Engaging Creative Thinkers Project Awards

PIA ECT Project 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.

The comprehensive projects align with our mission and achieve our outcome goals of sustainable, cross-curricular arts integration by combining our two main programs, the Joan Oates Institute and the PIA Awards.

In this award 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.

Projects may be implemented in a few classrooms, one or more grade levels, or the entire school. Project length can be a few weeks, a semester, or the whole school year. Please contact us if you would like more information about the PIA ECT 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 your school system (info below) 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 of and commitment to the elements below:

  • Lead team of 2-4 teachers/administrators attends JOI 2015
  • 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 that includes:

  • Scholarships for up to 4 teachers to attend the 2015 Joan Oates Institute -  up to $2,460 value
  • Project-specific teacher training, consulting, and professional development by PIA staff - Up to $3,500 in-kind
  • Visiting artist/expert fees and implementation supplies/materials expenses - $2,500-$5,000 sent to your school or system grants office

You are required to submit a general draft budget for the $2,500-$5,000 and estimated in-kind support with your proposal. A detailed budget for each awarded project will be developed with PIA staff during the consulting process.

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.

Proposal forms will open October 30, 2014


February 16, 2015 5:00 pm Deadline for application and proposal

April 3, 2015 Notification of approved proposals

June 22-26, 2015 Lead Teachers attend JOI 2014

July-September 2015 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 occur.

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

August-October 2015 Staff professional development

November-December 2015 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
It is a condition of the award that a team of 2-4 lead teachers attend the 2015 Joan Oates Institute (June 22-26, 2015) 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.

Your School System Grants Contacts

Please contact your grants office and arts/music specialist for your system's guidelines.

Grants Office Also Contact

Chesterfield County
Susan Dandridge, Grants Coordinator

Michael Gettings, Art
Robin Yohe, Music
Goochland County
Stephen Geyer, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
(804) 556-5601
Debbie White
Director of Finance

Hanover County
Jennifer Stackpole, Lead Teacher Specialist Art
(804) 365-4564

Jennifer Stackpole, Art
Barry Flowe, Music

Henrico County
Cheryl Gray Ball, Grants Coordinator
(804) 652-3370

Michael Kalafatis, Art
Rick Tinsley, Music
Powhatan County
Sandra Lynch, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction
(804) 598-5700
Tracey Ingle
Instructional Specialist
Richmond City
Candra Parker, Manager State and Local Grants
(804) 780-5235

Terri Perkins, Director
Curriculum and Instruction
Christie-Jo Adams
Instructional Specialist

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