Grants & Programs

Arts and Foreign Language Education Grant Program

The Arts and Foreign Language Education Grant Program (AFL) is a joint initiative through Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).  Its purpose is to support arts and foreign language education in schools, with an emphasis on ensuring that these areas become part of the school’s core curriculum.  

Funding is available for each area for up to four years, with one year of planning and three years of implementation. The one-year Planning Assistance Grant is to develop district-based plans for initiating, strengthening, or expanding instruction in the arts or foreign language. The three-year Implementation Grant is to introduce, strengthen, or expand instruction in the arts or foreign language and to develop means of perpetuating the funded program with local resources after the conclusion of the grant period.  Currently funding is only available for the Implementation Assistance Grant.

AFL has provided funds to over one hundred school districts across the state and has resulted in the expansion and creation of:

  • world language exploration courses
  • pre-professional courses in the graphic arts, commercial art, illustration and advanced placement
  • world drumming courses, multicultural music and art, and cross-curricular materials
  • digital photography class
  • new courses in Chinese and Arabic and continuing programs in Spanish, French and German
  • new faculty positions
  • new programs in dance and movement
  • theater instruction and productions
  • new district wide curricular and assessment standards
  • guitar instruction and jazz ensembles

Additionally, schools have used funds to purchase:

  • technological, curricular and resource materials
  • professional seminars and conference registrations
  • class supplies, musical instruments and computer software
  • artist-in-residence services

Historically, Planning Assistance Grants have been up to $40,000 and Implementation Grant awards are up to $100,000 in year one, with decreasing awards and increasing financial matching from the school/district each following year. AFL programs in Illinois schools have increased student participation, encouraged broad cross-curricular faculty interaction, opened doors for new relationships with artists and professionals and strengthened ties within the community.

*Eligible applicants are public school districts, public university laboratory schools, area vocational centers, and charter schools [school code105 ILSC 5/18-8.05(K), 2-3.109a, 2-3.109b, 27A-11.5].

**The arts include visual arts, music, theatre, media arts, and dance

Application Assistance: Workshops and webinars provide an overview of the application and review process.  To view a previously recorded webinar of the AFL Implementation Grant, visit the Workshops & Webinars webpage. 

For more information, contact Jerome Grand, Program Director at Jerome.Grand@illinois.gov or (312) 814-6766.

Additional Resources: ISBE pages for Fine Arts: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Fine-Arts.aspx and World Language: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Foreign-Languages.aspx