Empire State Creates: Teaching Artist-Led Activities for Everyone

Grant Opportunity for New York Teaching Artists

Application Open: April 19 - May 28, 2021

Teaching Artists are vital partners in our schools and communities. The NYC Arts in Education Roundtable believes it is imperative that we prioritize and invest in Teaching Artists who are facing disproportionate financial impact due to the pandemic.

With this in mind we are proud to launch Empire State Creates: Teaching Artist-Led Activities for Everyone, a new pilot grant program seeking to support teaching artists and offer continued arts learning opportunities for New Yorkers of all ages.

This project is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

The application is now closed.

~ Recording of the Information Session (Wednesday, April 28, 5-6pm ET) ~

With the support of the New York State Council on the Arts, this pilot project will provide $1,500 grants to 15 independent Teaching Artists in New York State to create asynchronous arts learning resources for distribution in community settings including but not limited to:

  • Students (3K – 12th grade)
  • Veterans / Military
  • Creative Aging (Senior and Older Adults)
  • People Experiencing Incarceration/Re-entry
  • People with Disabilities
  • People from the LGBTQ+ Community
  • People Experiencing Homelessness
  • Multilingual Learners / English Language Learners
  • Educators

We are seeking to commission each Teaching Artist to create 4-5 asynchronous materials. These materials may be video-based (no longer than 15 minutes each) or non-video based activities that connect to at least one of the New York State Arts Learning Standards. Priority in selection will be given to content that embodies or is aligned with culturally responsive-sustaining pedagogy and social-emotional learning.

Resources will be published on the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable and New York State Council on the Arts websites. Please read the Program Eligibility, Timeline, Review Process, and Guidelines below for more information or feel free to contact Executive Director, Kimberly Olsen at kolsen@nycaieroundtable.org with any questions.

In order to be considered for this program, applications must be submitted by 11:59PM EST on Friday, May 28, 2021 (extended from May 21!) via the online Submittable form below. You will not be able to edit or amend your application after it has been submitted.

The application is now closed.



Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Information Session on Wednesday, April 28, 5-6pm ET. This session walked interested Teaching Artists through the application process and give space to answer questions from the community. A recording of this session is available on this webpage as well as on the Roundtable’s YouTube page. Attendance or viewing is encouraged but not required to submit an application.

Click here to access a document with answers to many of the questions posed during the info session and in the registration form: Empire State Creates – Q&A Document (as of 5.14.2021)



  • Application Opens: Monday, April 19, 2021 at 12pm (noon) EDT
  • Information Session: Wednesday, April 28 at 5pm ET (Recording will be made available on the Roundtable website. Attendance is encouraged but not required to submit an application.)
  • Application Closes: Friday, May 21, 2021 at 11:59pm EDT DEADLINE EXTENDED – Friday, May 28 at 11:59pm ET
  • Applicants Notified: by Monday, June 21, 2021
  • Funds Dispersed: June 16-30, 2021
  • Professional Development #1: Date Currently TBD
  • Asynchronous Materials Due: Friday, July 30, 2021
  • Materials Published Online: by Friday, August 20, 2021
  • Final Report Due: Friday, October 1, 2021

Please review the application and this webpage in-full below before completing your application. If your question is not covered on this page, please contact us at kolsen@nycaieroundtable.org.



Successful applicants must:

  • Be an independent Teaching Artist or Teaching Artist Assistant, defined as working with students in NYS public, private, and charter schools; colleges/universities; and/or NYS community groups such as senior centers, libraries, religious institutions, prisons, veteran centers, or the like (Please note this grant is only available to individuals. Organizations are not eligible to apply.);
  • Be 18 years of age or older at the time of applying;
  • Be a current resident of New York State (all regions are eligible and encouraged to apply: Western New York, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, North Country, Mohawk Valley, Capital District, Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island);
  • NOT be currently employed as a certified teacher by a NYS school (Please note, teachers on permanent staff of New York State public schools are not eligible for this grant);
  • NOT be a current staff member or board member of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable.

If awarded, you must be able to provide:

  • W-9 with social security number (SSN), employer identification number (EIN), or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)
  • Bank Account Number and Routing Number

In order to be considered, applications must be submitted by Friday, May 28 at 11:59pm EDT via Submittable. A complete application includes the application form, project narrative, proof of current NYS residency, bio, and 1-3 examples demonstrating your experience, training, and/or professional development in the arts and art education (examples may include but are not limited to a resume, artist biography, Curricula Vitae, certificates of completion, letters of support, and/or a sample portfolio).

Applications received after the May 28, 2021 (11:59pm EDT) deadline will not be considered.

The application is now closed.



Each applicant will be asked to propose 4-5 asynchronous arts education resources or mini-lessons. Each resource must:

  • Be asynchronous (defined as online learning that participants can access at any time and does not include a live video component), acceptable asynchronous formats include:
    • Video-Based: 5-15 minute arts education mini-lesson with accompanying one-page lesson plan (Please note, NYCAIER will provide video-editing for all video resources.)
    • Non-Video-Based: A non-video digital resource that can be embedded or uploaded to a website.
  • Be rooted in an arts discipline (i.e. Dance, Theatre, Media Arts, Music, Visual Art, Writing, Circus, Multi-Disciplinary, etc.);
  • Connected to at least one NYS Arts Learning Standard (Click here to view the New York State Arts Standards At-a-Glance).

The Roundtable is committed to engaging a diverse cohort of Teaching Artists and welcomes proposals of any art form, from any part of New York State, and from artists of any background and experience (age 18+). Artists will maintain sole copyright of the created materials and may use and reproduce the project materials as they desire. If awarded, each Teaching Artist’s name, biography, image, and a brief summary of the project will be published along with the resources on the Roundtable and NYSCA websites. Our goal is to help New York Teaching Artists bolster their professional portfolio and garner additional visibility.



A panel of 8 Teaching Artists and arts education practitioners will review applications using the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated evidence of experience, training, and/or professional development in Arts Education.
  • Scope and sequence of project, demonstrated by clear project narrative, learning objectives, teaching methodologies, and alignment with culturally responsive-sustaining pedagogy and social-emotional learning.
  • Connection to NYS Arts Learning Standards (if intended for a Pre-K – 12th grade audience)
  • Project feasibility, taking into consideration project timeline and budget to complete proposed resources. 

Criteria are not listed in priority order and each are valued equally. Grant recipients will be awarded funding by June 30, 2021 pending their contract signature and submission of a completed W9 form and relevant banking information.


New York State Council on the Arts green logoAbout the New York State Council on the Arts

The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) is dedicated to preserving and expanding the rich and diverse cultural resources that are and will become the heritage of New York’s citizens.

At NYSCA, our efforts are guided by our belief in the fundamental importance of arts and cultural expression in people’s lives and a commitment to serving our three constituencies: artists, arts and cultural organizations, and the public. We believe that:

Artists are at the center of creative endeavor. Therefore, we are committed to providing artists with opportunities for artistic development and the public presentation of their work.

Strong arts and cultural organizations are vital to connecting the arts to people’s lives. We are committed to assisting a wide range of arts and cultural organizations – small and large, new and established – to achieve their artistic, programmatic, educational, community, and organizational goals.

Every citizen of New York State can have a meaningful connection to creativity and every community has a right to cultural self-determination. The Council is also committed to making the arts accessible to all the citizens of New York State. We aim to support worthy artistic and cultural activities that serve traditionally underserved communities or populations. These are the economically disadvantaged, people with disabilities, rural populations, and those who may experience discrimination on the basis of age, gender, ethnicity, culture, or sexual orientation. We are committed to fostering public understanding and enjoyment of arts and culture through support of arts education, public participation, and lifelong learning programs in schools and community settings for children and adults.

For more information please visit: https://arts.ny.gov/.


About the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable

The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable improves, advances, and advocates for arts education in New York City. NYCAIER is a community of cultural organizations and educators that shares resources, provides professional development, and advocates for the needs of our constituents and the communities they serve. Founded in 1992, NYCAIER builds our efforts around the value that arts education is a right for all NYC students. NYCAIER produces a major annual arts in education conference, Face to Face; monthly professional development programs;  in addition to ongoing advocacy and communications efforts for cultural organizations and teaching artists in every discipline.

For more information please visit: www.nycaieroundtable.org.


NYC AiE Roundtable