Arts Education Community Learning (AE-CL) Grant Program

Tennessee Arts Commission
Last date: 
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
United States

Detailed Description

The Tennessee Arts Commission is seeking applications for its Arts Education Community Learning (AE-CL) grant program to provide funding for single projects that use the arts in creative and innovative ways to offer education in communities or non-traditional school environments.

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 experience focused on performing, visual, traditional folk, and/or literary arts.

Projects must focus on the learning process with opportunities to demonstrate understanding. Examples of projects may include, but are not limited to, after-school programs for children, projects involving adults as the primary learners, community-wide events with strong arts learning component, or short-term teacher training activities. Professional performing, visual, traditional folk, and/or literary artists must be active presenters in the project.

Funding Categories

This category provides two tiers of funds:

  • Tier One: $1,000-$7,000 for innovative arts education programming in community settings or non-traditional school environments for populations of all ages
  • Tier Two: $1,000-$9,000 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.

Eligibility Criteria

  • First-time applicants should contact the Director of Arts prior to submitting an application to verify eligibility. Applicants must be one of the following:
  • nonprofit organizations or government agencies with a primary mission of education;
  • libraries;
  • nonprofit arts organizations;
  • private PK-12 schools with nonprofit 501(c)3 status.
  • NOTE: Public PK-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.
  • 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.
  • DUNS Number: All applicants are required to have a DUNS number. DUNS information and application instructions can be found here.
  • Requested funds must be listed under one or two expense categories in the budget section for one or two of the following:
  • Contracted 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.

Evaluation Criteria

Advisory panels reviewing grant applications for this program use the following evaluation criteria citing evidence that the:

  • 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).


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