Mr. Pleasant teaching music and movement
Mr. Pleasant teaching music and movement, preschool students demonstrate mirroring with whole body shapes. Photo by Turner Cagle.

Creative Start Project Grant

View Creative Start Project Grant Guidelines

Applications for the Creative Start Project Grant are now closed.

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

AIE Grant Information Sessions

Info session – Creative Start Project Grant: March 29, 2023 | 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Watch the recording

Application Information

The information below is copied directly from the grant guidelines.

Any Washington State:

  • Head Start, ECEAP, public school, school district, or Educational Service District (ESD)
  • Tribal, state, or municipal government agency
  • Non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status
  • Individuals
  • For-profit organizations
  • Fiscally sponsored organizations
  • Political or advocacy organizations
  • Organizations seeking to fund projects or programs that promote religious content or observance
  • Organizations based outside of Washington State

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

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:

Screening for eligibility

ArtsWA staff review Creative Start Project Grant applications for completion and eligibility. Staff send complete and eligible applications to a grant scoring panel for evaluation.

Evaluation and grant scoring panel

A panel of arts education professionals, ArtsWA Commissioners, and ArtsWA staff evaluate eligible Creative Start Project Grant applications. Panelists use scoring criteria to give a numerical score to each application. An application’s final score is the combined average of all panelists’ scores. Applicants receive grant funds based on the ranking score order until available funds are exhausted.

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

Notification of grant awards

ArtsWA sends notifications to Creative Start Project Grant applicants as soon as possible after the ArtsWA Board of Commissioners meet and approve final panel scores. Applicants will receive notifications via email no later than August 9, 2023.

All Creative Start Project Grant applicants must provide:

  • 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:
    • leadership from the early learning center, school, district, ESD, or organization
    • a participating early learning educator
  • SWV number: Organizations must have an SWV (Statewide Vendor) number to receive grant funds from the state. Applicants do not need a SWV number to apply but they need a registered and up to date SWV number before they can receive funds. The SWV number registration process can take up to three weeks. 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).

Online application

Applicants to the Creative Start Project Grant must complete their application through the online grant platform, Submittable. ArtsWA will accept Creative Start Project Grant applications in Submittable starting March 15 through April 27, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.

Please see ArtsWA’s Submittable FAQ for additional information on using this platform.

  • 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.

Examples of what we fund:

  • Fees for project staffing can include:
    • Artists, Teaching Artists, and Arts/Community Organizations
    • Project Planning, Curriculum, and Resource Development
    • Project Management or Outside Consultants
  • Fees for professional learning opportunities for early learning staff, parents, caregivers, or community members.
  • Travel expenses for in-state teaching artists and consultants.
  • Materials, supplies, software, and technology that clearly aligns with expected project goals. Note: Material fees covered by ArtsWA grant funds cannot exceed $5,000.
  • Administrative expenses, including printing costs, postage, and other administrative fees.
  • Fees for project related student tickets and transportation expenses.
  • Fees for increasing access to programming such as closed captioning, translation services, interpreters, differentiated materials, or consultant support on these efforts.

We cannot fund:

  • Tuition-based programming that does not outline no-cost and/or low-cost options for public access.
  • Purchase of food and beverages.
  • Purchase of materials, supplies, software, and technology not aligned with project goals and/or that exceed $5,000.
  • Building construction, renovation, or other permanent capital projects.
  • Stand-alone field trips, events, or assemblies not aligned with project goals.
  • Travel out of the state of Washington, or fees to out-of-state contractors.
Contact us

If you have any questions about this grant, please contact: Alexis Sarah, Arts in Education Project Manager, at or 360-228-6359.