Next application date: Spring 2024

Schools interested in joining the Mississippi Whole Schools (MWS) are required to complete a year in the Arts in the Classroom (AIC) program prior to applying for MWS. For more detailed information on arts integration and MAC’s commitment to this method of school reform, please visit the MWS website.

The Arts in the Classroom program provides an overview of the aspects of the MWS program through professional learning opportunities and site visits to Model schools. AIC introduces arts integration strategies to schools who serve pre-K-8th grade students. The concepts are taught through hands-on experiences that connect the Mississippi College- and Career-Readiness Arts Learning Standards and the Mississippi College and Career Readiness Standards. All content is research-based and created by educators, artists and cultural institutions.

AIC is a year-long program. MAC will invest up to $3,500 in services to participating schools which may include:

  • Professional development for staff through the MWS Summer Institute and mid-year training events.
  • “Arts Integration 101,” an on-site professional development workshop that introduces the entire staff to the program and arts integration.
  • On-site professional development workshops presented by arts specialists or teaching artists that cover each of the major arts disciplines presented to the entire staff.
  • Integrated lessons modeled by MWS Educators and Teaching Artists.
  • Opportunities to visit Model arts-integrated schools in Mississippi and observe integrated model lessons.
  • An advisor assigned by MAC to provide technical assistance and act as a mentor to the school.

Services awarded to schools applying on the April deadline will be available for the upcoming school year (see “Important Dates” section at the end of the guidelines).

Eligibility Requirements

Schools may apply if they are a Mississippi public school or a school that has been incorporated in Mississippi as a non-profit organization with (IRS) 501c3 status in place.

A Menu Of Services MAC May Provide Through AIC

Collaboration with the school to create a plan of professional development in the arts.

Arrange and sponsor a series of introductory workshops for the staff which may include: Arts Integration 101, Music 101, Theatre 101, Dance 101 and Visual Art 101

Schedule and facilitate Model School site visits

Advise the school’s leadership team and staff during site visits, teleconferences, and other meetings

Provide professional development and support for the school’s program administrators (principals and project directors)

Sponsor an agreed number of the school’s staff to attend the MWS Summer Institute & Mid-year training events (preferably 10-15% of the staff including the principal)

Requirements For AIC Schools

The School will:

Provide a one for one cash match for the amount of agreed upon services (up to $3,500 in value). Please see the cash match section for a list of qualified sources. Contact the Arts Education Director if you have challenges identifying matching sources;

Work with MAC to schedule a series of introductory workshops for the school’s staff;

Identify a leadership team which includes the principal and two lead teachers;

Send an agreed number of staff to at least two Model School sites (Note: One visit must be made to a site outside of the school’s region);

Work with the MWS Field Advisor to monitor progress and decide if the school will apply for MWS in the upcoming year;

Send an agreed number of staff to attend the MWS Summer Institute (preferably 10-15% of the staff including the principal);

Submit required project documentation (including the final report) by May 15th;

Plan and implement at least five MWS Arts Leadership Team meetings at the school;

Participate in MWS-related teleconferences and other required meetings;

Include MAC and MWS logos on the school’s website and other pertinent print pieces.

List Of Services That The School May Provide

  • Registration fees for the MWS Summer Institute Mid-year training events;
  • Staff travel expense to MWS training events and Model School site visits;
  • Presenting fees for workshops, etc. to sponsor arts’ experiences and workshops by teaching artists and professionals in the field
  • Art prints and arts discipline specific materials;
  • Class coverage (substitute teacher fees) for educators attending MWS training events or Model School Tours.

Eligible Sources For The Cash Match

Note: Please work with your school district’s fiscal officer to review the following information.

  • Title funds (for professional development and travel)
  • PTO/PTA funds (including fundraisers, donations, and other related efforts)
  • School fundraisers (Note: Please contact school district business manager to review rules for school fundraisers in advance.)
  • School or District funds (supplies, professional development, and travel)
  • Contributions from individuals or local businesses

Review Criteria

AIC applications will be reviewed using the following criteria:

Communication (20 points)

The applicant describes:

  • the school’s needs and purpose for applying
  • the school’s current parental involvement
  • how the school currently connects with local cultural arts institutions

Professional Learning (30 points)

 The applicant provides:

  • a description of how the arts are currently used in the academic setting
  • a description of how the school will manage and schedule the required on-site professional development trainings.
  • a description of how the arts and arts integration will promote growth and change
  • a description of the school’s plan to disseminate information from professional development workshops

Community Relationships (20 points)

The applicant provides:

  • a description of how parents and community members will be included in the project
  • a description of the school’s desired community outcomes
  • certified arts specialists to teach the literacy of their art form
  • a description of who the co-project directors of the project will be.

Operations (30 points)

The applicant provides:

  • matching funds to support the ongoing growth and implementation of the project.
  • a description of the school’s desired outcomes for the school
  • a statement from the principal that describes their desire and reasoning for applying to become an AIC school
  • a statement from the school’s superintendent that describes their support of the school’s involvement with MWS Arts in the Classroom

How To Apply

Please note: Apply online using MAC’s eGRANT system. Faxed, mailed, or emailed applications are not accepted. Please review the guides and video tutorials available on MAC’s Frequently Asked Questions page, then contact MAC staff if you have any questions.

  1. Read through the guidelines and review the application with your school team.
  2. Contact the Arts Education Director (contact information below) to discuss your school’s interest in the initiative and the details for applying and participating.
  3. Arrange for a meeting with the school staff and the Arts Education Director prior to beginning work on the application
  4. Pull together data, collect support materials (see list below) and fill out the application using MAC’s eGRANT system.
  5. In 2022, the federal government transitioned from the use of the DUNS Number to a new Unique Entity ID (UEI) as the primary means of identification required to apply for and receive federal funding. Due to federal regulations, MAC will be unable to award any funding to organizations that fail to provide this information. It is 100% free for an organization to request a UEI, and you need not complete the full registration in order to obtain your ID. Follow the steps outlined in this guide to obtain your organization’s UEI, or click here to view a video which provides a detailed explanation of the Unique Entity ID (UEI). For further assistance in obtaining a UEI, you can reach the help desk by calling 866-606-8220 to speak to a registration specialist.
  6. Applications should be complete, including all required information and materials.

Required Items for the Application Packet

Please be prepared to submit the following information through the eGRANT system:

  • Narrative in which you address the questions listed on the application form
  • A plan to manage and schedule the required on-site professional development
  • Personal Statement Letter from the school principal
  • Letter of Support from the school superintendent

Important Dates

April 1: Arts in the Classroom application deadline

May: Review of applications

June: MAC Board meets and makes final funding decisions on all applications

July 1: Applicants notified regarding acceptance and MWS Summer Institute.

For more information about Arts in the Classroom or to discuss an application to the program, contact Charlotte Smelser, Arts Education Director – 601/359-6037 or