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

Grants to Tennessee Organizations for
Arts Projects in Rural and Urban Counties

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Tennessee Arts Commission (TAC)

Deadline Date:

01/22/19 11:59 PM CST


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Grants to Tennessee organizations for arts projects and activities in both rural and urban counties. Funding is intended to support programs and events in a broad range of art forms including music, dance, theater, visual arts, media, craft, design, folk and ethnic, and literary arts.

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.

These categories provide funds for diverse arts projects in urban (APS) and rural (RAPS) counties. The following are example activities and expenditures:

- 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

Evaluation Criteria:

- Proposed project demonstrates artistic, cultural and/or educational value to the community being served (10 points)
- Pproposed project advances the organization’s mission to the community being served (10 points)
- Organization understands and is responsive to the diverse interests and needs of the community it serves (10 points)
- Proposed project supports the work of artists through payment of fees, services or appropriate benefits (10 points)
- Organization understands and acts as an advocate for the public value of the arts in the community (10 points)
- Planning procedures are comprehensive, inclusive and communicated (10 points)
- Organization understands principles of documentation and evaluation and results are used to guide future planning and programming (10 points)
- Organization understands and demonstrates the value of public and private partnerships (5 points)
- Organization demonstrates financial stability and a broad base of financial support (5 points)
- Organization’s ability to carry out proposed project based on history of TAC funding (10 points)
- Organization’s application is well planned, addresses all questions, and is correct and complete in all information provided (10 points)

Additionally, the Commission may ask applicants to address other topics.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177551

Estimated Size of Grant:

Funds awarded to a single organization 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, 2019, and must end no later than June 15, 2020.

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. The group must be 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.

Arts organizations located in states bordering Tennessee must request permission to apply to the Commission for funding, if the project or programming for which funds are being requested significantly serve Tennesseans. Arts organizations applying for funding must meet all eligibility requirements of Tennessee-based organizations including being chartered in the state. Additionally, residents of Tennessee must be appropriately represented on the organization’s governing board.

Debarment and Suspension: Grantees are required to sign contracts certifying to the best of its knowledge and belief, that it, its current and future principals, its current and future subcontractors and their principals are not presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from covered transactions by any federal or state department or agency.

K-12 schools are not eligible under this category.

The following are examples of activities and expenditures not fundable for arts projects:

- Insurance premiums
- Endowments
- Office space rental
- Janitorial service and general physical plant maintenance
- Food and hospitality
- Permanent equipment purchases
- Scholarships
- 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-Application Information:

Deadline: Tuesday, January 22, 2019, by 11:59 p.m. (CST)

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

An organization may submit only one (1) APS or RAPS application for any given fiscal year.

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.

DUNS Number: All applicants are required to have a DUNS number. (Information and application instructions can be found at

Any grantee shall promptly notify the state in writing of any significant changes in the organization’s structure, leadership or financial circumstances that could affect services provided under the grant contract resulting from this application.


Legal requirements:

Contact Information:

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

Online application portal:

Hal Partlow, Associate Director of Grants

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Tennessee