The term Resident Scholars creates visions of poet laureates or literary masters in a college setting with anxious young protégés around their feet awaiting wise and noble direction. While very Victorian in thought, this picture is not the reality of today where resident scholars exist in every state. And while some may work at colleges, most are working with public schools and charitable groups.

Resident scholars belong to numerous Artists in Education registries across the United States. Maintained by state arts councils or commissions, these registries provide liberal arts exposure to youth through teacher partnerships in curriculum development and special projects.

Sound outside your realm? Think again. These registries offer opportunity in terms of both income and personal satisfaction. And the great thing is the artist gets paid pretty decent wages and expenses for their expertise.

Each state handles its registry differently so you should consult your own state arts commission to learn the ins and outs of your pertinent program. Go to – The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies – to locate the agencies or commissions in your state.

Grants are readily available for these residencies, with funding given to either the artist directly or to the school to pay the artist. The school can create a program, receive its grant, and then seek the artist from the registry, or the school can partner with artists and develop a program. Creative thinking is the key. But first the artist needs to achieve a spot on that registry to qualify for many of these opportunities.

Some states with registries:

+ The Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida’s Artist Residency Directory, serves as a resource tool for schools/organizations interested in conducting artist residencies. The artists are termed “Visiting Artists.” Find the program online at:

+ The Idaho Commission on the Arts’ grant programs consist of Artist-In-Residence, Education Innovations, and Folk Arts in the Schools. Artists are creators, teachers, citizens, guides and neighbors. The point is to share cultural resources to enrich not only students but the educators and the communities as well. Grant funds aid in the development and implementation of these programs including artist expenses.

+ Illinois artists can participate in one to six week residencies at schools and community organizations with emphasis on the K-12 population through the Arts-in-Education Residencies and ArtsResource programs which give financial support grants for these residencies and projects.

+ The Iowa Arts Council’s Arts in Education program provides similar opportunities for artists with an emphasis of incorporating the arts in core school subjects, creating innovative strategies in arts curriculum, and education of the cultural diversity of the state. The website provides detailed clarification about paid expenses. Funds may provide up to $75 per day per artist for the artist(s) fee and up to 50% of travel, subsistence, and supply costs.

+ Acceptance on the Kentucky Arts Council Artist Roster means an artist has the skills and competencies needed to work with teachers and students in designing and implementing arts programs. Two different grants are available for the collaborative projects.

The overall intent of each roster and arts council remains the same, which is to facilitate connections between artists, education and audiences. The arrangement is a win-win situation for all – artist, student, educator and the entire community, and this end result is the driving force behind the arts council grants, regardless of the state.

So as a writer, a civic-minded citizen, and a family breadwinner, you can benefit on more levels than one through involvement in your state arts council. Not only do you earn an income doing what you love, but also you are able to instill that love in others. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

C. Hope Clark is a part-time freelance writer, fulltime Federal government employee and avid editor of FundsforWriters, an online source of funding opportunities for writers. FFW provides a website, ebooks and several newsletters on finding payment for writers who want to make a living doing what they love. Visit FFW at or