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What’s an organization of color?

An organization of color is defined as an organization whose board composition is 50% or more people of color.

Why can my organization only apply for up to $7,000 in project grant categories?

Non-arts organizations can apply for up to $7,000 in project grant categories, while arts organizations can apply for up to $9,000. The glossary defines an arts organization as one whose mission states that the majority of its goals and activities are arts-focused, and whose budget shows that the majority of its annual activities are arts activities. Contact your program director if you believe that your organization qualifies as arts rather than non-arts.

Who do I contact if I have questions about my grant?

You may contact the director of the program area for which you are applying. You can find this information on the staff directory or by looking under the Programs tab for a specific area. If you aren’t sure what area your application falls under, contact the Associate Director for Grants, Hal Partlow.

What happens if I don’t use all of the grant funds?

Grantees are encouraged to use the entire amount of a grant award. If for some reason this cannot happen, all unused funds must be returned to the Commission. Returning unused funds will be reported to the panel the following year as a problem with grant compliance, so it is best that your organization spends the allotted money as planned.

What do I do if the date or other aspects of my project change after funding has been awarded?

If circumstances beyond your control require that you change key aspects to your project such as date, artist line-up, or venue, contact your program director immediately to request approval for these changes in an email. Be sure to include the grant application or contract number in the email. You will receive an email notification in response to your request.

What does it mean to make my project/program accessible?

Make an honest assessment of these issues: Is the program accessible to individuals with disabilities? Is the program accessible regardless of race? What kind of ADA accommodation is available to insure access to your program? How is your organization planning to improve access? If you have questions about how to address these requirements, contact the Director of Arts Access, Kim Johnson.

Who do I contact if I can’t logon to the online grant system?

If you cannot log onto the online grant system, please contact your program director, Lee Baird or Mike Chambers for help.

Are there resources available to my organization to help with grant writing?

Program directors are happy to review drafts and answer questions about grant opportunities and grant writing. Grant workshops are help every fall, please sign up for our online newsletter to receive information about them and other TN Arts activities.  Review all the information on the Tennessee Arts Commission website under GRANTS.

How to Apply

The first step in using the online system is to register either as an individual or as an/on behalf of an organization.  Individuals who, or organizations that have not registered in this system will need to do so to receive a username and password. Individuals who represent organizations should get their own, individual accounts and not share or “pass down” the username or password among staff.

A registration may take between 1-7 days to be approved. Please register prior to any grant opening or deadline to avoid missing a potential funding opportunity. 

Once you or your organization has registered, you will have created an online profile and account. You can log on anytime to apply for funding opportunities, review active grants, view past submissions, request funds and submit final reports. Simply enter your username and password and click “Sign In.”

Click on the How to Register link in the right sidebar to register as an organization or as an individual.

After you have registered, you should change your password. Click on the How to Change Your Password in the right sidebar.

Before applications filling out an application, you should also complete your “organization” and “people” profile. Click on the How to Complete Your Profile in the right sidebar.

NOTE: The new system works best with the Chrome browser. If you have not installed Chrome or need to update your version, click here.

Grant category guidelines and applications will be available on or around the following dates:

  • Arts Build Communities
    Guidelines: April 1
    Applications: April 1
    Deadline: July 1
  • Rolling Grants 
(including Arts Education Mini-Grant, Arts Education Teacher Incentive, Professional Development Support, Special Opportunities, Technical Assistance, and Touring)
    Guidelines: May 1
    Applications: June 1
    Deadline: 30 days in advance of the activity
  • Student Ticket Subsidy
    Guidelines: July 2 (early July, dependent upon school schedule)
    Applications: August 4 (early August, dependent upon school schedule)
    Deadline: 30 days in advance of the activity
  • Annual Grants
    Guidelines: October 15
    Applications: October 15
    Deadline: Staggered throughout January (see specific guidelines for exact dates)
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