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FY17 ABC Grant Program Impact Across Tennessee

Sidewalk Stages performers drumming up musical energy in the streets of Chattanooga. Courtesy of Sound Corps.

By Shannon Ford, Director of Community Arts Development –

This past year, 13 arts councils and development districts worked with the Tennessee Arts Commission to award 167 Arts Build Community (ABC) Grants in FY2017. The awarded grants totaled approximately $299,000 and resulted in an additional investment of $1.33 million. The vast majority of those dollars were leveraged by private contributions and earned income.

A total of 442,000 people benefitted from ABC activities, including 115,000 youth. Project-related donations of goods and services were valued at $1.076 million, including 6,690 volunteers working 74,530 hours.

Of the 167 ABC grants that successfully closed:

  • 56% provided innovative arts experiences that were new or unfamiliar to community residents.
  • 39% developed arts programming to strengthen social networks through community engagement.
  • 39% undertook cultural arts initiatives to enhance their communities’ identities and/or economic development.
  • 23% offered arts programs that were designed to help affect positive change in community social issues.
  • 15% offered training to help artists/arts administrators develop entrepreneurial skills or innovative strategies for building sustainability.

FY2018 ABC Grants are currently in progress and FY2019 ABC Grant applications for activities taking place between August 16, 2018, and June 15, 2019, will open April 1, 2018. The program guidelines are online. Grant awards typically range from $500 to $2,500.

For more information about applying for a grant, contact the appropriate designated agency or me, at (615) 532-9796.

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