ballet-folklorico-at-pendleton-center-for-arts-residency_compressedSince 1982, Art Center East has contracted with regional schools and communities to provide Artist Residencies in eastern Oregon. On average we provide 45 weeks per year or 900 contact hours of arts instruction in public schools. We offer residencies in dance, theater, writing, visual arts and music. Our teaching artists are required to develop sequential and developmentally appropriate arts lessons based on Oregon Department of Education’s Oregon Arts Content Standards.


While learning other disciplines, such as Math or English, may focus on a particular skill, the arts are unique in that it engages multiple skills and talents. There is clear evidence from numerous studies that have shown when the arts are integrated into the general curriculum, students are more engaged with learning. Further, schools that regularly support the arts in the classrooms or through extra curricular activities, report higher academic achievement and increased attendance.

10 Goals of AiRS:

  1. Enhance the power of perception and observation and ability to express creatively.
  2. Increase appreciation of the Arts.
  3. Encourage creative problem-solving.
  4. Facilitate the establishment of the arts as a 'basic' in education.
  5. Give instructions in techniques that might not otherwise be available.
  6. Help prepare the next generation of arts advocates.
  7. Present Art as a viable career option.
  8. Encourage positive self-image through success-oriented projects through process-based learning.
  9. Help teachers integrate arts into their curriculum.
  10. Enrich and supplement existing arts programs.


If you would like to participate in the Arts in Rural Schools (AiRS) program, download the Arts in Rural Schools Handbook 2017-2018 for more information. This Handbook outlines how to plan a successful residency, covers information on scheduling sessions, and responsibilities of the On-Site Coordinator.

  1. SELECT YOUR ARTIST: View over 20 teaching artist profiles here to see who best fits your classroom and curriculum needs. Profiles include program descriptions, teaching artist information, and photos.
  2. SUBMIT AN AiRS APPLICATION FORM: Fill out your request here with your top two choices of teaching artist and two preferred dates. Art Center East will check availability of the teaching artist and confirm with you. If you prefer, here's a paper copy. All paper applications can be mailed to ART CENTER EAST, P.O. Box 541 La Grande, OR  97850.
  3. SCHEDULE: School staff and teaching artists work collaboratively to create a schedule. Residencies are typically 20 hours per week, with a maximum of 4 contact sessions/classes per day, each session lasting at least 45 - 6o minutes. The 20 hours should include time for student assemblies and culminating events, such as exhibits or performances.
  4. FEES: A standard week-long residency is $750, which covers the fee for a teaching artist. The cost of supplies and travel (one round-trip from the teaching artist's residence to your school) are not included. Art Center East's Artist-in-Residency program is supported by various funders, such as the Oregon Cultural Trust, Trust Management Services, US Bank Foundation, and the Robert & Mercedes Eichholz Foundation. Grant funding from our supporters allows us to lower fees for the school - please contact Art Center East for more information.


Art Center East supports partnerships with regional and statewide artists, arts and arts education organizations in order to achieve the following:

Support professional development and arts education activities for our artistic communities

Utilize professional artists to promote arts education in a variety of learning environments

Ensure the arts are an integral component of education in the state of Oregon

Promote lifelong learning & artistic experiences for Eastern Oregonians in our communities

More information on Program Fees


RESIDENCY FEE: A standard one-week residency consisting of 20 on-site classroom hours costs $750. If your school is unable to keep the residency under 20 classroom hours, an additional fee of $35/hour will be invoiced. Please keep in mind that any additional service outside the classroom (school-wide assemblies, community performances, teacher trainings, and special projects) must either be scheduled in your 20 hours or your school must arrange for additional hours beforehand and notify Art Center East. 

ARTIST TRAVEL: In addition to the residency fee, schools are asked to reimburse the visiting teaching artist for one round-trip travel from the artist's residence. Mileage is calculated by determining distance via Google Maps and the current mileage reimbursement set forth by the IRS and is subject to change.

ART SUPPLIES: Some of our teaching artists are able to provide supplies for your students, but most residencies require your school to purchase supplies in addition to supplies your classrooms may already have. Teaching artists are frequently able to purchase supplies at a discount - please be sure to ask as you plan your residency with your teaching artist.

LODGING: Schools are asked to find lodging accommodations for out-of-town teaching artists. However, schools are not required to provide hotel/motel accommodations, but some hotels/motels can provide lodging as an in-kind donation to the school. Typically, schools arrange for a community member to host a teaching artist throughout the duration of the residency. We respectfully request that teaching artists receive a private room.