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Grants to Tennessee Arts Nonprofits in Eligible Regions for General Operational Support

Operating Grant

Metro Nashville Arts Commission (Metro Arts)

Agency: Local

GrantWatch ID #151699

Grant Description

Previous Page Version

Grants to Tennessee nonprofit arts organizations in eligible regions for general operational support to facilitate Coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery. Applicants must submit a pre-application prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended to support organizations that provide community arts programming in Metro Nashville-Davidson County.

The Grants Program supports organizations that are engaged in work that addresses one or more of the following community outcomes:

  • Stronger Creative Workforce
  • Vibrant, Creative Neighborhoods
  • Deeper Cultural Participation

Types of Grants: 

  • Basic Operating Support grants support the overall operations of nonprofit arts organizations that are based in Metro Nashville-Davidson County and have an average revenue of more than $100,000 per year over the most recent three-year period.
  • Core Operating Support grants provide foundational support to community-based arts organizations that are in their early stages and/or have a budget of less than $100,000. Applications are reviewed in this category annually. 

For information about eligible expenses, see:

Need help writing this grant?

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To receive a grant from Metro Arts, the applicant must:
- Produce, present or directly support artistic programs, projects, or works
- Have a primary mission to directly support the performance, exhibition, or instruction of art
- Be chartered in the state of Tennessee and tax-exempt under the IRS Code Section 501(c)(3)
- Have an IRS Letter of Determination with an effective date of exemption of January 1, 2019 or earlier for Core Operating Support and January 1, 2018 for Basic Operating Support
- Have a business address that is located in Metro Nashville & Davidson County and operate most of its programs in Metro Nashville
- Have evidence of non-discrimination employment and personnel practices in place
- Maintain a fully completed and accurate profile

Basic Operating Support Eligibility:
- Organizations with an arts-focused mission and average revenue of >$100,000 annually
- 3+ years as a nonprofit and at least 6 months of programming each year

Core Operating Support Eligibility:
- Organizations with an arts-focused mission and average revenue of less than $99,999 annually
- 2+ years as a nonprofit and at least 6 months of programming each year

There are certain types of organizations that cannot receive operating grants from Metro Arts. They are:
- Non-arts organizations
- Arts organizations who focus on capacity building, technical assistance, or advocacy and do not offer direct artistic programming
- Organizations who receive operational budget amendments (“line items”) from Metro, except for those that are provided by the Metropolitan Charter
- “Friends of…” organizations whose primary purpose is to support government agencies or initiatives
- Colleges or universities
- Public broadcasting stations
- Arts organizations that operate as a legal subsidiary of a non-arts nonprofit organization

Pre-Application Information:

The priority deadline to complete the Pre-Application is Thursday, February 10, 2022. Submitting by the priority deadline allows organizations to receive application review, coaching, and time for corrections. Organizations who submit after the priority deadline will not be eligible for coaching or draft reviews.

NOTE: Arts organizations may still apply for Metro Arts grants after the priority deadline, but will not be able to participate in draft review coaching. The Final Pre-Application deadline is Friday, March 4, 2022.

After Pre-Application, the full Metro Arts Grants application and Reverification Form application will close at exactly 4:30PM Central Standard Time on Thursday, March 10, 2022.

All FY23 grant applications and accompanying support materials must be submitted before the following dates
and times:
- 4:30 PM CST, Thursday, February 10, 2022 for Priority Pre-Application
- 4:30 PM CST, Friday, March 4, 2022 last day to submit Pre-Application
- 4:30 PM CST, Thursday, March 10, 2022 for Full Application or Basic Reverification Form

- Application live January 27, 2022
- Applicant Grant Training Online Video Available January 28, 2022
- Pre-Application Priority Deadline 4:30 PM February 10, 2022
- Pre-Application Closes 4:30 PM March 4, 2022
- Final Application Deadline: Operating Support 4:30 PM March 10, 2022
- Panel Review: Core Operating Support May 2-6, 2022
- Commission Approval June 16, 2022
- Grant Period July 1, 2022 – June 1, 2023
- Grant Closeout Due June 15, 2023
- First Grant Payment (80% of award) Between October 1 and November 1, 2022
- Final Grant Payment (20% of award) 6-8 weeks after final closeout report approval

All applicants are required to have a profile. These online profiles are used by Metro Arts staff and panelists to access and review organizational information including mission statements, program descriptions, board leadership, financial information, and more. It is important to keep this profile up-to-date as it is used numerous times during the grant review process.

Metro Arts grant awards require a 25% match. This means that if awarded funding, the applicant organization
must contribute at least 25% of the amount awarded by Metro Arts.

Grants Training Video:

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant awards are not to exceed $300,000 for Basic Operating Support and $20,000 for Core Operating Support.

Term of Contract:

All eligible FY23 grant activities must take place between July 1, 2022 and June 1, 2023 unless otherwise noted.

Contact Information:

Apply online:

For further assistance, please contact:
Marysa LaRowe
Program and Evaluation Coordinator

Metro Nashville Arts Commission
P.O. Box 196300
Nashville TN 37219-6300
615.862.6720 phone
615.862.6731 fax

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