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 Grant

The FY23 Creative Start Grant application is CLOSED.

Check back in January 2023 for FY24 Grant Guidelines, Support Documents, & Info Session details.

FY24 Important Dates

Dates are TBD, check back soon!

About this Grant

ArtsWA’s Creative Start Grant seeks to support the creative, academic, and social emotional growth of Washington State’s early learners through arts integration*. This one-year grant is designed to expand professional learning opportunities for early learning educators in arts integration teaching methods. Creative Start Grant funds support projects that increase innovative and relevant opportunities for teaching and learning through the arts in preschool to 3rd grade classrooms.

*Arts integration is an approach to teaching and learning that connects an arts discipline with non-arts curriculum in a way that meets standards and objectives for both.

The Creative Start Grant is:

  • Focused on arts integration and professional learning
  • Focused on preschool through 3rd grade students and educators
  • Open to Single-Site (one location) or Multi-Site projects
  • Open to new or continuing arts integration projects
  • Note: Projects focused on grades 4 & up are encouraged to apply for our AIE Partnership Grant.

Funding Amounts

  • Single-Site: $5,000 – $10,000
  • Multi-Site: $10,000 – $25,000
  • No matching funds required

Application Information

Information below is from FY23 and will be updated with minor adjustments for FY24 in January 2023.

Any Washington State:

  • Public school, school district, or Educational Service District (ESD) serving early learning students, preschool through 3rd grade
  • Tribal school or government serving early learning students, preschool through 3rd grade
  • Early Learning Center with 501(c)(3) status
  • Individuals
  • Arts organizations
  • For-profit organizations
  • Political or advocacy organizations
  • Organizations based outside of Washington State
  • Organizations seeking to fund projects and/or programs that promote religious content

Allowable: Applicants to the Creative Start grant program can apply for and receive other ArtsWA grants if those funds are used to support different expenses and services from those outlined in their Creative Start application. This includes:

Not Allowable: Applicants may not apply for both the Arts in Education Partnership Grant and Creative Start Grant programs per fiscal year.

Screening for Eligibility

Creative Start Grant applications submitted by the deadline are reviewed by ArtsWA staff for completion and eligibility. Complete and eligible applications are sent 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 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 are awarded grant funds using the ranking score order until available funds are exhausted.

Panelists will assign each Creative Start Grant application a score between 0-60 using the criteria and point system below. 60 points is the highest possible score for this grant application.

  1. Project Design: (20 points possible) The proposal describes:
    1. Arts Integration: focused student learning goals in an arts discipline and non-arts curriculum and relevant learning frameworks or standards
    2. Project Management: project budget, timeline, a feasible staffing plan, and administrative support for project implementation
  2. Support for Educators and Artists: (20 points possible) The proposal describes:
    1. Professional Learning: learning opportunities for participating early learning educators that support project goals
    2. Educators and Artists: financial support, appropriate planning time, and relevant growth opportunities for contributing educators and artists
  3. Community Access (20 points possible) The proposal describes:
    1. Planning for Access: focused actions that aim or seek to increase access to arts integrated learning for a diversity of students, educators, and families
    2. Community and Family Connections: efforts to increase project connections to the lives of participating students and families

Notification of Grant Awards

Notifications are sent to Creative Start Grant applicants as soon as possible after the ArtsWA Board of Commissioners meet and approve final panel scores. Notifications will be sent via email no later than June 8, 2022.

Creative Start Grant:

AIE Grants Budget Support:

  • Thursday, March 24, 2022 at 4-5pm REGISTER
Contact us

If you have any questions about the Creative Start program, please contact: Alexis Sarah, Project Manager:, 360-228-6359