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Arts Education Community Learning (AE-CL) Grant

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

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 ranging from $500 to $7,000 to Tennessee nonprofit organizations, government agencies, libraries, and nonprofit private PreK-12 schools for community arts education programs. Funding is intended to support creative, hands-on learning programs related to visual, traditional folk, performing, and/or literary arts that are conducted in non-traditional school environments or community settings.

The Arts Education Community Learning (AE-CL) grant program supports projects that demonstrate innovative arts education programming in community settings or non-traditional school environments for populations of all ages that directly involve participants in hands-on learning experiences. 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: Funding for innovative arts education programming in community settings or non-traditional school environments for populations of all ages

Tier Two: Funding 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.

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 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. (If an individual believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination, he/she should contact the Commission’s Director of Arts Access, Kim Johnson.)

Appropriate Funding:

- Professional artist fees
- In-state travel and/or lodging for artists
- Space rental (for locations not currently being rented by the applicant organization)
- Marketing
- 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.

Evaluation Criteria:

- Proposed project demonstrates artistic, cultural and/or educational value to the community being served (10 points)
- Proposed 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 Commission funding (10 points)
-The organization’s application is well planned, addresses all questions, and is correct an complete in all information provided (10 points)

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, 2019 and must conclude by June 15, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be one of the following:

- Nonprofit organizations or government agencies with a primary mission of education
- Libraries
- Nonprofit arts organizations
- Private preK-12 schools with nonprofit 501(c) 3 status

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

Artists representing Tennessee’s diverse artistic and cultural heritage are urged to apply.

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.

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.

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
- Food
- 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 the Commission for details)
- Guest artists to exhibit, direct, choreograph, or conduct productions or performances

Pre-Application Information:

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

Applications are to be submitted online. Applicants must register to use the Online Grants System and 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.

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

Applications must have a single project focus. Organizations with expansive education programs should narrow their focus to one component of their overall educational programming. Requested funds must be listed under only one expense category in the budget section of the application.

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

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.

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

For accessibility accommodation requests including alternate digital formats, captioning, ASL, and assistive technologies please contact Kim Johnson, Director of Arts Access.

Grant Guidelines:

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:

Ann Brown, Director of Arts Education

Kim Johnson, Director of Arts Access
(615) 532-9797

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Tennessee