Arts in Education

Arts in Education (AIE) is a statewide Pennsylvania program run by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and managed by the Cultural Alliance in Adams, Franklin, Fulton and York counties. Exceptional teaching artists are trained and placed in educational, community and professional settings to provide custom-designed, arts integrated experiences. Host sites including: public or private schools, senior centers, community organizations, childcare centers, businesses/private sector & other non-profit organizations.

Partnership with PA Council on the Arts

The Cultural Alliance is the PCA Partner for York, Adams, Franklin and Fulton Counties for Arts in Education and other funding. Find a map of all PCA partners here. 

Artists Residencies

Through our partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Cultural Alliance enables & empowers teaching artist to help the community explore and develop their creativity and artistic skills in a variety of educational, community, and institutional settings. 

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

Man playing guitar for arts in education

History of Arts
& Education

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) Arts in Education (AIE) program is a statewide network of Partners. Since 1995, PCA, AIE has demonstrated unprecedented ability to expand arts in education across the Commonwealth. PCA’s mission to foster excellence, diversity, and vitality of the arts in PA and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the Commonwealth.

Artists Residencies

An artist residency is all about the participants. Host sites (schools, senior centers, community organization, businesses) select and collaborate with qualified professional teaching artists who spend a minimum of 5 days onsite conducting educational Artist Residency experiences that meet the goals determined by the host site & participants.

An artist residency meetings the needs. of both students and teachers. The teaching artist team works alongside teachers to integrate their creative medium into the students core-curriculum. 

Creative Aging

The Creative Aging movement is about providing the opportunity for meaningful creative expression through a variety of mediums in senior centers and community settings. By engaging older adults (55+) in participatory, professionally run arts programming, Creative Aging Residencies focus on social, emotional, and physical wellbeing through the context of the arts.

Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Poetry Foundation, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PAC). You may view the teachers’ guide on-lineat www.poetryoutloud.org or contact culturalalliancepol@gmail.com to find out how to get involved  

Learn More

How To Host an Art Residency at Your Organization

The Cultural Alliance’s directory of artists who have qualified to participate in the Arts in Education (AIE) program is robust and diverse. These artists bring a high-caliber visual, performing, media and literary perspective to the educational settings for an in-depth residency that engages participants and underscores the importance of the arts in our daily lives. 

All residencies are custom designed between the host site and the teaching artist(s). The Cultural Alliance is here to help you find the best suited artist to reach your organization’s goals and objectives. 


How To Get Started as a Teaching Artist

Artists are the heart of the Arts in Education (AIE) program. Every community has talented professional creatives: painters, actors, photographers, musicians, writers (just to name a few) whose creativity, skill set and imagination have the potential to change lives.

By participating in the AIE program, professional artists bring their expertise and creativity to groups of learners in private or public schools, childcare centers, senior centers, community groups, businesses & other non-profit organizations.


1. Fill Out Application

Complete a Teaching Artist Application

2. Required Clearances

Apply and receive all required clearances/trainings

3. Create York365 Teaching Profile

Create your profile and help provide an overview of your expertise and creativity


Additional Information

To be eligible to conduct artist residencies in Adams, Franklin, Fulton and York counties:

  • Artists & creatives of ALL disciples are welcome to apply including but not limited to: visual, music, dance/movement, theatre, media/tech, commercial and interdisciplinary arts. Those artists who make strong connections with literacy, mathematics, social studies, and science and/or social, emotional and physical well-being are likely to excel within the program. 
  • Artists interested in working with early learners, students K-12, adults and seniors 55+ are encouraged to apply. 
  • Individual artists and artistic ensembles or companies are eligible to apply.
  • Preference is given to Pennsylvania residents, although outstanding artists from other states will be given consideration.
  • Artists, companies or ensembles that intend to work in multiple disciplines must demonstrate their qualifications and be approved to work in EACH discipline.
  • A peer review panel judges applicants for artistic excellence, as judged by work samples, as well as credentials, education, communication, and planning skills. The review process is competitive, but there is no limit to the number of artists who may be recommended for inclusion in the program.
  • Once accepted into the program an artist participates for 3 years and must reapply every third year to continue in the program.

Each residency “team” is required to complete an evaluation survey. Please choose the survey best suited to your PCA School Site or Community Residency involvement.

PCA School Site Residency Surveys

PCA Community Based Residency

The Cultural Alliance of York County will once again host the 2023-24 regional finals for Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation contest, for all high school students in Adams, Franklin, Fulton and York counties.

Each school’s winner will be invited to participate in the regional contest scheduled for Thursday, January 25 at 7 pm in Gettysburg at the historic Majestic Theatre.  (Snow date: Saturday, January 27 at 10 am.)

Our regional winner will then compete in the PA State Competition in March 2024 (date TBD). Winners from each state have the opportunity to compete at the national competition in Washington DC (April 30 to May 2, 2024).

Poetry Out Loud is a partnership between the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts (PCA), and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Poetry Out Loud is free and provides standards-based curriculum materials to schools, teachers, and students.

Additional Information

Please complete the Intent to Participate form, return it by Monday, October 27, 2023 (sooner is better), to your
regional coordinator (Hilary Trout at culturalalliancepol@gmail.com) and we’ll keep you informed as plans for the regional contest progress.

Questions? Call Hilary at 717-968-6339.