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Rural Arts Project Support (RAPS)

Grants to Tennessee Nonprofits and
Agencies for Arts Activities in Rural Areas

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Tennessee Arts Commission

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

01/19/21 11:59 PM (CST)


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Grants of up to $15,000 to Tennessee nonprofit organizations and government entities in rural areas for arts projects. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take up to 30 days to complete. Funding is intended to support activities in a wide range of disciplines with a focus on community vitality and engagement in rural counties.

Proposed arts projects must involve one or more Commission recognized art forms, including: visual arts, craft, media, design, music, theater, dance, folk and ethnic, or literary arts. The following are example activities and expenditures that are consistent with the funding philosophy Rural Arts Project Support:

  • Projects that involve and promote professional artists, especially Tennessee artists
  • Visiting artists conducting master classes
  • Specific aspects of workshops, festivals, and conferences
  • Public performances, productions, and exhibitions produced by the applicant
  • Exhibitions of art by professional and folk artists, especially Tennessee artists
  • Projects involving and promoting folk and traditional artists
  • Promotion, publicity, and newsletters
  • Administrative and artistic staff support
  • Research and documentation as part of an arts project or program development
  • Consultancies and residencies for administrative and artistic activities
  • The development of long-range planning documents
  • Improved program accessibility for underserved constituencies, e.g. children, people living in rural communities or isolated settings, people with living with disabilities, people of color, and senior citizens
  • Art in public places
  • Extensions of literary projects, journals with continuing publication, or juried anthologies
  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Computer software/training
  • Technical/production support
  • Technical assistance projects
  • Touring/presenting projects that bring professional and/or traditional folk performers to communities across the state

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 187147

Estimated Size of Grant:

Funds awarded to a single organization in these categories range from $500 to $15,000 for non-arts organizations and arts organizations.

Term of Contract:

For Projects Occurring FY2022: July 1, 2021-June 15, 2022

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
- 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organizations legally chartered & headquartered in Tennessee
- Entities of Local Government within Tennessee

Applicant organizations must be chartered in Tennessee. National or regional 501(c) 3 organizations, chartered and headquartered in Tennessee, and serving as an umbrella organization applying for funds for another group are restricted to one application only per fiscal year.

K-12 schools are not eligible under this category. Arts education-based projects, especially those primarily serving youth, must be submitted in one of the four Arts Education grant categories.

The following are examples of activities and expenditures not fundable for arts projects. For further information see Funding Restrictions on Legal Requirements at
- Insurance premiums
- Endowments
- Office space rental
- Janitorial service and general physical plant maintenance
- Food and hospitality
- Permanent equipment purchases
- Scholarships
- Payment of accumulated deficits
- Capital improvements
- Vanity publications
- Out-of-state travel
- Scholarly arts-related research and writing
- Cash awards
- Purchase of local public art
- Legal fees
- Planned fundraising activities
- Events to which the general public is not invited
- Payments to members of the organization’s board
- Payments to an employee or official of the State of Tennessee (exceptions exist – contact TAC for details)

Additional eligibility requirements and funding restrictions may apply. Please see Legal Requirements for further details.

Pre-proposal Conference:

This year, the Commission is conducting the annual fall workshops virtually. Learn the nuts and bolts of a Tennessee Arts Commission grant at the statewide FY2022 Grants Workshop 101 on October 16. Then join as the Commission virtually travels the state with a series of workshops that include introductions from the Commission board and presentations from arts leaders. For a full Grants Workshop Schedule, see

Grants 101 & Grants Management Workshop: Friday, October 16, 10:00 a.m. CT/11:00 a.m. ET

Fall Grants Workshop: Eastern Region (part 1): Date TBD

Fall Grants Workshop: Northeastern Region: Wednesday, October 21 at 10:00 a.m. CT/11:00 a.m. ET

Fall Grants Workshop: Eastern Region (part 2): Friday, October 23 at 10:00 a.m. CT/11:00 a.m. ET

Fall Grants Workshop: Upper Cumberland Region: Friday, October 23 at 2:00 p.m. CT

Fall Grants Workshop: Western Region: Wednesday, October 28 at 10:00 a.m. CT

Fall Grants Workshop: Middle Region: Wednesday, October 28 at 2:00 p.m. CT

Fall Grants Workshop: Southwestern Region: Friday, October 30 at 2:00 p.m. CT

Fall Grants Workshop: Southeastern Region: Wednesday, November 4 at 10:00 a.m. CT/11:00 a.m. ET

Fall Grants Workshop: Northwestern Region: Friday, November 6 at 10:00 a.m, CT

Pre-Application Information:

Application Dates & Deadlines:
- Applications Open 10/15/2020
- Application Deadline 1/19/2021 by 11:59 p.m. (CST).

First time applicants to this category are encouraged to contact Commission’s program staff prior to submitting an application to verify eligibility.

DUNS Number: All applicants are required to have a DUNS number. Information and application instructions can be found at: It may take up to 30 days to receive the DUNS number after applying on the website, so be sure to give yourself enough time to do this before your grant application deadline.

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. For more information, see How to Register for the Online Grants System at:

Contact Information:

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

Online Grants System:

Program Staff:

Grant Coverage Areas:

Tennessee Rural Counties: Bedford, Benton, Bledsoe, Campbell, Cannon, Carroll, Carter, Cheatham, Chester, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Crockett, Cumberland, Decatur, DeKalb, Dickson, Dyer, Fayette, Fentress, Franklin, Gibson, Giles, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hancock, Hardeman, Hardin, Hawkins, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Lake, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Loudon, Macon, Marion, Marshall, McMinn, McNairy, Meigs, Monroe, Moore, Morgan, Obion, Overton, Perry, Polk, Rhea, Roane, Robertson, Scott, Sequatchie, Stewart, Pickett, Smith, Tipton, Trousdale, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Wayne, Weakley, and White

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Tennessee

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