AFLCT to Receive $35,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts


Arts for Learning Connecticut has been approved for a $35,000 Grants for Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools. As a part of AFLCT’s whole-school, deep impact, teaching and learning program, this project will support professional development in Social and Emotional Learning, Culturally Responsive Teaching, and Multiple Intelligence Theory for partner school teachers and administrators—and AFLCT Teaching Artists. 

Arts for Learning Connecticut’s project is among 1,125 projects across America totaling more than $26.6 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2022 funding.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the nation with these grants, including Arts for Learning Connecticut, providing opportunities for all of us to live artful lives,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for a shared new normal informed by our examined experience.”

HOT Schools is designed to expand teacher practice, enrich school culture, and improve student engagement in the 2022-23 school year. The project will take place in 8 urban, suburban, and rural schools in CT, and will serve more than 400 elementary, middle, and high school educators and 20 Teaching Artists. This project builds on 2 decades of development within CT Office of the Arts, now with an increased focus on Social and Emotional Learning and Culturally Responsive Teaching, providing even stronger tools to teachers and Teaching Artists to support learning for disadvantaged students.

“We are thrilled to have received this substantial support from the National Endowment for the Arts,” said Arts for Learning Connecticut’s Executive Director, John-Michael Parker. “This project has resulted from a partnership with the Connecticut Office of the Arts that uplifts our shared commitment to closing the opportunity and achievement gaps and using the arts to support school improvement, especially within BIPOC, rural, and socioeconomically-challenged communities—and we are excited to continue developing these critical arts learning opportunities for students and educators alike across our state. Moreover, this announcement marks our organization’s first award from the NEA, symbolizing the strength of this program and the excellence of the work being done by our staff, our Teaching Artists, and our school partners—including administrators, school leaders, teachers, and students.”

“Professional Development for our HOT Schools teachers and Teaching Artists provides indispensable opportunities for the continued growth and development of teaching and learning through the arts,” said HOT Schools Director, Christopher Eaves. “We remain committed to building upon these efforts and we are thankful for this support.”