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Arts Education Community Learning Grant (AE-CL)

Grants to Tennessee Nonprofits, Agencies, Schools,
and Libraries for Community Arts Education

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Tennessee Arts Commission

Deadline Date:

01/22/18 11:59 PM CST


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Grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 and grants ranging from $500 to $7,000 to Tennessee nonprofit organizations, government agencies, schools, and libraries for community arts education programs. First-time applicants must contact program staff prior to applying.

Funds support projects that demonstrate creative and innovative arts education programming in community settings or non-traditional school environments for populations of all ages that directly involve participants in a hands-on learning experiences focused on performing, visual, traditional folk, and/or literary arts.

Examples of projects may include, but are not limited to, after school programs for at-risk youth, projects involving adults as the primary learners, community wide events with strong arts learning components or short-term teacher training activities. Professional performing, visual, traditional folk, and/or literary artists must be used.

This category provides two tiers of funds:

-Tier One: For innovative arts education programming in community settings or non-traditional school environments for populations of all ages ($500-$5,000).

-Tier Two: For projects serving elementary, middle and/or secondary students through hands-on, experiential arts education programs. A minimum of 500 students must be reached through the proposed project with each student receiving at least three contact sessions with professional teaching artists involved in the design and implementation of the project. The proposed project must include a strong curriculum-based approach and thorough assessment plan that measures student learning in the art skills being taught, as evidenced through a well-constructed lesson plan and evaluation tools submitted with the application ($500-$7,000).


All Tennessee Arts Commission sponsored programs, services, and facilities are fully accessible to all Tennessee artists and citizens. Artists representing Tennessee’s diverse artistic and cultural heritage are urged to apply and participate in programs and activities. 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.

Requested funds must be listed under only one expense category in the budget section for one of the following:
-Professional artist fees
-In-state travel and/or lodging for artists
-Space rental (for locations not currently being rented by the applicant organization)
-Consumable supplies related to the project

Program Requirements:

-Serve a population defined by the organization’s mission

-Have a clear beneficial educational focus which demonstrates thorough planning and implementation

-Include an instructional component that clearly defines the goals and objectives of the project, provides learners with historical and/or social context, and demonstrates and/or reinforces the skill sets needed for the artistic medium being used. The instructional component details the content of the project – how subject matter will be taught and reinforced, the goals of the project, hands-on activities, and any problem-solving or critical thinking components. A sample lesson plan or content outline from one class session must be submitted with the application.

-Include an evaluation component that measures the planning, implementation, and successes of the program and addresses plans for improvements or expansion of future projects. Evaluations should effectively measure the goals and objectives (outcomes) of the project. Recently funded continuing projects must demonstrate to what extent outcomes were met.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178231

Estimated Size of Grant:

-Tier One: $500 - $5,000
-Tier Two: $500 - $7,000

Term of Contract:

A project may not begin until July 1, 2018 and must conclude by June 15, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be one of the following:
-Nonprofit organizations or government agencies with a primary mission of education
-Nonprofit arts organizations
-Private preK-12 schools with nonprofit 501(c) 3 status

NOTE: Public PreK-12 schools are ineligible to apply in this grant category.

Applications MUST have a single project focus. Organizations with expansive education programs should narrow their focus to one component of their overall educational programming.

Applicants may not apply for funds for the same project in another Commission grant category in the same fiscal year.

Inappropriate Activities:
-Projects in which the artist is to serve as the arts teacher in the absence of any ongoing arts education programs
-Permanent staff of an organization
-Incentives for participation including cash awards
-Projects designed primarily as performances, demonstrations, or exhibits with only minimal impact and limited hands-on participation
-Field trips
-Competitions and/or tours in which students are presenting, performing, and/or exhibiting
-Out-of-state travel
-Individual private lesson instruction
-Payment for apprentices or interns
-Capital outlay for permanent or non-consumable materials or equipment purchases (such as musical instruments, books, cameras, easels, etc.)
-Planned fundraising activities
-After-school clubs
-Scholarships or competitions
-Grant writing fees
-Non-classical art forms including but not limited to culinary arts, martial arts, healing arts, exercise programs, acrobatics or gymnastics (exceptions exist – contact the Commission for details)
-Payments to an employee or official of the State of Tennessee (Exceptions exist. Contact Commission for details)
-Guest artists to exhibit, direct, choreograph, or conduct productions or performances

Pre-Application Information:

Arts Education Community Learning grants do not require a dollar for dollar match; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to match the grant as much as possible to strengthen the competitiveness of the application. In-kind contributions cannot be used for matching purposes but will strengthen the application. In the space provided for in-kind contributions, show the monetary value of services and supplies donated to the program free of charge. AE-CL grant funds cannot be used to support full-time employee salaries; but the percentage of the employee’s salary devoted to the AE project/program may be used as cash match.

First-time applicants should contact the Director of Arts Education prior to submitting an application to verify eligibility.

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

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


Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Ann Brown, Director of Arts Education

Meredith Callis, Arts Education Special Projects Coordinator

Tennessee Arts Commission
401 Charlotte Ave.
Nashville, TN 37243-0780

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Tennessee