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Funds for At-Risk Youth Grant (FAY)

Grants to Tennessee Nonprofits, Agencies, Schools, and
Libraries for Arts Programming Serving At-Risk Youth

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 to Tennessee nonprofit organizations, government agencies, preK-12 schools, and libraries for summer-term or after-school arts programming serving at-risk children and youth. First-time applicants are required to verify eligibility with program staff prior to applying.

Funds support arts-based after-school or summer camp programs designed specifically for children in grades preK-12 who are considered at-risk. Projects must provide experiential arts activities in order to be funded. Projects that are primarily performance or demonstration-based with minimal hands-on participation will not be funded. Professional artists must be integral to the project and provide primary instruction in one or more of the following art disciplines: performing, visual, literary, and traditional folk arts. Applicants must provide verification that the majority of the students participating are at-risk youth.

Applicants are encouraged to link content to state and/or national curriculum standards. Explain how the standards will be incorporated as part of instruction and how they relate to the project outcomes being evaluated.

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 on the budget page for one of the following:
-Professional artist fees
-In-state travel and/or lodging for artists
-Space rental (for locations in which the applicant must pay to use)
-Consumable supplies related to the project
-The Tennessee Arts Commission reserves the right to deny any application, if the proposed activity is outside of the scope of spirit of the agency’s mission, purpose, or this grant program.

Program Requirements:
-Serve a population defined by the organization’s mission
-Have a single project focus. Organizations with expansive education programs should narrow their focus to one component.
-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 and reflect whether or not those outcomes were sufficiently met.

The project must involve at least one of the following Supplemental Activities:
-“End-of-project” sharing event, such as a performance, exhibition, reading, or presentation that demonstrates what the students learned for parents, school personnel, and the community.
-Participatory family night that involves adults and students in joint hands-on arts activities as they relate to the project.
-Related arts field trip to a museum gallery, concert, or performance for the participants which includes a guided lesson. (NOTE: Grant funds may not be used to pay for field trips but admission costs and transportation can be used as part of the applicant’s match.)

Defining At-Risk:
While the Commission acknowledges that all children could be deemed “at risk,” the FAY program adheres to the U.S. Department of Education’s definition of “at-risk youth”: “Any primary or secondary grade student who is at risk as a result of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, recent migration, disability, ELL (English Language Learners), juvenile delinquency, illiteracy, extreme poverty, or dropping out of school.” To be eligible for funding, proposed projects must be tailored to one or more of these underserved groups.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178233

Estimated Size of Grant:

The category provides funds ranging from $500 to $5,000.

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 to serve at-risk youth
-Nonprofit arts organizations
-PreK-12 schools or school systems

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

Pre-Application Information:

Funds for At-Risk Youth 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 eGrant space provided for in-kind contributions, show the monetary value of services and supplies donated to the program free of charge. FAY grant funds cannot be used to support full-time employee salaries; but the percentage of the employee’s salary devoted to the FAY project/program may be used as cash match.

First time applicants must 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