See NEW REQUIREMENTS for Title VI compliance and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) in these instructions.

The Tennessee Arts Commission and Title VI Compliance

The Tennessee Arts Commission is a state agency that receives federal and state funding to support art organizations, activities, and artists throughout the State. The Commission seeks to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities and Title VI is an important part of ensuring this success.

Policy Compliance Statement – Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

The Tennessee Arts Commission, State of Tennessee, complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as codified in 42 U.S.C. 2000d, which states that:  “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”  Annual nondiscrimination training is mandatory for all Tennessee state agency grantees as shown in contract section A.6.  Each organization should have a dedicated staff person or volunteer who is monitoring Title VI compliance issues and whose name and contact information is recorded in the online grants system.

When should FY20 Title VI training occur?

All grantees will report Title VI in the online grants system. Failure to complete Title VI training may result in the cancellation of your grant.      For FY20, the Title VI training deadlines are as follows:

  • Annual Grants must submit Title VI training July 1, 2019 – December 6, 2019 and/or by the first request for payment whichever comes first and be submitted in the online grants system. The deadline for ALL Annual Grants is December 6, 2019.
  • Rolling/Mini Grants must submit Title VI training before payment will be distributed. If your agency has already completed the training in the TN Arts Commission’s online grant system due to receiving an Annual Grant for the FY20, it is not necessary to repeat the training.
  • ABC Grants must submit Title VI training and certification in the online grants system by October 1, 2019.
Who should be trained?

All paid staff involved with the grant of the organization is to be trained and this information is to be reported on the Title VI Training and Certification form.  Please coordinate within your organization and submit only one form listing each staff that has completed training.  Do NOT submit multiple Title VI forms for each staff person that completes training.  If there are new staff members who need to receive training during the year, please contact the Title VI Coordinator for inclusion on your form.

Though not mandated, it is strongly encouraged that Board members, front line volunteers, and contractors who work with the public, also receive training.

Even if your organization receives Title VI certification through another state agency or entity, each organization must still submit a Title VI form in the Arts Commission online grants system.

Individual artists and/or individuals do not submit a Title VI certification.

K-12 public schools and public school teachers’ Title VI certification will be checked through the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE).  If the school district has not received certification through TDOE, Title VI training through the Arts Commission’s online system will be required.

In very large institutions like colleges or universities where a department or area is the grantee, please call the Title VI Coordinator for more information.

Title VI Training and 1st Requests for Payment

Title VI annual training must be completed when an organization submits its first request for payment from the Tennessee Arts Commission.  All grant funds will be held until training requirements are met. If you are an Annual grant recipient who did not request an initial Request for Funds payment before December 6, 2019, your organization is still responsible for submitting a Title VI Training and Certification form no later than December 6, 2019.

Instructions for submitting Title VI Training & Certification in the Online Grants System:
  1. Log into the Online Grants System using your Username and Password.
  2. In the Online Grants System’s menu bar at the left, select “documents library.”
  3. In that file, select “FY20 Title VI Form” and fill in the information.  If needed, read the “FY20 Title VI Training Instructions.”  The FY20 Title VI form and instructions are also accessible from the TN Art Commission’s website at
  4. Fill in all fields on the Title VI Training and certification form. All staff should view one (1) of
    the following four (4) training options (only pick one):

Module I – (approximately 26 minutes)

Created by the US Department of Justice several years ago, this video provides an extended overview of Title VI. The closed captioning option is not recommended since auto-generation has resulted in discrepancies in the transcription.

Module II (approximately 6 minutes)
Created by the US Department of Justice several years ago, Part 1 of this video provides a brief overview of Title VI and has appropriate closed captioning.

Module III

Part 1 – (approximately 4 minutes)

Part 2 – (approximately 4 minutes)

Created by the Tennessee Arts Commission, these videos contain presentation slides on disparate treatment, disparate impact and specific examples of Title VI in arts programming. 

Module IV – (approximately 24 minutes with closed captioning available)
Created in 2010 by the US Office for Civil Rights, US Department of Health & Human Services, this video explains Title VI, Limited English Proficiency (LEP), and the use of interpreters.  This video however was not specifically designed for arts organizations and the examples are not reflective of arts programming, but it does give a good overview of Title VI concepts.

 Additional videos for viewing on specific Title VI topics:
These videos are for supplemental learning only and will not  meet compliance for Title VI.

Disparate Treatment and Impact – (approximately 1 minute)

Title VI and Limited English Proficiency – (approximately 5 minutes)

  1. Remember: Submit only one form listing the staff that has completed training and entering
    the final percentage of staff that has been trained.
  2. Save a copy of this form to your computer.
  3. Log into Online Grants System if you’re not already in and open “organization” profile.
  4. Hit “Edit” at the top and scroll down to “Documents.”  Hit the “blue plus circle” button near Documents and upload the Title VI form.
  5. When uploading your Title VI form, it is IMPORTANT to add the “document type,” FY20 Title VI Training Certification, from the drop down box.  If the “document type” is not added, your Title VI training form may not be processed correctly.
  6. Before exiting the “organization” profile, hit “Save” at the bottom right hand corner.
New Title VI and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Procedures:

Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, grant recipients must take adequate steps to ensure that Title VI policies and procedures are in place and to ensure that people with Limited English Proficiency (i.e., people who have limited verbal or written English skills) receive the language assistance necessary to afford them meaningful access to programs, activities, and services.  In order to meet these requirements, the Tennessee Arts Commission has added new section on the Title VI form to gather this information.  Each grantee organization must complete these new sections located on pages 2-3 of the Title VI form and uploaded the entire Title VI form into the online grants system on an annual basis.  The intent of these procedures is to find a balance that ensures meaningful access to critical services, while not imposing undue burdens on small nonprofits.

To assist grantee organizations in providing Limited English Proficiency (LEP) services, the TN Arts Commission is offering AVAZA language line services free of charge.  AVAZA’s language line services can be accessed by calling the following:

AVAZA’s Language Line Number:  615-532-3405; Access Code:  400231 

For more information on what to expect when connecting with an AVAZA interpreter, visit the “documents library” in the TN Arts Commission’s online grants system.

For questions on any Title VI or LEP procedures, contact the TN Arts Commission’s Title VI Coordinator, Kim Johnson, Director of Arts Access, at 615-532-9797 or

Reminder:  Title VI Posters and Nondiscrimination policies

Agency’s should have a Title VI poster visible in a public location at their organization and/or event. If the agency needs copies of the Title VI poster, please download it off our website at this link –  or for hard copies, contact the Art Commission’s Title VI Coordinator.

Nondiscrimination policies are also required to be communicated on an agency’s website or posted in a public place. As a model, the TN Arts Commission’s policy can be found on our website at this link –

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