CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation this month awarded a $175,000 grant to the West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) Arts Section for its STEAM Power WV grant program. The grant is for an 18-month project that will include grants for PK-12 schools, arts organizations and other nonprofit organizations, professional development workshops for teachers and teaching artists and a STEAM Project Showcase at the Culture Center in Charleston.

“These mini-grants are incredibly valuable in tapping the creativity of individual teachers and artists working together,” said James Denova, vice president of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. “From the Foundation perspective, mini-grants represent a grassroots effort to spark the innovative spirit of those working on the front line – an opportunity that can be overlooked in larger top-down project grants.”

The grant, which is the third of which the division has received from the Benedum Foundation for this program, will be used to offer and expand upon an Arts in Education grant opportunity for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) projects benefitting K-12 students in West Virginia.

“As we prepare this year for continuing our support of STEAM projects, we are ready to expand our partnership with other educational groups in the state and region,” said Randall Reid-Smith, WVDCH commissioner. “Through these partnerships, we will raise the profile of the innovative arts integration projects going on around the state allowing educators and students to benefit from sharing their ideas and strategies, networking with education innovators and participating in state and regional showcases.”

Jim Wolfe, WVDCH Arts in Education coordinator, said this grant has six goals:

  • Fund at least 10 new innovative STEAM mini-grant projects initiated by arts or community nonprofit organizations in collaboration with K-12 schools or afterschool programs,
  • Fund at least 15 new innovative STEAM mini-grant projects initiated by teachers, schools or school systems,
  • Offer two professional development workshops for teachers and teaching artists,
  • Present a STEAM Power WV showcase at the Culture Center in Charleston,
  • Offer technical assistance and funding in at least five West Virginia counties that are designated as distressed, and
  • Develop a database that tracks STEAM projects and the number of students served.

“This year, we will seek additional funding from government and private sources and use those funds to add to the grant pool or to assist applicants with the required cash match,” Wolfe said. “In the past, these generous contributions have helped us build the program and increase the interest in STEAM around the state.”

Grant application forms and information about the program are available at The deadline for grant applications will be July 16, 2018.

STEAM Power WV Facts

STEAM Power WV offers Arts in Education grant opportunities for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) projects benefitting K-12 students in West Virginia. These projects must integrate arts education with one or more STEM disciplines.

In 2015-2016, STEAM Power WV awarded $206,180 to 48 projects in 23 counties.

In 2016-2017, the program awarded $117,409 to 22 projects serving at least 25 counties.

The breakdown for the 2018-2019 grant is:

  • $150,000 for mini grant projects,
  • $14,000 for professional development workshops for teachers and teaching artists, and
  • $11,000 for a STEAM project showcase in 2019.

The maximum mini-grant award will be $7,500. Each project requires a match of at least one-third the requested amount. Those matching funds may be contributed by county school systems, individual schools, community foundations, government agencies, private businesses and individuals.

Eligible applicants include public and private schools, school systems, nonprofit arts organizations and nonprofit organizations incorporating arts into their missions.  Educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, performance and visual arts are encouraged to develop projects.  Applicants are encouraged to include teaching artists and STEM educators in proposals.

Colleges and universities, while not eligible to apply for these grants, may partner with applicants by providing faculty and students as teaching partners and mentors.

WVDCH emphasizes the importance of smaller, classroom-based projects, the formation of cross-curricular teaching teams and the development of innovative multi-disciplinary curricula.

Special consideration is given to proposals that:

  • Thoroughly Integrate the arts and other disciplines
  • Result in significant arts and STEM learning outcomes
  • Reflect collaboration with multi-disciplinary teaching teams
  • Include hands-on and creative problem-solving activities
  • Are innovative
  • Provide a plan for evaluation and sustainability of the project
  • Take place in underserved areas or among student populations with limited access to STEM and/or arts education projects