The Tennessee Arts Commission is inviting applications for its Arts Access Annual Grant (AA) category to offer direct support for arts projects which focus on increasing access to underserved and underrepresented populations which may include ethnic groups, people with disabilities, people age 65 years and older, and active-duty military/veterans and their families.
Proposed projects or programming must involve one or more Tennessee Arts Commission recognized art forms, including visual arts, craft, media, design, music, theatre, dance, folk and ethnic, or literary arts. Arts Access projects are supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
An organization may submit only one AA application for any given fiscal year. AA applicants may also apply in the following grant categories for distinct activities:
- Arts Project Support;
- Rural Arts Project Support;
- Arts Build Communities;
- Partnership Support;
- Cultural Education Partnership;
- Major Cultural Institution;
- Arts Education categories (if eligible).
- 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.
- Funds awarded to a single organization in this category range in these amounts: $1,000 to $9,000 for arts organizations & for non-arts organizations; and arts organizations serving a statewide audience can apply for up to $10,000.
- The requested grant amount must be matched dollar for dollar (1:1).
- Ethnic groups are defined as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander or other groups that constitute less than the state’s current majority population.
- An organization is eligible to apply for funding if the organization is legally chartered in Tennessee, has an active IRS 501(c)3 status, can provide a current copy of the organization’s by-laws, and a DUNS number. Failure to provide all nonprofit status documentation will result in the application being disqualified.
- Arts organizations that receive revenue from a “New Specialty Earmarked Plate” under T.C.A 55-4-215 (a) (1) are ineligible for Commission grant funding.
- 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.
Commission staff will contact all applicants and inform them of the advisory panel review schedule. 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 while increasing access to underserved/underrepresented people (i.e., the community being served) (10 points);
- The proposed project advances the organization’s mission to the community being served (10 points);
- The organization understands and is responsive to the diverse interests and needs of the community it serves by having a board that is reflective of the project or community population it is projecting to serve (10 points);
- The proposed project supports the work of artists through the payment of fees, services or appropriate benefits (10 points);
- The organization understands and acts as an advocate for the public value of the arts in the community (10 points);
- The planning procedures are comprehensive, inclusive and communicated (10 points);
- The organization understands principles of documentation and evaluation and results are used to guide future planning and programming (10 points);
- The organization understands and demonstrates the value of public and private partnerships (5 points);
- The organization demonstrates financial stability and a broad base of financial support (5 points);
- The organization’s ability to carry out the proposed project based on a 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).
- The Tennessee Arts Commission reserves the right to deny any application if the proposed activity is outside of the scope or spirit of the agency’s mission, purpose, or this grant program.