Artists in the Classroom

Artists in the Classroom (AITC) is our arts teaching residency program. It is the only multi-disciplinary arts residency program available to every K-8 school in Ventura County, offering eight-week residencies in dance, poetry, theater, 2D/3D visual arts, traditional/folk arts and more. Our professional artist educators partner with your classroom teachers to deliver engaging, empowering, and inspiring California Arts Standards-aligned lessons. Student potential and multi-curricular bridging are blended within project-based sessions.

Teaching artists tailor residencies to the appropriate grade level, infusing diverse global perspectives, multi-cultural awareness, and historical context into their lessons. Students gain an understanding of their own and other cultures, past and present, while diving into a colorful palette of arts activities designed to spark their imagination.

Course Offerings & Teaching Artists

Pricing, Policies & Scheduling

  • Each 8-week residency is $800 per classroom; one classroom roster only per residency.

  • To register, please complete the registration form via the button link at the top of this page and email the completed form to VCAC at

  • Residency requests must be received directly by VCAC. Residencies are not to be coordinated with the teaching artist without first completing registration with VCAC.

  • Once registration is completed with VCAC, the classroom teacher and/or school administrator works directly with the teaching artist to schedule the 8-hour residency any time within the remainder of the current academic year.

  • Prior to the first lesson, available materials and optimal teaching environment, e.g. classroom, outdoor space, will be discussed by the classroom teacher and the teaching artist.

  • At least a 24-hour confirmed, emailed notice to the teaching artist is required to reschedule, postpone, or cancel a lesson. In the event that a teaching artist appears at the calendared time and a change of time/date has not been received within the previous 24 hours, the originally calendared date will be counted as a lesson.

  • While participation by the classroom teacher is not required (though it is encouraged), a credentialed teacher’s presence IS required at all times during each lesson. Due to insurance requirements, it is essential that schools and classroom teachers abide by this policy.

  • Classroom management is the responsibility of the credentialed teacher.

  • Each teaching artist carries personal liability insurance and undergoes a background check and live scan finger printing process with the CA DOJ. VCAC is the Custodian of Records.


Program History and Growth

In 2014, the Ventura County Office of Education turned over administration of its long-running Artists in the Classroom program to VCAC. A primary focus of our mission is increasing arts instruction in schools while striving for inclusivity.

In year one, VCAC facilitated 112 artist residencies, a 40% increase over the previous year. In 2016, that number grew to 134, a 20% increase, serving 12 elementary schools in 8 county districts, 7 that were Title 1 schools. By 2019, over 225 residencies were serving over 3000 students annually.

In 2020, VCAC pivoted the program to provide online, distance learning residencies to schools during COVID-19. The program returned to a fully in-person format in 2022.

Program Supporters

We do our best to secure philanthropic funding to help provide scholarships to schools with limited budgets for residencies, and to pay for arts supplies when they are not available in a school’s materials inventory. VCAC extends deepest thanks to these generous donors for supporting our young people through their gifts to the Artists in the Classroom program:

Become an Artists in the Classroom Teaching Artist

We are always looking for experienced, well-qualified, passionate arts educators! There is an open call to apply to become part of VCAC's roster of teaching artists for Artists in the Classroom. Arts teachers in all disciplines are encouraged to apply.

For more information on the program, or to apply, please contact Michelle Dumas at


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