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In speaking with many of teachers who want to bring a French music program to their students, I have discovered that funding is often a major stumbling block. The following suggestions that have worked have been gathered from teachers:

  • school-based funds: administration, your department, parents' organizations, internal fund-raising activities like crêpe or candy sales;
  • public ticket sales for an evening show. This may be the single easiest way to support school visits. At $10 per ticket, 200 people would pay the bill for a day in the school and an evening concert and still leave some seed money to begin again the following year;
  • grants from the state Arts Council and the school district's arts-in-education funds. In Illinois nonprofit presenters qualify for 35% support for public programs under the Illinois Arts Tour Roster program of the Illinois Arts Council. The Illinois Quick Start program (annual deadline of August 31) also funds artist-in-residency projects up to 50%. Other states may have similar programs;
  • local posts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, when the theme of the show is appropriate, may support the program, especially if you invite WWII veterans to attend;
  • "French-flavored" businesses, for example, a French bakery or restaurant, a travel agency, a European bookstore, a music store, may lend support in exchange for recognition in the program;
  • corporate in-kind donations for lodging, discount flights, or car rentals;
  • chapters of the Alliance française;
  • collaboration with neighboring colleges and universities, especially their adult education and outreach departments, or with other schools.

These ideas are by no means comprehensive. This is a collection of some of the more obvious sources. Whole library sections are devoted to grantsmaking foundations, and each state has its own funding sources through its department or council for education, humanities, and the arts.

Any teacher planning such events should always check with school officials before proceeding.

Please pass along any other funding suggestions you may have.

Claudia Hommel (IL)]

Reprinted from AATF National Bulletin, Special Issue, Vol. 24 No. 5 (May 1999)


Created: April 25, 1999
Last update: July 31, 2015