Funds often come from school administration, the foreign language, social studies and performing arts departments, the parents' organization, the French Club crêpe or bon-bon sale. But here are some additional ideas and resources, in the form of grants, income-generating activities, cash and in-kind contributions.
- Public ticket sales for an evening show. This may be the single easiest way to support the school visits. At $10 per ticket, an audience of 200 people would pay the bill entirely for a day in the school and the evening concert, and still leave you some seed money to begin again the next year.
- Some schools are successful in motivating their students, creating buzz, AND raising the necessary funds by having each student pay $2 to $5 to participate. Discretionary funds are used to help students in need.
- Ask your local "French-flavored" businesses such as the French bakery or restaurant, the travel agency, bookstore, music store, and printer, to lend support in exchange for recognition in the program and publicity.
- Corporate in-kind donations from hotels, discount flights and car rentals.
- Home stays (when Claudia travels she especially enjoys getting to know school families up close).
- Chapters of the Alliance Française. Some are more fiscally active than others, but they'll all appreciate being included in your public audiences. To find the nearest chapter, visit www.afusa.org.
- Members of the American Association of Teachers of French can apply for "small project" grants.
- Collaboration with neighboring colleges and universities, museums and libraries, especially their adult education and outreach departments.
- Your local VFW and American Legion posts have veterans, many who love to bring back fond memories of France after the fighting was over.
- "Souvenirs of Paris" t-shirts to be colorized and autographed at the show. Claudia can provide you with necessary graphic images. Buttons and stickers and "snapshots with the star" are ways to commemorate your event and raise funds.
- Many local Arts Councils (city, county or state) have funds set aside for arts-in-education projects. For example, the Illinois Arts Council and local area councils give fee support for artists who share their talent with schools and non-profit institutions. Claudia is registered as a supported artist with the IAC's Illinois ArtsTour and Illinois Arts-in-Education rosters.
- For example, short term residencies are supported by IAC's Quick Start. Project Quick Start provides up to $1000 for schools who are first-time IAC applicants wanting to host a residency project from 6 to 36 hours long. (Applications must be received at least 8 weeks prior to project start date.)
- Or plan ahead with Claudia for a major Arts-in-Education residency program (20 hours a week for four or more weeks): the deadline for the next school year is generally March 1 of the current year. Contact the Illinois Arts Council for application booklets and assistance: in Chicago at 312/814-6750, toll-free 800/237-6994 and by email at email@example.com.
- In Chicago, the Board of Education, Local School Councils and the City's Department of Cultural Affairs also fund various arts-in-education and public projects.