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cARTwheels Program Grants for North Carolina Schools

Dancing Drum is honored to be selected as a featured Teaching Artist for the North Carolina Arts Council's cARTwheels program. This grant funding will enable schools across North Carolina to host Dancing Drum's 3-Day "Drumming Up Character" Workshop-to-Performance (W2P) program during next school year.

We've been receiving lots of questions about what the program entails, and this webpage should help answer some of those questions. If you're interested in applying for the Arts Council funding, please read through this page. If you have any additional questions, feel free reach out to us at or call (504) 941-1378.

There is a process for applying for the grant funding. The deadline to apply is MARCH 1st. Learn more at this link:

Vicki Vitello is your contact for grant application questions at the NC Arts Council:
(919) 814-6504 
Email Vicki

Program Overview:

Dancing Drum’s 3-Day Workshop-to-Performance (W2P) program includes two days of hands-on drumming workshops culminating in final performances for the entire school community on the third day. 

Depending on the size of your school, all grade levels or a selection of grade levels can participate in up to six workshops per day to learn a “Drumming Up Character” ensemble piece with character rhythms, songs, and dances. On the third day, students will showcase their performance pieces at an exciting school assembly.

This program also includes “Drumming Up Character” curriculum materials for the school, a Professional Development workshop for teachers, and a Family Drum Night. During the Family Drum Night, family members are invited to participate in an interactive, community-building experience centered around drumming, music, and celebrating students’ talents and accomplishments.

Program Includes:
• Teacher workshop
• Student workshops
• Student Performance
• Community/Family evening performance
• Curriculum materials 

    SAMPLE SCHEDULE - K-5 School*

    DAY 1: 6 Student Workshops (45-60 minutes each) + PD

    Workshop 1:  8:30-9:15 – Kindergarten
    Workshop 2: 9:20-10:05 – 1st Grade
    Workshop 3: 10:10-10:55 - 2nd Grade
    Workshop 4: 11:00-11:50 - 3rd Grade
    Workshop 5: 12:40 - 1:30 - 4th Grade
    Workshop 6: 1:35 - 2:25 - 5th Grade
    PD Teacher Workshop (Optional): 3:30-4:30pm

    DAY 2: 6 Student Workshops (Second workshop day for students) + FDN

    Workshop 1:  8:30-9:15 – Kindergarten
    Workshop 2: 9:20-10:05 – 1st Grade
    Workshop 3: 10:10-10:55 - 2nd Grade
    Workshop 4: 11:00-11:50 - 3rd Grade
    Workshop 5: 12:40 - 1:30 - 4th Grade
    Workshop 6: 1:35 - 2:25 - 5th Grade
    Family Drum Night (Optional): 6:00-6:50pm

    DAY 3:
    Final Performances

    Performance #1: 9:00-9:50am - Featuring 2nd Grade A & B student performers, attended by Grades K-2 students

    Performance #2: 10:00-10:50am - Featuring 5th Grade A & B student performers, attended by Grades 3-5 students

    * This is just one example of how to structure the program. The schedule can be customized to work with each school’s unique needs and performance goals. 

    Materials Included:

    • A school set of Red and Blue TubeStix (30 pairs). We will use these in the PD program to train teachers how to play and lead Character Rhythms, songs, and activities with their students.


    Dancing Drum has established a flat fee with the NC Arts Council for the purpose of this grant. If you receive the grant, it will 100% cover the full cost of the program and materials.

    Technical Rider:

    – We prefer to set up on the floor of a large, open indoor space like a gym or multi-purpose room. If possible, it’s best to have all workshops and performances in the same location. A raised stage are will not work due to the interactive nature of our program, with many students entering, exiting and moving around the performance space.

    – We will bring everything we need to run sound for our program, other than a power source. Please provide easy access to 1-2 standard 3-prong outlets to power our set-up. We will also need chairs for participants. The number of chairs needed depends on the largest workshop group size, which varies with each school. Once we determine the number of chairs we need, please have them ready and available before our load-in arrival time.

    3. LOAD-IN/OUT
    – We will provide all of the instruments and equipment needed to conduct the program at your site. We'll need 1.5 hours before the start of the first workshop to load-in and set-up. Please plan to allow our van the best point of access for loading in and out with our wheeled carts. Stairs, steep slopes, rough terrain, or tight access may require additional load time. If the room is being used for something else directly prior to our program, please discuss the situation with us in advance and we will work around it. Load-out normally takes 60-90 minutes.

    – Workshops should be scheduled from 45-60 minutes in length. Please plan for a 30-minute minimum break for lunch. The Final Performances should be scheduled on the last day of the program for 50-60 minutes each, with 10-15 minutes of transition time in between. The optional Professional Development teacher workshop should be scheduled after school for 1 hour in length, for example 3:30pm-4:30pm. The optional Family Drum Night should be scheduled at a time that is convenient for parents/guardians to attend, for example from 6:00-6:50pm.

    - Workshop group sizes are recommended to be 60 students at most, but we can accommodate up to 80 students, if necessary. Groups are combined with students of the same grade level.

    – We utilize a large set-up of drums and sound equipment. If at all possible, please arrange to let our equipment stay in the same location through the duration of the program, rather than having to strike and reset everything each day.

    Please contact us to discuss any scheduling questions or requests. Our programs are always custom-tailored to each school’s specific needs and performance goals.

    Dancing Drum
    Steve Campbell, Musical Director
    (504) 941-1378
    Lindsay Rust, Artistic & Managing Director
    (504) 444-2929

    About cARTwheels
    The North Carolina Arts Council is excited to reintroduce cARTwheels, an Arts in Education Grant Program which provides high quality arts performances and residency experiences for students and schools. For this new iteration of the program, cARTwheels will focus on building students’ resiliency through the arts. In-school performances and arts experiences will focus on creative practices and programmatic content that support students’ problem-solving skills and promote healing, reflection, and self-empowerment through the arts.

    Application Dates
    Open: January 6th
    Due: March 1st

    Who May Apply

    K–12 schools and school districts in North Carolina may apply for this funding. Local arts councils that receive Grassroots Grant funding are eligible to apply for this category in partnership with their county’s school district. 

    To apply, visit: