Artists in the Schools (AIS)

Currently seeking teaching artists. Click here to view the application guidelines.

Salem Art Association’s Artists in the Schools (AIS) program serves Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties. The program is a collaborative effort between many individuals—principals, artists, teachers and parents—who cooperatively respond to the need within our region to include the arts in our children’s basic education. The partnerships developed among these individuals are a key element of the program’s success.

Because AIS is an increasingly beneficial community program, SAA is expanding to serve lifelong learners beyond K-12. For information about art opportunities for pre-school students and seniors, click here.

The AIS program provides a unique, hands-on approach to learning in and through the arts. AIS has become a model program adopted statewide, providing the leadership that brings arts experiences to students of all ages. Its success stems from several distinctive features:

  • Programs are vibrant and responsive to community and school needs, and provide a variety of pathways to providing art experiences, education and awareness.
  • Artists are carefully selected on the basis of professional achievement, skill in teaching young people and with the ability to design in-school programs.
  • AIS partners with schools and institutions to help take responsibility for their students’ arts education.
  • Classroom teachers can attend special in-service sessions with the artists and are expected to view the arts as a crucial part of the school day.
  • Sites are encouraged to continue art programs after they finish working directly with an artist.


AIS Qualifications:

  • Minimum of three sessions per group of participants
  • Sessions range from 30 – 60 minutes each
  • Classroom sizes or groups are limited to 30 participants per session
  • Cost is $45 per session
  • Mileage and supplies are additional costs


How to Get a Teaching Artist to Your School:

Choose a Teaching Artist and/or a Performing Artist and then complete the School Application Form. Once the form is complete, you can scan it and send it to or mail it to:

ATTN: Susan Powers
Salem Art Association
600 Mission St. SE
Salem, OR 97302
503-581-2228 x311


Best Practices:

Best Practice is a method or technique used by many organizations as a system for benchmarks. Best practices are used to maintain quality as an alternative to mandatory legislated standards and can be based on self-assessment or benchmarking.

As part of the AIS program, SAA provides Best Practice for teachers, students and parents to discover ways to interact with the arts and also offers examples of how artists can provide the best art experiences for our community. To view SAA’s Best Practices information, click here.