"We do not know who we are until we know what we can do. That should be the job of education."

- Sir Kenneth Robinson: author, "Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative"

School & Community Programs engages artists, teachers, administrators, students, and families by bringing the arts into the community. Programs include: the Artist Residency Program, professional development workshops and a variety of contracted art projects and programs with our professional Teaching Artists.

As the Regional Arts in Education Partner for the PA Council on the Arts, we bring the arts to children and adults in schools, nonprofit service agencies, and community organizations throughout Allegheny, Beaver, S.W. Butler, Greene, and Washington counties.




The Artist Residency Program is designed to place trained, knowledgeable, and practicing artists into school and community settings where they can share the benefits of the creative process with active participants over an extended period of time.

Through residencies in the arts, schools and service agencies can expect to improve themselves and strengthen their communities. By immersing participants in a creative project from beginning to end, Resident Artists model the focus and rigor required to excel in their respective disciplines. This focus and rigor translates seamlessly into improved performance and satisfaction in other areas of school and life, positively impacting their learning across the curriculum. Moreover, teachers are exposed to alternative ways of engaging students by exploring the creative process.

The talented Resident Artists in our program include visual artists, media artists, dancers, folk artists, clown artists, craftsmen, musicians, interdisciplinary artists, writers, and more.

For more information please visit the School & Community Programs FAQs page, or contact Mary Brenholts, Director of School & Community Programs at 412-361-0455 x368 or mbrenholts[at]



  • Artist residencies place practicing artists listed in Pittsburgh Center for the Arts’ Artist Residency Program Directory and The Directory of Pennsylvania Artists in Education in schools or community settings to actively engage students, teachers, and the community in the creative process.
  • Residencies for individual artists span 20-180 days. Longer residencies are encouraged.
  • 10-day residencies are limited to artists’ ensembles and companies.
  • Artists in schools will work with up to three core groups of no more than thirty students per group.
  • Artists should also be prepared to provide in-service training for teachers, community outreach, and extended work with smaller groups of students.
  • Artists may apply to the roster in more than one region.
  • An independent panel convened by the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts will review artist applications.


  • Individual artists, artists
  • ensembles, or companies may apply.
  • Artists, artists’ ensembles or companies that intend to work in multiple disciplines must demonstrate their qualifications and be approved to work in each discipline.
  • Preference is given to Pennsylvania residents; artists from other states may apply.


Applicants are selected for the program based on:

Artistic quality demonstrated by submitted work samples of the artist’s individual work, not work with students

Observed evidence of the ability to interact and communicate effectively with children and adults

The ability to develop and implement a residency plan with education or community partners

Professional knowledge in the fields of education and/or community art-making

Authentic conceptualization and presentation of culturally specific arts, especially folk and traditional, as evidenced by work samples.


• Artists are paid a minimum of $200 per day; the host site pays at least ½ of this fee and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts pays up to ½ of the fee with funding from the PA Council on the Arts. Mileage is only required to be reimbursed for residency distances further than 50 miles one-way. The host site may pay mileage reimbursement if negotiated prior to the commencement of the project. The host sire is responsible for the cost of art materials used in the residencies. Observation, Training, and Planning. Qualifying artists may be observed prior to being recommended to the state. These observations may be in pre-existing residencies or will be arranged through the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Qualifying artists who are recommended to and approved by the state will receive training in working within the guidelines of the roster program. This training will be designed to reflect the articulated needs of the artists, schools, and community settings. Residency planning meetings will be convened with the artist, host-site coordinator, and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts’ program director in attendance.



Artist Residencies are a great way to add a stimulating new element to your arts education curriculum. Below, you will find he steps you need to go through to initiate this incredibly rewarding process.

  • Step 1: Think about specific areas of your curriculum or program that could benefit by having a Resident Artist with whom to work! Then look through our roster to see which artist(s) might provide insight or creativity to that area. You should contact Mary Brenholts, Director of School & Community Programs at 412-361-0455, x368 or mbrenholts[at] to discuss which artist(s) might be most suitable to meet the needs of your site. Read through our supporting materials to get a better understanding of how the Artist Residency Program works and how it is intended to positively impact students, teachers, administrators, parents, and communities now and into the future.
  • Step 2: Contact the Resident Artist(s) to discuss your ideas. Check on availability, daily rate, the potential cost of materials, workshops for peer teachers and other items particular to each artist/artform.
  • Step 3: Complete the Artist Residency Request Form making sure to provide us with as many details as possible. If you are uncertain at this point about the source or confirmation of your matching funds simply write “pending” or “awaiting approval.” Matching Funds can come from a variety of sources including school budget, district budget, a PTA, PTO, or PTG, or from a foundation or local business. Some sites hold fundraisers in their communities. The request form is not a binding document, it simply allows us to determine demand for the program and how to best allocate our funds. If you are unsure of how to complete the budget section, call us for assistance. Make certain to get signatures from principals or other appropriate administrators. Submit your request form as soon as possible to ensure having a good chance to receive matching funds.
  • Step 4: Meet with the Resident Artist(s) and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts to review and complete the Artist Residency Planning Form. Use the questions as tools to help develop a comprehensive plan designed to have lasting impact. Set dates with the Resident Artist(s) as soon as possible! Submit your planning form upon completion.
  • Step 5: Once we have received your Artist Residency Request Form and we receive our funding confirmation from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts the project can get moving! We are just a phone call or e-mail away at all times and love hearing from potential host sites to answer questions or share ideas.



Browse the Directory of Pennsylvania Artists in Education from the Arts in Education Division of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.