Teacher Funding

Thanks to generous local donations and grants, VAPA awards teacher-project grants to San Diego Unified School District professionals to pursue innovative, creative artistic projects with their students. The funding rounds of the VAPA grants usually impact thousands of students, and often yield artistic work that also delights and educates large numbers of people in the community at large.

These awards range in dollar amount based on many factors, including the number of students participating and the type and scope of the project.

Students with BanjoesGenerally, we seek to help teachers cover things that fall outside of school budgets including:

  • professional development
  • project costs
  • artistic materials

Funding amounts granted are, of course, dependent on the project, generally ranging from $500 to $5,000.

VAPA Enhancement Program

Mission of the VAPA Foundation:
The purpose of the VAPA Foundation is to increase access to and enhance the quality of arts education in the San Diego Unified School District.


All TK – 12 teachers currently employed by and in good standing with the San Diego Unified School District may apply.

To Apply:

  • Please see the VEP Proposal Guidelines for details on project proposals and suggestions for how to make an application more likely to be funded.
  • Our goal is to help you enhance arts learning by providing connections to unique VAPA-related education and materials that extend beyond resources at your school.
  • Please do not request programs or materials likely to be covered in your school’s budget and remember, only one application can be submitted per teacher.
  • Please read and answer each question carefully as incomplete applications will not be considered.

Click here to apply.


Aug. 23 Online Application Opens
Oct. 16 DEADLINE to Apply
Nov. 4 Awardees Notified
May 1, 2023 Funded projects must be complete (except summer PD)
1 month after project completion Final Report Due – Required

VEP funds opportunities for

  • Collaboration with community arts organizations that create innovative opportunities for TK-12 students to learn through meaningful, integrated visual and performing arts
  • Professional development for teachers not offered by the district
  • Purchase of musical instruments and other non-consumable arts tools and equipment to further classroom VAPA learning goals

Examples of Acceptable Projects

  • Considering the uncertainty of when we will return to site based learning, it may be advantageous to propose flexible programs and projects that can take place in a virtual context.
  • This program encourages teachers to think outside the box for innovative projects that provide substantial impact for students through active learning and deepen artistic connections.
  • This program sponsors activities and non-consumable materials that extend and enhance visual and performing arts learning for students, including artist residencies, interactive field trips with a docent or workshop component, professional development, or non-consumable materials or equipment for any arts discipline such as instruments or specialty computer software.
  • What the VAPA Enhancement Program does not Fund: VEP does not fund any programs or projects that should be or are funded by a school’s budget.
  • If you have a project/activity in mind, but do not yet have an arts organization to fill your need, The Arts Education Resource Organization (AERO) offers a robust list of community arts organizations that provide high quality, standards-based arts instruction and integration in schools. This list is not all-inclusive and does not act as an endorsement of participating groups, nor is this program limited to supporting activities provided by AERO members. It does offer a starting point if you are looking for an arts organization to fill a need.

Program Funding Categories

  • $500 or less
  • $2,500 or less
  • $5,000 or less
  • (In the past, fewer high-dollar proposals were selected for funding)

How are applications evaluated?

  • Preview the VEP application scoring rubric before submitting your application

How will selected applicants be notified?

  • Selected applicants will be notified by email and mail.

Is there a final report?

  • Yes, the VAPA Foundation does require a final report.
  • This report is due no later than 1 month after the completion of the project.
  • Applicants will receive the end-of-grant report submission form before the end of the school year.
  • The report includes qualitative and quantitative questions, a summary budget of final income and expense and an upload of images from the project or program so be sure to take quality photos!

How will funds be disbursed?

  • Funds for artist residences and other collaborations with community arts organizations will go directly to the arts organization.
  • Funds for instruments and arts equipment/materials will either be paid to the vendor or the school. We will determine this on a case-by-case basis.

The VAPA Foundation looks forward to assisting you in your visual and performing arts education goals.

With questions, contact:

Michael Camacho
VAPA Foundation Executive Administrator

2018-19 VEP Project - Mural Artist Maxx Moses with students at Zamorano Fine Arts Academy

2018-19 VEP Project – Mural Artist Maxx Moses with students at Zamorano Fine Arts Academy