Announcing AFLCT’s $50,000 NEA Grant!


Arts for Learning Connecticut has been approved for a $50,000 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 Intelligences Theory for partner school teachers and administrators—and AFLCT Teaching Artists. 

Arts for Learning Connecticut’s project is among 1,130 projects across the country, totaling more than $31 million, that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2023 funding. This grant represents the second consecutive year of support by NEA, and a substantial increase in funding from the 2022 award.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to support a wide range of projects, including Arts for Learning Connecticut’s HOT Schools, demonstrating the many ways the arts enrich our lives and contribute to healthy and thriving communities,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “These organizations play an important role in advancing the creative vitality of our nation and helping to ensure that all people can benefit from arts, culture, and design.”

The project will take place in 10 urban, suburban, and rural schools across CT, and will serve more than 500 elementary, middle, and high school educators and 40 Teaching Artists. This project builds on over 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.

Click here to read the HOT Schools Developmental Evaluation, January 2023, which explores the impact of the program over the past few years.

“We are thrilled by the National Endowment for the Arts’ continued support of the Higher Order Thinking Schools program,” said HOT Schools Director Christopher Eaves. “This grant will help to ensure our continuing efforts to enrich school culture, improve student engagement and expand teacher practice.”

“This project, which leverages funding from a diversity of public and private sources, 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,” added Executive Director John-Michael Parker, “and we are excited to continue developing these critical arts learning opportunities for students and educators alike across our state.”

For more information about Arts for Learning Connecticut visit; for more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit