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Funds for At-Risk Youth (FAY) Grant

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 (TAC)

Deadline Date:

01/22/19 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 camp or after-school arts programs serving at-risk children and youth. First-time applicants must contact staff to confirm eligibility prior to applying. Funding is intended to support hands-on learning experiences focused on performing, visual, traditional folk, and/or literary art.

Funds for At-Risk Youth grants support arts-based after-school or summer camp programs designed specifically for children in grades PK-12 who are considered at-risk. Projects must provide experiential arts activities in order to be funded. Verification that 51% or more of students participating are at-risk youth must be provided.

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.

Professional artists must be integral to the project and provide primary instruction in one or more of the aforementioned art disciplines.

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.

Appropriate Funding:

- Professional artist fees
- In-state travel and/or lodging for artists
- Space rental (for locations in which the applicant must pay to use)
- Marketing
- Consumable supplies related to the project

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.)

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 and complete in all information provided (10 points)

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

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.

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.

Projects that are primarily performance or demonstration-based with minimal hands-on participation will not be funded.

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
- 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:

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

Applications are to be submitted online. Applicants must first register and are strongly advised to do so well in advance to the application deadline. Anyone registering close to the deadline date can expect delays in the processing of their grant application.

For new applicants, contact the Director of Arts Education to verify eligibility.

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

Organizations applying for a FAY grant must submit proof that the majority (51% or more) of the students participating are classified “at-risk” based on the definition determined by the U.S. Department of Education. Names of students do not have to be provided. Follow these instructions to provide verification:

- Applicants that are Title I schools or organizations partnering with Title I schools: Submit documentation from an appropriate school official authenticating that the majority (51% or more) of participating students attend a Title I school and qualify for free/reduced lunch status.
- Applicants partnering with a non-Title 1 school: Submit a letter from a school guidance counselor, principal, or other appropriate school official who will be involved in selecting participants. The letter should detail the selection criteria and process used to verify that the majority (51% or more) of participants are considered at-risk based on one or more of the indicators established in the grant guidelines.
- Applicants not partnering with a school and by mission primarily serve at-risk youth: Submit a brief letter (maximum one page) from the executive director of the organization which includes the organization’s mission and lists the criteria and process used in selecting students for participation in this project.

Applications must have a single project focus. Requested funds must be listed under only one expense category on the budget page.

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.

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


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

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Tennessee