In 2007 AIEA received one of 35 national grants from the Dana Foundation to train Teaching Artists to work in rural schools. AIEA’s success with this grant led to a renewal for a second year in 2008 and again for a third in 2009. Alabama’s project targets the Black Belt in support of the Alabama Black Belt Arts Education Initiative—an Alabama State Department of Education project. AIEA has trained approximately 23 artists in various genres to conduct residencies in the Black Belt and in schools without art specialists. The artists include dancers, actors, singers, storyteller, painters, wood carvers, quilters and potters. They have received extensive training in integrated curriculum design and in effective ways to work in the classrooms to support standards in their art discipline and other content areas. The artists work with the classroom teachers in planning a residency which can vary from a day-long residency to one lasting several weeks and culminating in a production. For more information about the Dana artists and their work throughout the state of Alabama, contact AIEA at 334-396-2432.