AIE Residencies

ECCOTA is one of 14 Arts in Education (AIE) Partners in Pennsylvania and services Cameron, Elk, Forest, McKean and Potter counties. As a partner, ECCOTA's AIE Program supports artist teacher partnerships, facilitates artist residencies in schools and social service agencies and provides professional development to teachers and artists to integrate the arts into the classroom curriculum.

Imagine a professional muralist working to make the Civil War more vivid to a high school history class, a storyteller mentoring second graders who are learning Aesop’s Fables, a modern dance instructor broadening horizons in a physical education class, a poet teaching English students to find greater meaning in their everyday lives, or a visual artist bringing a whole new skill and passion to an art class. Stop imagining. With an AIE we can make these types of innovative learning experiences a reality!


What is a residency?

Schools, community organizations, libraries and other public and private organizations are welcome to become a residency host site. ECCOTA serves as the liaison between the host and artist to ensure a successful and rewarding program. ECCOTA staff assists with contracts, handles housing and travel arrangements, and collects and disperses all fees.

Residencies range from 10-20 days and are jointly funded by ECCOTA and the hosting education system. Business, community and government leaders are encouraged to provide valuable monetary support to help make this cost-effective, quality education available.

Artists are carefully screened, qualified and guided to work cooperatively with teachers. Their programs typically include engaging, memorable hands-on activities including dance, literature, drama, visual arts, music and theater.

Teachers agree that working with an artist in their classroom...

  • Inspires their students to be creative, conceptual thinkers.

  • Motivates their students to be actively engaged in their lesson.

  • Empowers their students with the creative tools necessary for 21st Century Learning!

“Our first graders asked if they could have school on Saturday to spend more time learning with the artist.”
— Erin Waugaman, Principal, George G. Blaisdell Elementary School, Bradford

I want to host a residency - what's next?

Choose a discipline that is of interest to you and your students. Dance, drama, visual Arts, music and theater can be incorporated into any curriculum. A directory of teaching artists can be viewed online, at right.

Contact our AIE residency coordinator, Tia DeShong,, 814-772-7051. ECCOTA will be responsible for contacting the artist, scheduling, negotiating, creating agreement contracts and making payments. We make travel arrangements and publicize your project. Our AIE team is available to work with you throughout the residency to ensure a most successful experience for all.

Determine your source for funding the required match.  Typical sources include your school’s PTO/PTA/PTG, a district budget line item, student or teacher activity funds, donations from local organizations (Lion’s Club, Moose, Civic Clubs) and fundraisers (band boosters, sub sales, car washes, etc.)