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Arts Education and the USDOE i3: Who, What, and How Much Requested

As an quick update: this just in via email from the USDOE i3 Team:

Thank you for your participation in the Investing in Innovation (i3) program and for your efforts to improve public education. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) received nearly 1,700 applications for the i3 competition. We are pleased to share that we will announce the names of the highest-rated applicants on August 5, 2010. At that time, we will post a press release on the Department’s Web site, as well as share further guidance on the required 20 percent private-sector match. Evidence of this match must be submitted to the Department by September 8, 2010.
In accordance with the Department’s ongoing commitment to transparency, the peer reviewers’ comments and scores for all highest-rated applications will also be posted on the i3 Web site on August 5, 2010. In addition, we will simultaneously post the project narratives for all of the highest-rated Scale-Up applications. The narratives for the highest-rated Validation and Development applications will be posted as soon as possible. Consistent with the Department’s practices for releasing such information, these documents will be redacted, where appropriate, to protect privacy information about an individual and proprietary information.
While summary information on all applicants is available on, we encourage all highest-rated applicants to take advantage of tools such as the Open Innovation Portal ( and the Foundation Registry i3 (, to provide as much information as possible about their applications to a wide variety of potential funders (see Securing the i3 Private-Sector Match: A Resource for Applicants, available online at
An Overview of the i3 Review Process (July 26, 2010), a newly created document that explains the i3 review and selection process, is also available on the i3 Web site at
We thank you for your participation in this grant competition.
The i3 Team

As word is starting to make its way around the country regarding approvals and declinations for the 2010 USDOE Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination program (I am extremely happy to say the The Center for Arts Education was awarded a 2010 AEMDD grant!),  I’ve been hearing conflicting information about when the results of the USDOE i3 program will be announced.

On the USDOE website it says that all funds will be obligated by September 30th. A number of people have said that that provisional notices will be made in the next week or two giving each provisionally approved application until September to secure the required match to the project, unless the match has been waived. 

My previous blog entries about i3 can be seen here, here, here, and here.

Okay, so, who did apply to i3 for an arts project, what was the application for, and how much was requested?

With the help of my colleague Jonathan Greenberg, I have compiled two documents directly from the recently released data from the USDOE. The first document contains a list of applicants that included the arts as a substantial part of their application. The second provides key information, including the project description, amount requested, list of partners, etc. 

Since this is a cut and paste job from the USDOE website, please bear with the occasional irregularities in formatting.

Out of the nearly 1700 applications in total, 52 were arts focused. The largest number of applications from any single state were from New York (12). Overwhelmingly, the lion share of applications were for the lower-tier of grant amounts (43 for the “development” category). Nine applications were for the “validation” tier, and no applications were made for top tier, “scale-up,” which maxes out at $50,000,000.

I know of no arts organization that received a grant from The Gates Foundation or any other to help develop their i3 proposal. Gates awarded $100,000 grants to some organizations nationwide for this purpose.

For those who would like to search the USDOE database, click here for the link.

Now, I wish I had the time to do further analysis, including a breakdown of percentage of applications for each competitive priority, discipline, etc. There’s a lot that could be done here. Perhaps I will get to it shortly, but for the moment, if you would like to take a look at 52 applications submitted to the USDOE’s i3 program, take a look at these two documents.

Now for my disclaimer: To compile this list, I searched on the following terms: arts, art, music, dance, theater, opera. It’s possible I missed some that were not returned as results to those query terms. If you’re one of those that were missed, apologies in advance.

Arts Applications to USDOE i3

Arts Applications to USOE i3–Key Information and Project Description


  1. This is great intelligence work. Thank you for doing it and for sharing it, Richard.

  2. Narric Rome says

    Thanks for digging this up Richard. Any arts education-related awards made through i3 will immediately become leading examples for calling for greater Administration support in strengthening arts education in ESEA. And pave the way for future application success as well in the next round.

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