they will receive multiple grants. There is currently no restriction on how many grants a single teacher may submit.
What are the criteria on which the grants will be judged?
Applications will be reviewed by a panel of 3-5 individuals with expertise in the arts, education and philanthropy in the creative sector, including members of the Fund's Board of Directors. The grants will be evaluated on their Contribution, Quality, Capacity and Priority:
1. The Contribution of the project, which includes:
• The potential Impact of the project on student learning
• How well the project meets the Needs of Students
• How well the project meets one or more of the Goals of the Austin Creative Classroom Fund
• How well the project meets the Goals of the Department, Program or Strand
• How well the project meets one of more of the Goals of the School
• The potential for the project to be Replicable and/or Sustainable
2. The Creative Quality of the project, which includes:
• The Artistic merit of the project
• The Educational merit of the project
• The Creative merit of the project
3. The Capacity to successfully implement the project, which includes:
• Adequacy of Funding and other Resources
• The capabilities of the Lead Faculty and Staff Involved
• The strength of collaboration, if appropriate.
4. Schools designated by the donor for Priority consideration:
• Austin ISD elementary schools with an enrollment of more than 60 percent students who are qualified for the federal free and reduced program • Schools officially designated as AISD Fine Arts Academies (such as McCallum HS, Lamar MS).
What is the timeline for grant applications?
The grant cycle will occur once per year. In 2013-2014, the initial round of grant applications was due by midnight, Friday, March 22, 2013, and successful applicants were notified in April.
How will I know if I have been awarded a grant or not?
MINDPOP, on behalf of the ACCF Board, will directly notify all teachers who submitted an application. It is very important that these teachers include a cell phone number and an email address on the application. It will be up to the applying teacher to notify the arts partner on successful/unsuccessful program applications. The requesting teacher becomes the primary contact for MINDPOP/ACCF. This is the only person guaranteed correspondence directly from us.
Who administers the grant funding?
The Austin Creative Classroom Fund operates under the auspices of the Austin Community Foundation as a donor advised fund. Grant awards will coordinated through the AISD Office of Development and Innovation. Grantees will be required to demonstrate financial accountability for their awards.
May I partner with another teacher, school or a community arts organization?
Yes, partnerships are encouraged.
Where can I find a grant application form?
The grant application form is available at http:www.mindpop.org. The application can be submitted electronically to email@example.com
or mailed to:
5111 Parkcrest, #207
Austin TX, 78731
How much funding can I apply for?
There are three basic levels of grants: Targeted Project Grants (approximately $500 - $10,000); Creative Catalyst Grants (approximately $10,000 – $30,000); and Transformational Grants (approximately $30,000 – $100,000). Please refer to the grant application form for details regarding each type of grant. Also please note that far fewer grants are available at the higher dollar level; the application process for these larger grants is highly competitive and includes detailed stringent reporting requirements.
What may the money be used for?
The Fund is intended to support the research, development and implementation of successful fine arts programs within AISD and to expand creative learning opportunities for students. Successful proposals may include: the costs to deliver direct services to students, professional development, joint projects with community arts partners, materials and supplies or projects or activities. Grants are intended to supplement district funding, not replace it. Grants written to hire faculty positions or other expenses commonly believed to be the responsibility of the district will typically not be funded. Generally, the Austin Creative Classroom Fund will not fund:
• Activities designed to supplant current school arts funding
• Appreciation events
• Incentives such as gift cards
• Travel for concerts, competitions, etc.
How many grants will be given?
There is no set number of grants awarded each year. The panel will look for a combination of innovation, need, and capacity to delver and sustain the proposal. Money not distributed in one grant cycle will roll into the following year's grant cycle.
When will the grants be awarded?
The 2013-2014 awards will be announced in April, 2013.
Can arts organizations that serve AISD schools apply for grants under the Fund?
Arts organizations may not apply directly, but may partner with an AISD school.
May students apply for these grants?
We welcome ideas generated by students, but all proposals must be submitted by a teacher or staff member and approved by the principal.
Who makes the decision about whether a proposal gets funded or not?
The Board of Directors of the Austin Creative Classroom Fund will make the final determination about which projects are funded. Where possible, the board may help guide unfunded projects to other sources of funding.
How did the Fund start?
The Funds originating donor has chosen to remain anonymous, but is a leading entity in the creative industry in Austin. Recognizing the vital role arts play in Austin's economy and in promoting strong student academic achievement, the donor and the Fund's Board of Director's are committed to ensuring access to outstanding arts programs in our public schools. We urge all Central Texas to invest in Austin's creative future by joining the Fund today. Your contribution - large or small - can make a huge difference in a child's life.
Who should I contact if I have questions?
For information about the grant process contact Brent Hasty at firstname.lastname@example.org. Schools may seek advice and support on preparing the grant by contacting AISD’s Office of Innovation and Development, 512-414-4850.