Supporting student art: Arts in Education grants

When Nature Coast Technical High School’s digital video production program entered the All-American High School Film Festival in New York City in October 2021, they won second place with their short film titled “Waiting for the Punchline.” The production and submission of this film was made possible through a wide range of community support, including a grant from the Hernando County Board of Fine Arts. In the closing credits of the short, a student production from NCT Films, Hernando County Arts in Education, and the Hernando County Education Foundation both received special thanks!

“The Arts in Education grant was a blessing for what we needed to attend the festival, allowing us to purchase festival passes with full access,” said Ian Wald, Digital Video Production Program Instructor. from Nature Coast Technical High School. “And producing the film gave my students incredible real-world experience.”

That’s the whole idea behind the Arts in Education Grant, which the Hernando County Board of Fine Arts awards to certified Hernando County visual or performing arts teachers. The maximum grant request allowed is $500. The purpose of this grant “is to assist arts educators in providing arts experiences for students in Hernando County.”

“I was drawn to the Arts Council because of its Arts in Education program. Our mission is to encourage, promote, support and showcase the creative arts here in Hernando County and the Arts in Education Grant Program provides us with a special opportunity to better serve growing minds and little ones. local artists! said Jessica Knutila, administrative assistant at the Canada Council.

Appropriately, this grant program is made possible through the support of the Hernando County Education Foundation. “Arts in Education Grants are now distributed in partnership with the Hernando County Education Foundation!” Knutila said. “We are delighted to be working with the dedicated team at HCEF to support art teachers in our community.”

All grant applications must align with the Arts in Education mission statement, which is to encourage, promote, support, and showcase the creative process for the benefit of K-12 students in Hernando County.

A number of Hernando schools and educators have benefited from Arts in Education grants. Explorer K-8 applied for the Arts in Education grant in 2021 to purchase a potter’s wheel for the college’s art program. Each student created a piece of pottery and then displayed it in a school-wide student art exhibit at the end of the year. The K-12 ensemble applied their school’s grant to the annual art gallery experience, titled and themed “Everything Wild” in 2021, which the school is hosting at the end of each school year. Students painted murals and created an exhibit of student artwork displayed in various locations throughout the school.
“Artworks that students have been working on all year are on display in different classrooms that are also designed to match the school’s theme for the year,” read information found on the website of the Hernando Arts Council.

“The theme in 2021 was ‘All Wild’, with artwork inspired by the Wild West, our wild imaginations and wildlife! There was also a short film created by students.
“Both Entirety and Explorer had storefronts for school-wide students,” Knutila explained.
Those interested in applying for Arts in Education grants should complete the grant application available at and email it to Tammy Brinker, Executive Director of the Hernando County Education Foundation, at [email protected] with “Class 2022-2023 Grant Application” as the subject. Attach documentation if necessary. Your administrator must electronically sign and submit requests. NOTE: Handwritten applications will not be accepted, only applications returned by email will be accepted.
Applications are due no later than October 7, 2022. All projects must be completed by April 2023 and must include supporting photos, news clips, social media posts or press releases. documenting the finished product.

Watch the short film “Waiting for the Punchline,” a comedy thriller produced by Nature Coast Technical High School’s digital video production program and NCT Films by searching “Waiting for the Punchline (2021)” on YouTube.

“The arts council grant was the finishing touch we needed to make our film festival experience complete,” Wald said. “And we finished second in the world.”