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Arts Access (AA) Grant

Grants to Tennessee Nonprofits for Arts
Activities Serving Underserved Populations

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 of up to $10,000 to Tennessee nonprofit organizations for arts programs serving disadvantaged populations throughout the State. Funding is intended to support projects and activities that are made accessible to military personnel, people with disabilities, senior citizens, and minority ethnic groups. Programming may include workshops, exhibitions, and classes in a range of art forms, such as music, dance, theater, and visual arts.

The Arts Access Annual Grant (AA) category offers direct support for arts projects which focus on increasing access to underserved and underrepresented populations which may include ethnic groups, people with disabilities, people age 65 years and older, and active duty military/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 arts projects must involve one or more of these recognized art forms: visual, craft, media, design, music, theater, dance, folk 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
- Technical/production support

Evaluation Criteria:

- The proposed project demonstrates artistic, cultural and/or educational value while increasing access to underserved/underrepresented people (i.e., the community being served) (10 points)
- The proposed project advances the organization’s mission to the community being served (10 points)
- The organization understands and is responsive to the diverse interests and needs of the community it serves by having a board that is reflective of the project or community population it is projecting to serve (10 points)
- The proposed project supports the work of artists through payment of fees, services or appropriate benefits (10 points)
- The organization understands and acts as an advocate for the public value of the arts in the community (10 points)
- The planning procedures are comprehensive, inclusive and communicated (10 points)
- The organization understands principles of documentation and evaluation and results are used to guide future planning and programming (10 points)
- The organization understands and demonstrates the value of public and private partnerships (5 points)
- The organization demonstrates financial stability and a broad base of financial support (5 points)
- The organization’s ability to carry out proposed project based on history of Commission funding (10 points)
- The organization’s application is well planned, addresses all questions, and is correct and complete in all information provided (10 points)

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177552

Estimated Size of Grant:

Funds awarded to a single organization in this category range in these amounts: $500 to $9,000 for arts organizations; $500 to $7,000 for non-arts organizations. Arts organizations* serving a statewide audience can apply for up to $10,000.

*An arts organization is defined as one whose mission states that the majority of its goals and activities are arts-focused, and whose budget shows that the majority of its annual activities are arts activities.

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 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.

All Commission sponsored programs, services and facilities are fully accessible to all Tennessee artists and citizens. Organizations are urged to consider contracting with diverse artists, artists living with disabilities, and/or artists representing Tennessee’s diverse artistic and cultural heritage. No person on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, religion or sex shall be excluded from participation in, or be denied benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination of services, programs and employment provided by the Commission and its contracting agencies.

Arts organizations that receive revenue from a “New Specialty Earmarked Plate” under T.C.A 55-4-215 (a) (1) are ineligible for Commission grant funding.

Additional eligibility requirements and funding restrictions may apply. Please see Legal Requirements for further details:

Pre-Application Information:

Fiscal Year 2020 Deadline: Tuesday, January 22, 2019, by 11:59 p.m. (CST)

First time applicants must register online and complete an “organization” and “people” profile before applying for a grant. Returning applicants are advised to check the “organization” and “people” profile, and if correct proceed to apply for a grant.

Applicants are strongly advised to register 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 requested grant amount must be matched dollar-for-dollar.

An organization may submit only one AA application for any given fiscal year.

For additional information:


Application Review Process:

About the Online Grants System:

Contact Information:

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

For the online application portal:

Kim Johnson, Director of Arts Access

Tennessee Arts Commission
401 Charlotte Ave
Nashville, TN 37243

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Tennessee