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Arts in Education Program

ArtsWA supports arts learning as a part of basic education for all students PreK-12. This program expands arts education access through grants, professional development, youth leadership opportunities, and ongoing research.


  1. Foster collaboration within the arts education landscape.
  2. Expand learning opportunities for educators.
  3. Strengthen youth, educator, and family civic engagement in the arts.
  4. Ensure arts learning is accessible to all PreK-12 students in Washington State.
  5. Elevate the role of arts education through Data, Research, and Accountability.

About ArtsWA

ArtsWA is the Washington State Arts Commission. The Washington State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts fund our programs. ArtsWA's grant programs are contingent on available state and federal funding. ArtsWA complies with all local, state and federal laws and regulations concerning civil and human rights. For more information regarding Washington State Arts Commission’s policies on Accessibility, Diversity, and Nondiscrimination, click here.

FY24 Creative Start Project Grant

About this grant:
The Creative Start Project Grant supports projects that engage preschool to 3rd grade students in arts integrated learning. This one-year grant prioritizes the students’ creative, academic, and social emotional growth. It supports collaborations between early learning educators, schools, families, arts specialists, teaching artists, and organizations. Proposed projects should increase culturally relevant student learning in and through the arts. Eligible projects must be accessible to the public.

Funding request amounts:

  • Single-Site: $5,000 – $10,000 (the project will take place at one location)
  • Multi-Site: $10,000 – $20,000 (the project will take place at more than one location, school building, or school district)
  • No matching funds required

Important dates:

  • Application opens: March 15, 2023
  • Application closes: April 27, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.
  • Notification of grant award: by August 9, 2023 
  • Grant funded activities: July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024
  • Final report due: July 31, 2024


Who is eligible to apply?

Any Washington State:

  • Head Start, ECEAP, public school, school district, or Educational Service District (ESD)
  • Tribal, state, or municipal government agency
  • Non-profit agency with 501(c)(3) status

Who is not eligible to apply?

  • Individuals
  • For-profit organizations
  • Fiscally sponsored organizations
  • Political or advocacy organizations
  • Organizations seeking to fund projects and/or programs that promote religious content or observance
  • Organizations based outside of Washington State

Project eligibility 

Eligible projects:

  • Projects that focus on PreK-grade 3 students
  • Projects that focus on arts integration: teaching and learning that connects an arts discipline with non-arts curriculum in a way that meets standards and objectives for both
  • In-school and/or out-of-school projects that strategically increase public access to arts integration for PreK-grade 3 students
  • Projects that focus on sequential arts integration teaching and learning (not one-time arts experiences/performances/assemblies, product creation without links to student learning outcomes)
  • Note: ArtsWA encourages projects focused on grades 4 & up or arts learning projects that do not focus on arts integration to apply for an AIE Project Grant  

Ineligible projects: 

  • Materials and equipment only (although this can be a percentage of your project budget)
  • One-time events, assemblies, or performances without links to sequential, interactive learning experiences
  • Tuition-based programming that does not outline no-cost or low-cost options for public access for early learning students. If projects are tuition-based, the applicant must provide an equity and accessibility plan that includes full scholarships, reduced fees, transportation access, and/or collaboration with local public schools for outreach and partnership
  • Projects or programs that promote religious content or observance
  • Projects focused on grades 4 & up

Can organizations apply for multiple ArtsWA grants?

Allowable: Creative Start Project Grant applicants can apply for and receive other ArtsWA grants if they support different expenses and services. Other ArtsWA grants include:

Application Criteria

Panelists will assign each Creative Start Project Grant application a score between 0-100 using the criteria and point system below. 100 points is the highest possible score for this grant application.

1. Arts integration: (20 points possible) The proposal describes:

  • student-centered project summary
  • curriculum that integrates art and non-art content areas 
  • student learning goals connected to learning standards or frameworks
  • sequential learning

2. Project design: (20 points possible) The proposal describes feasible: 

  • project budgeting 
  • timeline
  • staffing plans
  • partnerships
  • administrative support 

3. Educator and artist support: (20 points possible) The proposal describes:

  • clear financial support
  • appropriate planning and collaboration time
  • relevant growth opportunities for participating educators and artists 

4. Community and family engagement: (20 points possible) The proposal describes: 

  • efforts to invite student and family knowledge, culture, language, and experiences into the project

5. Plans for access: (20 points possible) The proposal describes: 

  • focused actions that increase access to arts integration for a diversity of learners. students, educators, and families

How to Apply

All Creative Start Grant applicants must submit this completed application form online through Submittable. ArtsWA will accept applications starting March 15 through April 27, 2023 at 5:00pm.

Creative Start Project Grant Application Requirements

  • Two letters of commitment: Creative Start Project Grant applications must include (2) letters of commitment. Letters should come from individuals directly involved in the proposed project, including (1) from leadership from the early learning center, school, district, ESD, or organization AND (1) from a participating early learning educator.
  • SWV Number: Organizations must have an SWV (Statewide Vendor) number to receive grant funds from the state. An SWV number is not required to apply but must be registered and up to date before funds are given. An SWV number can take up to three weeks to be assigned. If your organization has received payment from Washington State in the past, it is likely you already have an SWV number. You can check on the status of your SWV number by using the vendor number lookup.
  • UEI (SAM): Organizations must have a Unique Entity ID (UEI) to receive grant funds from the state. The UEI is a 12-digit alphanumeric identifier that replaced the use of DUNS numbers after April 4, 2022. If you have a current registration at, you have  already been assigned a UEI. To view your UEI in, log in to your registration and follow the steps outlined in this guide. If you do NOT have a account registration, complete the steps outlined in the Guide to Getting a Unique Entity ID (PDF).

General Grant Policies

  • Payments. ArtsWA will send payments after the recipient provides complete and approved deliverables and invoice forms.
  • Grant recipients will receive 50% of their funds after submitting a complete and approved project budget. Grant recipients will receive the remaining 50% of their funds after incurring all project expenses.
  • Documentation. Grant recipients must track expenses, keep clear records, and provide appropriate and timely documentation. 
  • Final reports. Grant recipients must submit a final report to ArtsWA by July 31, 2024.

Application Resources
Before you apply, refer to the Creative Start Grant Guidelines and other supporting documents linked below. Additional information about the Creative Start program and other grant opportunities is available on the ArtsWA website.

Application Instructions

  • Saving: Save your Creative Start Project Grant Application as you work on it by clicking the "Save Draft" button located at the end of this webpage. You can log out and log back in, take a break, or work on your application over several days without losing your data.
  • Collaboration: If multiple people from your organization will be contributing to your application, invite them to collaborate by clicking on the "Invite Collaborators" button located at the top right of this webpage.
  • Required Questions: Questions marked with a red asterisk '*' must be completed before you submit your application. You will not be able to submit your application if any required questions have been left unanswered.
  • Submitting: Once you have completed your Application, click the "Submit" button at the end of this webpage. You will receive an automated email confirming that your Application has been successfully submitted.
  • Print or download a copy of your Application by navigating to your "Personal Submissions" account list. Click on your Application submission. This will open up the submission's details page, where you can click the Download button in the upper right of the viewing box.

Alexis Sarah, Arts in Education Project Manager, at 360-228-6359 or 

Washington State Arts Commission | ArtsWA