Explore opportunities to obtain grant and crowdsourced funding for arts initiatives at your school, and browse organizations that offer free/cheap arts supplies and equipment.


Grant Funding Opportunities

Chicago Foundation for Education Small Grants
These grants of up to $600 fund the implementation of classroom and school-wide curricular projects that respond to the specific academic, social, and emotional needs of a student population.

Crayola’s “Champion Creatively Alive Children” Initiative 
Creative leadership teams at selected schools receive $2,500, plus $1,000 worth of Crayola products to develop an art-infused, creative capacity-building, professional development program. Note: Principals from applicant schools must be NAESP members. 

Little Kids Rock 
This nonprofit partners with public school districts in economically disadvantaged communities with the goal of ensuring that all students have access to music education. Teachers apply to be trained in the Little Kids Rock methodology; after training is complete, they receive a donation of curricula, instruments and other resources to launch Modern Band music programming at their schools. 

Moss Foundation National Teacher Grants 
Awards of up to $1,000 to support a new or evolving program that integrates the arts into educational programming. The purpose is to aid and support teachers who wish to establish an effective learning tool using the arts in teaching children who learn differently. 

NEA Art Works 
The principal grant program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Art Works funds artistically excellent projects that celebrate America’s creativity and cultural heritage, invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups, and enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society. Grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. 

Social Emotional Learning Innovation Fund 
Grants of up to $5,000 (for teacher-led projects) and $25,000 (for district projects spanning multiple schools) are given to individual educators, teams of educators or district leaders seeking to improve systems that foster social and emotional skills in fresh, inventive or innovative ways. 

Target Field Trip™ Grants 
Grants of up to $700 to fund learning opportunities outside the classroom.


Crowdsourced Funding Opportunities

How to Make an Amazon Classroom Wishlist 
An EdTech tutorial on setting up a public Amazon wishlist to share with potential givers. 

DonorsChoose.org 
A platform that connects teachers in high-need communities with donors who want to help. Download a tutorial on how to create a compelling Donorschoose proposal, created by CPS teacher Amy Ellifritz.

GoFundMe 
A free crowdfunding platform that allows people to raise money for events. 


Resources for Free or Cheap Art Materials and Supplies

Chicago Creative Reuse Exchange
A nonprofit working with local and national businesses to source surplus materials for teachers and other nonprofits. They also offer creative reuse programming such as workshops, webinars, and exhibitions. 

Creative Pitch
Arts teachers, art therapists and other arts professionals can apply to receive free graphic design supplies including crayons, pens, paper, paint, brushes, canvas, glue, scissors, rulers, clay and more. 

Creative Reuse Warehouse
This program locates and collects business and industry salvage for resale at an extremely low price, entirely donation-based.

NAEIR Teacher’s Program
Individuals who join this program pay nominal processing and handling to receive products like arts and crafts items, pens and pencils, highlighters, scissors, stickers, and more. In most cases, members pay less than a third of what they would pay at deep discount stores, and shipping is free.

The WasteShed Chicago
Chicago storefront that sells reclaimed art supplies at very low prices. They also hold workshops on mending clothes, making crafts and more.

Zero Landfill Chicago 
Provides surplus and outdated architectural and interior design samples, including interesting fabric, wallpaper, tile, glass, metal, carpet, laminates, binders, books, matboard, foamcore and more.