Artists in Schools Policies and Guidelines

For Schools
For Artists
Artist Residencies


Guidelines for Schools

Who is eligible to participate?
Artists-in-Schools artists' programs are available to educational facilities in central Ohio and beyond. Educational facilities include schools, libraries, senior centers, correctional facilities, community centers, health care facilities, afterschool programs, parks & recreation facilities, and more. Private businesses, festivals, and individuals are also able to book artist services through Artists-in-Schools; however, a few artists in the program have different fee structures for what might be considered commercial bookings. Non-educational institutions should check with the Artists-in-Schools office regarding fees.

Sites located outside of Franklin County should be aware that artists will charge for mileage costs in addition to their service fees. We recommend artists charge the current IRS standard mileage reimbursement rate. Depending on the nature of the booking, artists may require additional travel expenses for sites more than two hours away.

Artists-in-Schools Services
All artists on the Artists-in-Schools roster have undergone an extensive vetting process to join the program. A panel of local educators and artists review written applications and auditions, and recommend artists to join the Artists-in-Schools program.

OAAE provides professional development opportunities for artists on the Artists-in-Schools roster, such as workshops on marketing, program planning, and Ohio academic content standards.

How to book an Artists-in-Schools Artist

  • Requests for artist bookings are accepted throughout the year. It’s recommended that schools submit booking requests at least four weeks in advance. However, all efforts will be made to accommodate last minute bookings.
  • Requests can be submitted electronically via the online Artists-in-Schools Directory, or in writing on a hard-copy request form. Telephone requests will not be accepted.
  • Soon after the engagement is confirmed, the artist will contact the school to discuss the details of their visit. For bookings scheduled many weeks in advance, artists are required to re-confirm the booking with the school by telephone at least two weeks prior to presentation. If a school does not hear from the artist, it is the school's responsibility to phone the Artists-in-Schools office for confirmation. The Artists-in-Schools office must be notified of any changes need to be made to the artist’s schedule after confirmation.

Cancellations must be made at least three weeks prior to the date of the activity. Schools cancelling within three weeks of the scheduled engagement will be required to pay a 30% cancellation fee. In the event of a cancellation due to circumstances beyond the school’s control (ie: school closure due to a snow day, power outage, etc.), it is the school's responsibility to contact the artist right away to notify them of the cancellation. Failure to do so will result in compensating the artist in full. Schools that are able to notify the artist of the cancellation in a timely manner will not be held responsible for payment, although they are encouraged to reschedule the artist for another date. If the artist must cancel due to illness or personal emergency, they are required to notify the school as soon as possible.

Teacher Involvement
School staff must be present during all Artists-in-Schools programming. The level of support needed from teaching staff will vary according to the nature of the program. Artists are responsible for communicating their needs and expectations for teacher participation in advance of their visit.

Payment is made directly to the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education following the artist’s visit. It is against Artists-in-Schools policy for artists to accept direct payment from the school.

  • Following an artist's presentation, the school contact person or principal will need to sign a pay voucher supplied by the artist. The artist will give the school a copy of the voucher for their records. The artist is responsible for submitting the top two copies of the payvoucher to OAAE.
  • Once OAAE receives the pay voucher, an invoice will be sent to the school. Payment is due upon receipt.
  • OAAE can accept purchase orders, checks, or cash for payment. Credit cards are not accepted.
  • All outstanding balances must be paid before the end of the school year.
  • OAAE adds a nominal administrative reimbursement charge (ARC) of $12 to the artist's fee. This fee offsets a small portion of the general administrative costs for Artists-in-Schools.

Feedback and Evaluation
Following an artist’s performance or workshop, sites will be asked to complete an Artist Visit Evaluation form. Evaluation of the artist's presentation is extremely important as artists continue to refine their presentation skills and activities throughout the year.

For More Information
Any questions regarding artist’s program offerings or availability should be directed to the Community Arts Education Program Administrator, Keo Khim at 614-224-2809.


Guidelines for Artists

Background Check
Artists who are accepted into the Artists-in-Schools program are required to undergo both state and FBI criminal background checks at their own expense. For groups, all members who will be performing in schools must complete these background checks.

Artist Agreement
Artists accepted in the program are required to sign an agreement detailing the terms of their participation. This agreement is renewed biennially.

Curriculum/ Study Guides
Artists are required to submit a curriculum/study guide, which must be approved by OAAE. Each artist is required to review and if necessary revise their curriculum/study guide every three years. This study guide should be related to the artist’s presentations and designed for use by classroom teachers. The material may include suggestions to teachers for pre-visit and follow-up activities as well as additional references or resources. Artists are responsible for delivering this material to schools well in advance of their appearance.

Artists-in-Schools Directory
The online Artists-in-Schools directory summarizes the programs offered by each artist, including fees, special requirements, and the artist's credentials. The directory offers schools immediate access to the full roster of artists participating in Artists-in-Schools. Artists are required to review and update their directory listing annually. You can search the Artists-in-Schools directory here.

How to book an Artist

Schools can book artists online through the website, via the Artists-in-Schools Directory. Hard copy booking forms are also available for download from the website. Artists are notified of booking requests by mail. Once an artist confirms the booking date with the Artists-in-Schools office, OAAE will send written confirmation to both the artist and the school. The artist's confirmation will also include a pay voucher. Any changes to the confirmed schedule must be made through the Artists-in-Schools office.

Artists should contact the school immediately after confirming the booking to discuss the details of their visit. Artists are also required to touch base with the school two weeks prior to their visit; this reassures the school that the artist has the date on their calendar, and is prepared for the visit. It also lets the artist make sure that the school has the date on their calendar, and that they have begun preparing students for the visit.

In the event that an artist arranges an activity directly with a school, the artist is required to notify OAAE at once. Any bookings that are made thanks to a connection with OAAE (ie: through contacts made at Artist Preview Night, through a school that learns of the artist by reading their page on the Artists-in-Schools website, referral from the OAAE office, etc.) must be scheduled through OAAE.

If an artist needs to cancel an event due to illness or family emergency, they should notify both the school and the Artists-in-Schools office as soon as possible. The artist and school are encouraged to reschedule.

Schools are allowed to cancel a booking, without penalty, up to three weeks prior to the date of event. Schools that cancel within three weeks of the scheduled engagement will be asked to pay a 30% cancellation fee. In the event of a cancellation due to circumstances beyond the school's control (ie: school closure due to a snow day, power outage, etc.), it is the school’s responsibility to contact the artist right away to notify them of the cancellation. Schools that fail to do this will be required to compensate the artist in full. Schools that are able to notify the artist of the cancellation in a timely manner will not be held responsible for payment, although they are encouraged to reschedule the artist for another date.

After an Artists-in-Schools visit, the artist is required to fill out a pay voucher, and have it signed by a school representative. The artist should leave one copy of the voucher with the school, keep one copy of the voucher for themselves, and return the top two copies to OAAE, along with the activity evaluation form. OAAE will pay the artist once this voucher is received, and then bill the school for the cost of the visit. The school is also asked to complete an activity evaluation.

Teacher Involvement
School staff must be present during all Artists-in-Schools programming. The level of support needed from teaching staff will vary according to the nature of the artist's program, and artists are responsible for communicating their needs and expectations for teacher participation in advance of their visit.

Artist Fees and Payment
Artists set their own fees for their programs. Any additional expenses on top of the standard artist fee, such as mileage or materials fees, must be agreed upon by the school in advance of the artist visit.

As an arts resource network, Artists-in-Schools is intended to provide and facilitate a direct relationship between arts professionals and educational facilities. In doing so, OAAE acts as the broker, charging a nominal administrative reimbursement fee ($12 per artist booking), which is added to the artist's fee. This fee offsets a small portion of the general administrative costs for Artists-in-Schools.

For each Artists-in-Schools visit, the artist is required to fill out a pay voucher, and have it signed by a school representative. The artist is responsible for sending the top two copies of the payvoucher to OAAE. OAAE will pay the artist once the signed payvoucher is received. OAAE cuts checks twice a month; payvouchers must be received by the 10th of the month in order to be processed for payment on the 15th, or by the 25th for payment on the last day of the month. In the event that the 10th or 25th falls on a weekend or holiday, vouchers must be submitted on the last business day before the break.

Feedback and Evaluation
Both artists and schools are asked to complete an activity evaluation, the Artist Response Form and Artist Visit Evaluation forms respectively, for each Artists-in-Schools booking. These forms are important feedback tools for the Artists-in-Schools program. These forms will be sent via email following the booking.

Additionally, OAAE staff may occasionally sit in on Artists-in-Schools activities, to support artists in the field and provide feedback on their programs. These are informal visits, whose primary purpose is to help strengthen the relationships between OAAE, the teaching artists in the Artists-in-Schools program, and participating schools. Artists will be notified in advance of any staff visit arranged by OAAE.

Professional Development
Throughout the year, OAAE may also provide special opportunities for teaching artists, such as workshops on marketing, program planning, or preparation of curriculum materials. Artists are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these professional development opportunities as they are made available.

Artist Review
Artists receiving one scheduled activity or less in a two-year period will be considered inactive, and will be required to repeat the audition process or be removed from the program. Unsatisfactory evaluations (either from outside evaluators or school evaluation forms) are also cause for review.

Grounds for removal from the Artists-in-Schools program include, but are not limited to the following: failure to abide by the contractual agreement; a lack of professionalism; lack of willingness or ability to make appropriate programmatic changes; lack of responsibility in communicating with teachers and site liaisons; ineffective integration of arts into the curriculum when appropriate; and others as determined by the Community Arts Education Program Director

How New Artists Join Artists-in-Schools
OAAE accepts applications from professional artists and companies wishing to participate in Artists-in-Schools every two years, with applications due in February of odd years. Based on the written application, selected artists will be invited to audition for the program. Auditions take place in May.

Individual artists, ensembles, and arts organizations are eligible to apply for inclusion in the Artists-in-Schools program. We accept applicants working in the following disciplines:

  • Architecture and Design
  • Dance/ Movement
  • Literature
  • Multi-Disciplinary Arts
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts
  • Music
  • Storytelling

Panels of educators and arts professionals evaluate applicants on the basis of their proposed programs, credentials, and in-school live auditions. Artists are selected according to quality, educational value and professionalism of their presentation, and their ability to articulate their art form to an audience.

Applicants should submit proposals that are well thought-out and carefully designed to be appropriate for school age children in grades K-12. Services may include performances, lectures, workshops, master classes, readings, or multidisciplinary experiences. Time may range from a single class period to extended visits or residencies.

The following criteria are used in evaluating written applications and auditions:

  • Artist should devote a substantive amount of time and energy to their art form. Artist is active in their professional community and regularly performs/ exhibits/ publishes in their chosen field.
  • Artist’s work must be of professional status and quality. Artist should have a high level of skill, as developed through formal training and/or years of experience in their field. This program is not intended for hobbyists or student performers.
  • Artist has demonstrated ability to work in an educational setting, and is skilled in working with K-12 students.
  • Artist is able to collaborate with teachers, administrators & other teaching staff in developing programming for students.
  • Artist’s programs should be designed so that the artist does not act as an arts teacher, but offers students an opportunity to experience the arts from the artist’s point of view. The activities should reflect the professional training and experience of the artist. 
  • Artist’s programs should support and extend the work of classroom teachers. However, the artist’s programs must offer more than what a teacher could provide from a well-written lesson plan, instructional package or an in-service workshop.
  • Artist shows a commitment to ongoing professional development to enhance their skills as an educator.
  • Artist has working familiarity with the Ohio Content Standards for the Fine Arts and arts integration. 

Contact CAEP Program Manager Megan Moriarty at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  with questions. Click here to download the 2017 Artists-in-Schools application and guidelines. 

Guidelines for Residencies

Artists-in-Schools residencies are designed to provide an in-depth arts-based educational experience. Residencies may last a full day, several days, or longer. While in residence, the artist or company is expected to function as a teaching artist, not a classroom teacher or substitute teacher.

The range of residency encounters are varied and unlimited; therefore, careful planning by the artist and teaching staff is necessary to determine the activities that best serve the needs of those involved. The following are examples of the kinds of activities that might occur in a residency, where students have extended and intensive sessions with artists:

  • The overall goal of a storytelling residency might be to develop a sensitivity to the human values and potential of a particular culture. The purpose might be to engage participants to strive toward multicultural awareness. The folktale might be presented as a device to explain the interaction of human and spiritual forces in one’s life. An artist's performance of narratives might challenge listeners and enliven their imaginations for exploring and extending the stories of their lives. From this initial introduction, a core group of students could work toward creating, performing and writing a story. With the artist's assistance, the students might explore strategies in library research, writing and revising drafts, participating in peer review, and possibly working toward developing genealogy charts. Intensive activities of this nature might increase skills in creative and critical thinking and problem solving.
  • A dance residency might consist of a dancer/choreographer working with a group of students on an exploratory movement experience. Working with a specific theme, the students experiment with a variety of shapes and forms, creating and then telling a story without words. They might also design costumes and sets to complement their original dances. Besides costume and set designs, another activity which might encourage cross-discipline relationships in this residency could be journal writing. Throughout the residency, students would be challenged to reach beyond their physical limitations, utilizing their bodies as instruments for expression. One of the highlights of this residency might be an informal presentation of the students’ choreography and dances.

These guidelines are intended as suggestions only to help you plan a successful residency. Residencies can be structured in many different ways to suit the needs of the school and/or to accommodate specific learning objectives or different art forms.

Planning and Scheduling
An orientation and planning meeting with the artist should take place several weeks before the residency begins. This initial meeting is highly important, and should include all school and community personnel involved in shaping the residency.

A residency is an intensive experience. Because the artist will be new to your school and unfamiliar with the staff and students, appropriate introduction and welcoming activities should be planned for the artist. We also ask that you acknowledge the artist's need to assimilate and organize information unique to each residency by respecting his/her planning time during the day.

The artist wants to give his/her best; therefore, it is essential to provide a comfortable schedule. The artist's day should be discussed and scheduled at the initial planning meeting. While the artist is expected to be at the school for the full working day, a schedule of no more than four contact sessions per day is typical. (Contact sessions are defined as the number of meetings with classes or small groups of students, not the number of hours in the working day. Contact sessions may also include teacher workshops, evening programs for the community, etc.)

Additional time in the day can be used for the artist's studio time, group preparation, and time to meet with students and teachers on an individual, informal basis. Studio time can an important element in building a successful residency because it enables students to observe an artist working in his/her own discipline.

Any material or supply needs for the residency should be discussed and finalized at the initial meeting. For projects requiring a large supply purchase, the school may be asked to pay for the needed materials in advance of the residency.

Core and Peripheral Groups
Often schools structure a residency to include core and peripheral group contact with the artist. The CORE student group meets repeatedly with the artist during the residency, providing the opportunity to work very closely with him/her. For example, core groups meet with the artist three or more times during a five-day residency. PERIPHERAL contact groups meet with the artist fewer times. Core and peripheral group size should consist of no more than one regular class (15-30 students), except in the case of presentations. Appropriate group size should be discussed with the artist at the initial planning meeting.

Teachers are expected to participate in all residency activities with their students to gain additional understanding of the art form presented.

Teacher Workshops
Teacher workshops are an essential part of the program and are designed to increase a teacher's awareness of an art form and to enhance his/her experience with the artists. Adequate time should be set aside for the artist to work with school staff to introduce him/herself, present his/her art form, and discuss projects and follow-up activities. These workshops count as contact sessions.

Some schools may wish to plan residencies with teachers identified as a core group.

Public Presentations
Public presentations can be an effective way to enhance the cultural life of a community and share the residency activity. A presentation should not overshadow the residency. Informal activities such as receptions, lecture-demonstrations, open classrooms, exhibitions, formal concerts and presentations are all possibilities. The school and the artist should discuss a public presentation at the initial planning session. The more elaborate the presentation activity, the more time the artist should have in order to prepare. It might, therefore, be necessary to reduce the number of daytime contact sessions accordingly.

Residency fees will vary and are negotiated between the artist and the residency site.