Iowa school leaders who want to pursue character education initiatives can now bring in one of the state’s experts for free, or at least for very little cost. Patricia Ohlerking, grant administrator for the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, says they’re making a variety of artists available through the Iowa Arts Council.The 200-dollar grants are available for Iowa schools to contact the trained artists and have them visit to teach the pillars of character counts using “the arts” as a discipline. Those so-called pillars of character are: trustworthiness, respect, responsibililty, fairness, caring and citizenship. Ohlerking says the offering of grants is an experiment. Ohlerking says partnership is being developed as a model for other states. The money will be available through the rest of the school year to see how popular the program is, though she says it’s expected to be very popular. Ohlerking says the artists work in several types of media, including poetry.The rostered artists are: Dennis Adams, visual arts, of Woodward; Barb Funke, drama and folk arts, of State Center; Tracy White, literature, from DeWitt; Dorian Byrd, dance and folk arts, of Davenport; Monica Leo and T.J. Breitbach, Eulenspiegel Puppets, of West Liberty; Pam Dennis, visual arts, of Ogden; Skywalker Payne, storytelling and folk arts, of Des Moines; and Jacqueline Thompson, dance, of Ottumwa. For more information, visit “” or “”.