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Major Cultural Institution (MCI) Grant

Grants to Tennessee Arts Nonprofits
and Arts Councils for Operating Support

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Tennessee Arts Commission

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/13/20 11: 59 PM CST


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Grants to Tennessee nonprofit arts organizations and public councils for operating support costs. New applicants must contact the program director and submit an LOI prior to submitting a full application. Applying organizations should be well-established, conduct arts programming year-round, and operate at the highest level of quality.

The total annual cash operating expenses, verified by an audit submitted by the applicant, will be determined by the sum total of:

  • Salaries, Benefits, and Taxes
  • Professional Fee
  • Grant & Award
  • Supplies
  • Telephone, Postage, and Shipping
  • Occupancy
  • Equipment Rental and Maintenance
  • Printing and Publications
  • Travel, Conferences, and Meetings
  • Other Non-Personnel

Year-round public activity and arts programming that significantly impacts Tennesseans and their communities must be evident.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177911

Estimated Size of Grant:

Organizations may request 10 percent of their total cash operating expenses in their most recently completed fiscal year at the time they submit their application, up to but not exceeding the maximum grant of $100,000.

Term of Contract:

For operations occurring in the fiscal year of July 1, 2020-June 15, 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicant must be either a single-entity organization responsible for its own programming and primarily dedicated to one art discipline, or an arts council which serves a broad population and interacts with local arts organizations.

Organizations meeting eligibility requirements for entry into the category are required to have sustained 3 consecutive years annual operating revenue in excess of $1 million.

A substantial amount of year-round public activity and programming that significantly impacts Tennesseans and their communities must be evident.

Applicant must have existed as an arts organization or arts council in Tennessee for a minimum of six (6) years prior to the date of application and have received a minimum of three (3) consecutive years of Commission funding in the Partnership Support Grant category.

An organization is eligible to apply for funding 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: active IRS 501(c)3 status or public arts council that serves a broad population and interacts with local arts organizations. A significant amount of year-round public activity and programming must be evident.

For a full list of eligibility criteria, please see the URL provided below.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The Tennessee Arts Commission offers multiple annual grant workshops across the state in rural and urban communities to inform the public about grant opportunities and programmatic activities.

For a list of workshop locations and to RSVP, click here:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications Open 10/15/2019
Application Deadline 1/13/2020, by 11:59 PM (CST)

First time applicant must contact their program director to determine eligibility, and then submit a letter of inquiry by October 30th. Address this letter to: Hal Partlow, Associate Director for Grants. The Tennessee Arts Commission will contact you to discuss your eligibility to submit a full application.

To apply, register to use the Online Grants System. You 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 Tennessee Arts Commission requires DUNS numbers on all grant applications from organizations. Applicants who have not already done so must register with Dun and Bradstreet (D & B) to be issued a DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number. There is no fee for registering for a DUNS number. To apply for a DUNS number, click here

Contact Information:

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

To apply online:

Hal Partlow, Associate Director of Grants
Phone: 615-741-2093

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Tennessee