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The In-School Artist Residency (ISAR) program expands upon the Concerts In Schools experience by engaging individual classrooms over an extended period in arts-learning activities that further connect the art form to the broader core curriculum. Each five-session classroom residency begins or culminates with a school-wide presentation by the artist or arts group, often involving the participating classrooms.

The ISAR program provides the classroom teacher with many options. Some residencies offer already-prepared lessons designed to deeply address one or more specific topics (such as geometry, world history, writing, or college preparation). Others allow for more flexibility and input from the classroom teacher. All residencies encourage the Washington Performing Arts teaching artists and school educators to work together to develop a program that best meets the needs of the students.

WPAS Meet the Artist


Number of visits:

The ISAR program consists of six (6) back-to-back visits total

  • Five (5) back-to-back in-class sessions

  • One (1) presentation (which can happen either before the start of in-class sessions, or at the culmination of the residency)

In-class facilitation:

Residency sessions are led by one (1) or two (2) teaching artists only.


Visits should occur approximately once or twice weekly, with the entire residency (including presentation) lasting for about two (2) to five (5) weeks.


Most residency programs involve two different classrooms, with identical or similar programs running back-to-back, the total period for each back-to-back session should fit within a 2.5-hour time frame. This allows for flexibility of scheduling with the collaborating teacher(s).

Classroom size:

Residencies are designed for a typical classroom, which usually contains 20-35 students.


The teaching artist schedules the sessions with the partner teacher(s).


Residencies are normally conducted in the regular classroom(s). For residencies requiring a greater amount of floor space or the transporting of large quantities of supplies/instruments, the teaching artist is encouraged to arrange with the partner teacher(s) to work in an alternate space (e.g., cafeteria, gymnasium, multipurpose room).

Washington Performing Arts offers a limited number of FREE In-School Artist Residencies programs to schools that receive Title One funding, on a first-come, first-served basis in Washington, DC; Montgomery or Prince George’s County in Maryland; or Arlington City, Alexandria City, Falls Church City or Fairfax County in Virginia. Schools that do not receive Title One funding or those that have available funds are eligible to apply for In-School Artist Residencies programming on a fee-for-service basis.

For more information and rates, please contact Washington Performing Arts' Education Department.
Requirements for Schools:

In order to be considered for this program school must:

  • Have existing performing arts (music, dance, theater) or art program.

  • Prepare before and after the event to enhance student experiences based on our teaching plan and mini lessons plan (*we will provide teaching plans after we received the agreement.)

Step by Step—How to apply:


A fee-for-service program: click here

Allocated funds for free In-School Arts Residencies program have been exhausted. 2017/18 school-year registration will be open in August 2017.

Step 1: Visit and review the Teaching Artist Roster and make three (3) choices from roster.
Step 2: Go to the Online In-School Artist Residencies application to make your request
Step 3: We will contact the Teaching Artists and send a confirmation to the school;
Step 4: Artist contacts school to schedule residency and presentation (contact school within 2 weeks of receiving request).
Step 5: Confirm date and time of residency sessions and presentation with Washington Performing Arts.
Step 6: We will send an agreement form that the teacher and principal must sign which includes the dates and times agreed upon with the artist.
  Important: In School Artist Residency programs must not take place if agreement form is not signed. Artists that conduct residencies without approval from Washington Performing Arts may not be compensated for the event.
Step 7: Arrange a meeting with teaching artist(s) to create a plan for ISAR.
Step 8: Following the residency sessions, the teacher completes and returns teacher and student evaluations.
  Important: Sessions and presentation cannot take place if agreement form is not signed in advance.
Cancellation Policy:

In the event that the host school cancels a residency session set within 48 hours of the event, the school will be billed $500.00 per session set. This accounts for the time reserved on a Teaching Artists’ schedule when other employment opportunities could not be booked due to the residency commitment. Cancellations due to inclement weather should be rescheduled as soon as possible. Please notify the Education Associate with any rescheduled dates.


For more information, please contact Elisabeth Staal, Education and Community Program Coordinator.