Awards to Schools now Engaging Creative Thinkers

PIA Awards support arts integration projects that serve as models of partnership among schools, school systems, artists and arts organizations. These projects engage teachers, students, and families, while developing creativity and critical thinking skills that support true learning in the classroom.

To directly align with our mission and better achieve our outcome goals of sustainable, cross-curricular arts integration, PIA has combined our two main programs, the Joan Oates Institute and the PIA Awards, into a comprehensive project package.

In this package, project funding includes advanced training in arts integration, consulting as you further develop the project, and support for implementation. This award format will provide more in-depth training, workshops, visiting artist residencies, and assessment tools that are specific to your school and all teachers: academic, arts, special needs, and resource.

Please contact us if you would like more information about PIA Awards or to have a PIA staff member come to your school to discuss project ideas with a team of teachers.

We also advise you to contact the grants office of your school system to check on their guidelines for submitting grant applications.

Eligibility and Criteria

Eligible schools must be a member in good standing of the PIA Consortium.

Current members are:

  • Chesterfield County
  • Goochland County
  • Hanover County
  • Henrico County
  • Powhatan County
  • Richmond City
  • Independent schools (contact PIA to verify school membership status)

Criteria include projects that:

  • Provide sustainable training to PreK-12 educators
  • Bring visiting artists in to schools to work with educators and students
  • Provide supporting materials for classrooms, workshops and residencies
  • Are process-oriented, not product-oriented – trust the process
  • Expose students to arts and cultural resources outside of the school


Please use this format guide for your proposal narrative.

Your proposal will also be judged on the inclusion and commitment to the elements below:

  • Lead team of 2-5 teachers/administrators attend JOI 2014
  • Consulting with PIA staff to develop JOI unit plan and proposal into training for full school staff
  • Artist residencies, workshops, and planning time
  • Additional project components such as field trips or other programs
Elements of a Good Proposal
All projects accepted for a PIA Award will receive the comprehensive package with a minimum value of $7,500. This includes project-specific teacher training, consulting, professional development and implementation. A detailed budget for each awarded project will be developed with PIA staff during the consulting process. You are not required to submit a budget with your proposal.

A strong proposal will:

  • Make the arts integral to the curriculum and use the arts to teach other subject areas
  • Help establish a sustainable integration of the arts into general education
  • Change the way students learn and expand teachers’ creative teaching strategies
  • Involve true collaboration among partners, including teachers, artists, and arts/cultural organizations

Project Narrative

The key element of the proposal is the narrative abstract. The abstract must succinctly describe the thematic and essential elements of your project, including what the project is, who the partners are, how you will implement it, and why the project supports arts integration in your school. Here is the narrative format guide.

Application Form and Timeline
Click the link to access the Application and proposal form.
  • The form link will open the self-service application portal in a new window.
  • Enter your e-mail address and password to access your previously created UR SPCS account or create a new account
  • To create an account, please enter a valid e-mail address to which you have immediate access.
  • You will receive a temporary password by e-mail, then access to the proposal form.

Check back mid-October 2014 for 2015-16 proposal process updates


January 17, 2014 5:00 pm Deadline for application and proposal

March 31, 2014 Notification of approved proposals

June 23-27, 2014 Lead Teachers attend JOI 2014

July-September 2014 Consultation for the planning of professional development, workshops, residencies and assessments

The duration and timing of your project will determine when professional development and implementation occurs.

For example, a 4-week fall project would have the following schedule:

August-October 2014 Staff professional development

November-December 2014 Implementation

Award Commitments and Requirements

Administrative Commitment
The principal or head of your school must have knowledge of the project and commit to providing planning and training time for teachers to prepare and implement the project.

Training and Planning
A team of 2-5 lead teachers are expected to attend the 2014 Joan Oates Institute (June 23-27, 2014) and participate in consulting and planning sessions for the project. Additional professional development sessions, workshops, classroom observation, and feedback are available throughout project implementation.

Fiscal Responsibility
In order to comply with applicable tax laws, regulations, and program policy, Partners in the Arts provides awards to your school and school district with the understanding that your school or school district serves as the Fiscal Agent and therefore accepts fiscal oversight responsibility for the funded project.

It is a requirement that Partners in the Arts be listed as a funder in:

  • Program brochures
  • Press releases
  • Newspaper articles
  • Videos created by students, teachers, school system communications offices and parents

The Partners in the Arts logo for both print and video is available electronically by request.

Project Reports
A final report is required upon completion of the award. Use the linked form for reporting.

Partners in the Arts
School of Professional & Continuing Studies

Elizabeth A. Sheehan, Ph.D.

Robert S. McAdams, M.F.A.
Program Manager

UR Downtown
626 E. Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219

Phone: (804) 955-4016
Fax: (804) 955-4020