Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
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ArtsSmarts is funded through the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Cultural Connections Strategy, Statoil, the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association (NLTA), and ArtsNL. In Newfoundland and Labrador ArtsSmarts is managed by ArtsNL.

The ArtsSmarts Mission: To afford schools and their communities a chance to enhance artistic activities linked to educational outcomes. The desire is to encourage students to develop their intellectual skills through active participation in the arts. In this context, the program goal is to engage young people in artistic activity to develop supporters and practitioners of the arts by nurturing creative thinkers.


  • To build long-term, self sufficient local partnerships that link young people, artists or arts organizations, schools, and the broader community;
  • To enable schools to integrate arts activities in a variety of non-arts subject areas that align with the provincial curriculum;
  • To provide opportunities for young people to actively participate in the arts, thereby encouraging them to develop their intellectual and communication skills; and 
  • To enhance appreciation of the importance of culture and the arts, thereby encouraging long-term support for artists and arts organizations.


Only schools and school boards in the provincial K-12 system may apply. Projects must incorporate artistic disciplines served by ArtsNL. These are dance (contemporary and traditional styles), film and video, new media arts (computer animation, online art creation), multidiscipline (exploring two or more art forms), music (classical, modern, traditional), theatre (including storytelling and circus), visual arts (including traditional crafts, photography, pottery) and creative writing. If you have any questions regarding eligibility, please contact the program manager before submitting an application.

Only professional individual artists, groups of artists, or professional not-for-profit arts organization are eligible to work in schools on ArtsSmarts Projects. These are defined by ArtsNL as follows:

Definition of a professional artist: A person shall be considered to be a professional artist if that person satisfies 4 of the following criteria, including at least one of the criteria referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c):

  1. the person receives or has received compensation which can be included in professional or business income;
  2. the person has a record of income or loss relevant to the history of his or her work and appropriate to the span of his or her artistic career;
  3. the person has received public or peer recognition by publicly disseminated critical reviews or appraisals or by similar means;
  4. the person has presented his or her work to the public by means of exhibitions, publications, screenings, performances, readings, or by other means appropriate to the nature of his or her work;
  5. the person is represented by a dealer, publisher, agent or similar professional representative appropriate to the nature of his or her work;
  6. the person devotes a reasonable proportion of his or her professional time to promoting or marketing his or her work;
  7. the person
    (i) has received professional training in an educational institution from a practitioner recognized in his or her profession, or
    (ii) is self-taught within the established practices of the person’s cultural traditions;
  8. the person has membership in a professional association, appropriate to his or her artistic activity,
    (i) whose membership is or categories of membership are limited under standards of the association, or
    (ii) which is a trade union or equivalent appropriate to his or her artistic activity; and
  9. the person holds copyright in his or her own work and has received royalty or residual payment based on that copyright.

Definition of a professional arts group: A group of individual artists who work in one or more of the artistic disciplines supported by ArtsNL:

  • that has the creation and/or presentation of works of art as its primary activity
  • that is composed of at least two individuals
  • that has all members meeting ArtsNL’s definition of a professional artist
  • that charges artist fees at established national standards for the artistic discipline(s) and practice in which it operates
  • that pays individual members artist fees at established national standards for the artistic discipline(s) and practice in which it operates
  • that has internal oversight of the group’s finances and can produce an annual financial statement

Definition of a professional not-for-profit arts organization: A formal organization operating in one or more of the artistic disciplines supported by ArtsNL

  • that has the creation and/or presentation of works of art as its primary activity
  • that is registered, or operates as a non-profit arts entity
  • that has a board of directors overseeing the operations of the organization
  • that has a paid artistic director, general manager, or equivalent
  • that pays artist fees at established national standards for the artistic discipline(s) and practice in which it operates
  • that has internal or external oversight of the organization’s finances and produces an annual financial statement 
  • The professional individual artist, group of artists, or professional not-for-profit arts organization must also meet ArtsNL’s age, residency, and activity requirements defined as follows:

Professional individual artist:

  • Must be a Canadian citizen or have Permanent Resident Status
  • Must be a current resident of  Newfoundland and Labrador for a minimum of twelve consecutive months at the time of application
  • Must be at least eighteen years of age or hold post-secondary standing

Professional arts groups and not-for-profit arts organizations:

  • Must have been active in Newfoundland and Labrador for a minimum of one year at the time of application
  • Must have actively engaged in professional arts activities within the last year
  • Must have at least half its members (for groups) or member artists and board members (for organizations) residing in Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Must have at least half its members (for groups) or member artists and board members (for organizations)  who are at least 18 years of age or have post-secondary standing

Annual deadline:

May 31 for projects in the upcoming school year (September to June)
If an application deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be moved to the next business day. Seven copies of a complete application must be received at the ArtsNL office by 4:30 p.m. on the application deadline, or postmarked by the deadline date.

Maximum grant:

ArtsSmarts funds up to a maximum grant of $7,000.

Program Guidelines:

  • Applications must be submitted on the official ArtsSmarts application form. Ensure you have the latest version.
  • Incomplete or late applications will not be considered for funding.
  • Applicants are encouraged to book a meeting with program staff to discuss their application well before the application deadline.
  • Applications must be typed or hand printed.
  • Only one application will be accepted from each applicant (i.e. school, school board or group of schools). All specific projects must be included in the single application.
  • Applicants may explore other sources of revenue. Applicants may not always be awarded the full amount requested.
  • Any artist fees or travel costs must be for people 18 years of age or older.
  • Applicants must submit seven copies of a complete application on/before the application deadline consisting of: a completed ArtsSmarts application form, detailed project descriptions for each specific project in the application, a budget, and resumes/bios of the artists involved in the project that confirm a professional arts practice.
  • Retroactive applications cannot be considered. Your project, as described in your application, cannot start before you have been notified it has been funded by ArtsNL.
  • Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of a new application by email or phone within two weeks of the application deadline.
  • ArtsNL funding will only support travel based on the most economical route possible (i.e. the cheaper overall travel cost for driving versus flying).
  • Projects must incorporate whole classes. Projects using select groups of students (drama clubs, bands, etc.) will not be considered.
  • Capital costs (purchase of computers, equipment, instruments, etc.) are not eligible for funding.
  • ArtsSmarts cannot support teacher salaries, or travel for students or teachers.
  • Artist fees are $76 per hour of in-class time. Research and preparation time outside the classroom are included as part of this hourly in-class rate. Artist fees for project planning/debriefing meetings with teachers are $76 per hour calculated at a minimum of 2 hours per project.
  • Coordinator fees can be considered for schools in the first year of a whole school project only. Coordinator fees are $20 per hour to a maximum of $500 in ArtsSmarts funding. Coordinators must have an arts background and cannot be current employees of the school.
  • Technical fees for a project (clay firing, mounting exhibitions, etc.) will be considered at a rate of $68 per hour.
  • Applicants may include a professional development session for teachers within their project proposal. A maximum of $500 may be requested.
  • All projects are artist led, but a teacher is required to be in the classroom at all times. Teachers are encouraged to participate in the project as fully as possible.
  • Final reports on past ArtsNL grants must be submitted before ArtsNL will release funding for a new project.
  • When applying for new funding from ArtsNL, an applicant is permitted to have one final report owing across all ArtsNL programs. In this instance, a final report is considered owing on any past project funded by ArtsNL that is past the project end date listed on the application, or extended on approval of ArtsNL staff before the current application deadline. Applicants owing more than one final report across all ArtsNL programs will not be permitted to apply for further funding from ArtsNL.


Applications are reviewed by a multidisciplinary peer assessment committee typically comprised of five to seven professional artists and experienced educators.

Applications are assessed based on the following criteria:

  1. Cross-curricular learning outcomes from a variety of subject areas are clearly integrated into an art activity.
  2. Students actively create art and explore self-expression by making their own artistic choices.
  3. School administration, classroom teachers, artists and where possible, students have a clear voice in the project planning and implementation.
  4. There is a planned or established partnership with a local community organization to support the project, or the project links directly with the community.
  5. The project uses professional artists experienced in working with children and the artistic medium
    being explored.
  6. The project has artistic merit, and has an innovative approach to teaching the curriculum.
  7. A plan to evaluate the project with input from teachers, students, and artists is included.
  8. The project offers clear benefits to students, teachers, artists, and the broader community.

Requirements of funded projects:

Successful applicants accept responsibility to manage a project within the school, completing all necessary evaluation and project reports, and acting as a liaison with ArtsNL for the project.

Final report:

A final report on all projects funded by ArtsNL is typically required within three months of the project end date listed on the application form.  However, if a school seeks new funding from ArtsNL, the final report requirements listed above will apply. A final report form is available from the ArtsNL office or website.

Support material:

If you submit support material with your application and require it to be returned, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your application OR arrange to pick it up from the ArtsNL office. ArtsNL will hold on to support material for one year. After this period, any unpublished works/works in progress that have not been picked up will be shredded (as per ATIPP guidelines), and any published materials that have not been picked up will be sent to the provincial archives.

Forward Questions and/or completed applications to:

Ken Murphy, Program Manager
1 Springdale Street (The Newman Building)
P.O. Box 98
St. John’s, NL A1C 5H5

Phone: (709) 726-2212 ext. 205
Toll Free (in NL only): 1 (866) 726-2212 ext. 205
Fax: (709) 726-0619