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Arts Project Support (APS) and Rural Arts Project Support (RAPS) Grant

Grants to Tennessee Nonprofits, Agencies, Schools and
IHEs for Arts Projects in Rural and Urban Counties

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Tennessee Arts Commission

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

01/22/18 11:59 PM CST


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Grants to Tennessee nonprofit organizations, government agencies, schools, and IHEs to support arts projects in both rural and urban counties. Applicants are strongly encouraged to register online well in advance of the deadline. Projects must involve one or more of the following art forms: craft, visual arts, media, design, music, theater, dance, folk and ethnic, or literary arts.

Funding will depend upon an organization’s rating in the review process and upon the total amount of funds available to the Commission for grant allocation. This grant category is competitive.

The following are example activities and expenditures that are consistent with the funding philosophy for APS & RAPS:
-Projects that involve and promote professional artists, especially Tennessee artists
-Visiting artists conducting master classes
-Specific aspects of workshops, festivals, and conferences
-Public performances, productions, and exhibitions produced by the applicant
-Exhibitions of art by professional and folk artists, especially Tennessee artists
-Projects involving and promoting folk and traditional artists
-Promotion, publicity, and newsletters
-Administrative and artistic staff support
-Research and documentation as part of an arts project or program development
-Consultancies and residencies for administrative and artistic activities
-The development of long-range planning documents
-Improved program accessibility for underserved constituencies, e.g. children, people living in rural communities or isolated settings, people with living with disabilities, people of color, and senior citizens
-Art in public places
-Extensions of literary projects, journals with continuing publication, or juried anthologies
-Apprenticeship programs
-Computer software/training
-Technical/production support
-Technical assistance projects
-Touring/presenting projects that bring professional and/or traditional folk performers to communities across the state

Rural Counties (Submit RAPS application), Bedford, Benton, Bledsoe, Campbell, Cannon, Carroll, Carter, Cheatham, Chester, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Crockett, Cumberland, , Decatur, DeKalb, Dickson, Dyer, Fayette, Fentress, Franklin, Gibson, Giles, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hancock, Hardeman, Hardin, Hawkins, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Lake, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Loudon, Macon, Marion, Marshall, McMinn, McNairy, Meigs, Monroe, Moore, Morgan, Obion, Overton, Perry, Polk, Rhea, Roane, Robertson, Scott, Sequatchie, Stewart, Pickett, Smith, Tipton, Trousdale, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Wayne, Weakley, and White.

Urban Counties (Submit APS application), Anderson, Blount, Bradley, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Maury, Montgomery, Putnam, Rutherford, Sevier, Shelby, Sullivan, Sumner, Washington, Williamson, and Wilson.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177551

Estimated Size of Grant:

Funds awarded to a single organization in these categories range from $500 to $7,000 for non-arts organizations and $500 to $9,000 for arts organizations. Arts organizations serving a statewide audience may apply for up to $10,000.

Term of Contract:

A project may start no earlier than July 1, 2018, and must end no later than June 15, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

An organization is eligible to apply for funding of its arts activities if the organization is legally chartered in Tennessee and has its headquarters and home season, or activities equivalent to a home season for non-producing organizations, in Tennessee and meets either of the following qualifications:

-The group is a chartered nonprofit organization with a determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service declaring it exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

-The organization is a public or private educational institution (such as an elementary or secondary school), a school board, a governmental agency, or a college or university.

Private educational institutions must be nonprofit and meet the tax-exempt requirements explained above.

Colleges and universities are eligible only for activities that clearly serve the needs of surrounding communities or the state and are designed to involve community input during planning and a broad audience. Activities that are credit-producing or oriented primarily to university students and the academic community are not eligible.

Nonprofit organizations that are first time applicants will be asked to provide a copy of the organization’s current by-laws. Organizations must provide a valid IRS Employer Identification Number that is issued in the name of the applicant organization, a DUNS number, and upload a Corporation Annual Report (as filed with the TN Secretary of State’s office) with every application.

Arts Organization and Non-arts Organization Opportunities:
An arts organization is defined as an organization whose mission is primarily dedicated to the arts, and with a majority (at least 51%) of annual activities that are arts-focused. Arts organizations are eligible to apply for all Commission grants except for those designated for K-12 schools or for individuals only.

APS & RAPS applicants may not apply for a Partnership Support, Cultural Education Partnership, or Major Cultural Institution grant. If eligible, an organization may also submit applications in the Arts Access and Arts Education categories.

K-12 schools are not eligible under this category. Arts education-based projects, especially those primarily serving youth, must be submitted in one of the four Arts Education grant categories.

The following are examples of activities and expenditures not fundable for arts projects:
-Insurance premiums
-Office space rental
-Janitorial service and general physical plant maintenance
-Food and hospitality
-Permanent equipment purchases
-Payment of accumulated deficits
-Capital improvements
-Vanity publications
-Out-of-state travel
-Scholarly arts-related research and writing
-Cash awards
-Purchase of local public art
-Legal fees
-Planned fundraising activities
-Events to which the general public is not invited
-Payments to members of the organization’s board
-Payments to an employee or official of the State of Tennessee (exceptions exist – contact TAC for details)
-Additional eligibility requirements and funding restrictions may apply.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The Tennessee Arts Commission is conducting a series of free grants workshops across the State to inform the public of funding opportunities offered by the agency for the Fiscal Year 2019.

Potential applicants are encouraged to attend to learn about different grant opportunities, the online application process, state arts resources and accessibility strategies.

Monday, November 13, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Workshop at Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education in Memphis
225 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103

Tuesday, November 14, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Workshop at the West TN Regional Art Center in Humboldt
1200 Main Street, Humboldt 38343

Monday, November 27, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Workshop at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg
556 Parkway, Gatlinburg, 37738

Tuesday, November 28, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Workshop & brown bag lunch at Tipton Gallery in Johnson City
126 Spring St, Johnson City, 37604 (BYOLunch)

Tuesday, November 28, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Workshop at the Knoxville Museum of Art in Knoxville
1050 World’s Fair Park Drive, Knoxville, TN 37916

Wednesday, November 29, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Workshop at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga
10 Bluff View Ave, Chattanooga, 37403

More information regarding workshops may be found here:

Pre-Application Information:

The requested grant amount must be matched dollar-for-dollar.

First time applicants to this category are encouraged to contact Commission’s program staff prior to submitting an application to verify eligibility.

You are strongly advised to register on the Online Grants System well in advance to the application deadline. Anyone registering close to the deadline date can expect delays in the processing of their grant application.

The deadline to apply is Monday, January 22, 2018, by 11:59 PM (CST).

Applications are reviewed in March and April. Award letters are mailed to all applicants on or around June 1.

All applicants are required to have a DUNS number. More information about the DUNS number requirement may be found here:



Legal Requirements:

Application Review Process:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

RSVP to the November 13 workshop:

RSVP to the November 14 workshop:

RSVP to the November 27 workshop:

RSVP to the November 28 (11:00 AM - 1:00 PM) workshop:

RSVP to the November 28 (5:00 PM - 7:00 PM) workshop:

RSVP to the November 29 workshop:

Apply Online:

Hal Partlow, Associate Director of Grants

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Tennessee