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Arts Access (AA) Grant

Grants to Tennessee Agencies and Nonprofits for Arts Activities
That Serve Underrepresented and Underserved Populations

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Tennessee Arts Commission

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

01/19/21 11:59 PM CST


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Grants of up to $9,000 and grants of up to $10,000 to Tennessee government entities and nonprofit organizations for arts activities that serve minorities, the elderly, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. Required registrations may take up to thirty days to complete. Funding is intended to support arts projects that focus on increasing access to underserved and underrepresented people.

Target populations may include ethnic groups, people with disabilities, people age 65 years and older, and active duty/veterans and their families. Ethnic groups are defined as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander or other groups that constitute less than the state’s current majority population.

Proposed projects or programming must involve one or more Tennessee Arts Commission recognized art forms, including: visual arts, craft, media, design, music, theater, dance, folk and ethnic, or literary arts.

The following are examples of activities and expenditures that are consistent with the funding philosophy for AA:

  • Contracted artists fees for professional artists
  • Master classes, workshops, programs, projects or activities involving artists
  • Specific aspects of workshops, festivals and conferences
  • Public performances, productions and exhibitions produced by the applicant
  • Exhibitions of art by professional artists
  • Promotion, publicity and newsletters
  • Materials and supplies needed for participants in the proposed art project
  • Administrative and artistic staff support (except for applicants who apply for or receive operating support from the TN Art Commission in other grant categories).
  • Technical/production support

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177552

Estimated Size of Grant:

Funding Requests:
- Arts Organizations & Non-arts Organizations $1,000-$9,000
- Arts Organizations serving a statewide audience $1,000-$10,000.

Term of Contract:

A project may start no earlier than July 1, 2021, and must end no later than June 15, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants
- 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organizations legally chartered & headquartered in Tennessee
- Entities of Local Government within Tennessee

An organization is eligible to apply for funding if the organization is legally chartered in Tennessee, has an active IRS 501(c)3 status, can provide a current copy of the organization’s by-laws, and a DUNS number. Failure to provide all nonprofit status documentation will result in the application being disqualified.

If eligible, Arts Access applicants may also submit applications in the Arts Education, Project or Operating Support and the Arts Build Communities categories. Note that Arts education-based projects, especially those primarily serving youth, must be submitted in one of the four Arts Education grant categories.

The following activities and expenditures are inappropriate for funding through this program:
- Insurance Premiums
- Endowments
- Office space rental
- Janitorial service and general physical plant maintenance
- Food and hospitality
- Permanent equipment purchases
- Scholarships and subsidized programming
- Payment of accumulated deficits
- Capital improvements
- New periodicals, books, etc. (such as vanity publications)
- Out-of-state travel
- Scholarly arts-related research and writing
- Cash awards
- Purchase of local public art
- Legal fees
- Planned fundraising events
- Events to which the general public is not invited
- Payments to members of the organization’s board
- Consultant fees for technical assistance

Pre-proposal Conference:

This year, the Commission is conducting the annual fall workshops virtually. Learn the nuts and bolts of a Tennessee Arts Commission grant at the statewide FY2022 Grants Workshop 101 on October 16. Then join as the Commission virtually travels the state with a series of workshops that include introductions from the Commission board and presentations from arts leaders. For a full Grants Workshop Schedule, see

Grants 101 & Grants Management Workshop: Friday, October 16, 10:00 a.m. CT/11:00 a.m. ET

Fall Grants Workshop: Eastern Region (part 1): Date TBD

Fall Grants Workshop: Northeastern Region: Wednesday, October 21 at 10:00 a.m. CT/11:00 a.m. ET

Fall Grants Workshop: Eastern Region (part 2): Friday, October 23 at 10:00 a.m. CT/11:00 a.m. ET

Fall Grants Workshop: Upper Cumberland Region: Friday, October 23 at 2:00 p.m. CT

Fall Grants Workshop: Western Region: Wednesday, October 28 at 10:00 a.m. CT

Fall Grants Workshop: Middle Region: Wednesday, October 28 at 2:00 p.m. CT

Fall Grants Workshop: Southwestern Region: Friday, October 30 at 2:00 p.m. CT

Fall Grants Workshop: Southeastern Region: Wednesday, November 4 at 10:00 a.m. CT/11:00 a.m. ET

Fall Grants Workshop: Northwestern Region: Friday, November 6 at 10:00 a.m, CT

Pre-Application Information:

Submit applications by Tuesday, January 19, 2021, by 11:59 p.m. (CST).

Applicants must register for the online grants system. Registration may take between 1-7 days to be approved. Please register prior to any grant opening or deadline to avoid missing a potential funding opportunity. See for more information.

It may take up to 30 days to receive the DUNS number after applying on the website, so be sure to give yourself enough time to do this before your grant application deadline. For more information about the DUNS requirement, see

The requested grant amount must be matched dollar for dollar (1:1).

Online Grant System FAQ:

Contact Information:

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

Online Grants System:



Tennessee Arts Commission
Address: 401 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: 615-741-1701

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Tennessee

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