Arts Access Mini-Grant
Fiscal Year 2018
July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018

Application Deadline: 30 days prior to the beginning date of the project activity. Applications become available on June 1, 2017.


The Arts Access Mini-Grant (AA-MG) offers direct support for arts projects that 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/veterans and their families.

*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.

Proposed arts projects must involve one or more of these recognized art forms: visual, craft, media, design, music, theater, dance, folk, or literary arts. The following are examples of activities and expenditures that are consistent with the funding philosophy for AA-MG funding:

  • Contracted artists fees for professional artists
  • Materials and supplies needed for participants in the proposed art project
  • Other art related projects as discussed with the Director of Arts Access

Projects may begin no earlier than July 1, 2017 and must be completed no later than June 15, 2018.

Funds awarded to a single organization in this category range from $500 to $1,000. This grant does not require a match. Funds however are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis and once funds are depleted for a fiscal year, no more projects will be funded during that year.

Grant recipients must be prepared to handle expenditures prior to reimbursement since grant funds will be paid as reimbursements after the event. Grantees must submit all required close-out paperwork, including invoices and a list of expenditures showing where the funds were used. All grants must be closed by or before June 15, 2017. Failure to submit all of the close-out requirements may jeopardize future funding.


Kim Johnson, Director of Arts Access, (615) 532-9797.


An organization is eligible to apply for funding if it is a nonprofit organization legally chartered in Tennessee, governmental (local or regional), and/or nongovernmental entity in possession of a determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service declaring the organization exempt  from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Arts and non-arts organizations are eligible to apply.  Failure to provide all nonprofit status documentation in the online grants system will result in the application being disqualified.

The following eligibility restrictions apply:

  • K-12 Schools are not eligible in this category;
  • Organizations currently receiving funding in APS, RAPS, Arts Access Annual Grants, MCI, CEP, and PS are not eligible to apply.
  • ABC, Creative Placemaking, and Creative Aging grantees are eligible for Arts Access Mini-grant funding.
  • Only one (1) application per organization per year may be funded in this category.

Arts organizations that receive revenue from a “New Specialty Earmarked Plate” under T.C.A 55-4-215 (a) (1) are ineligible for Tennessee Arts Commission grant funding.

Affirmative Duty to Report Major Organizational Change 

Any grantee shall promptly notify the State in writing of any significant changes in the organization’s structure, leadership or financial circumstances that could affect services provided under the grant contract resulting from this application.


All Commission sponsored programs, services and facilities are fully accessible to all Tennessee artists and citizens. Organizations are urged to consider contracting with diverse artists, artists living with disabilities, and/or artists representing Tennessee’s diverse artistic and cultural heritage. No person on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, religion or sex shall be excluded from participation in, or be denied benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination of services, programs and employment provided by the Commission and its contracting agencies. If an individual believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination, he/she should contact the Commission’s Director of Arts Access, Kim Johnson (615) 532-9797.

Evaluation Criteria and Review

The application should demonstrate a strong plan to serve underserved and underrepresented populations, and demonstrate how the project will add value to the people and/or communities it proposes to serve. The application should also be well planned and presented with all questions answered. If Commission funding has been previously awarded, the applicant should have a past record of administrative cooperation and compliance with the Commission’s grant requirements and procedures.

Organizations may receive funding based on the narrative case presented in the grant application, the accuracy of the completed application, and the availability of funds. AA-MG applications are reviewed in-house by Commission members and staff. Funding notification will take place via email.


Organizations may receive funding based on the narrative case presented in the grant application, the accuracy of the completed application, and the availability of funds, which are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

This grant can fund contracted professional fees, negotiated between the organization and artist, only. Travel, hotel or food are not options for this grant application.

The TN Arts Commission reserves the right to deny or withhold, in whole or in part, public funds for projects, programs, or other activities deemed inappropriate by the Commission.

Deadline and How to Apply

  1. Contact the Director of Arts Access with intent to apply.
  2. Register to use the new Online Grants System. You are strongly advised to register well in advance to the application deadline. Anyone registering close to the deadline date can expect delays in the processing of their grant application.
  3. Log in to the new Online Grants System to complete your “Organization” profile and begin a Rolling Grant application.
  4. Use the “Organizations” tab on the left-hand menu to ensure that the profile is complete and accurate. This information is as important as the application itself. Incomplete or erroneous data will impact your chances for funding. To edit the profile, click the “Edit” button at the top of the Organization screen.
  5. Use the “People” tab on the left-hand menu to ensure that your “People” profile is complete and accurate. This information will also be used in the review of the application. To edit the profile, click the “Edit” button at the top of the screen.
  6. When both your “Organization” and “People” profiles are complete and accurate, select the “Apply for a ROLLING Grant” tab again and choose the correct grant application link listed below for the program in which you intend to apply.
  7. Complete all of the application fields.
  8. Create and upload required attachments.
  9. Submit by at least thirty (30) days prior to the beginning date of the project activity.

NOTE: The forms in this portal do not auto-save. Always click the “Save” button before navigating away from the form you are editing to save your work.

Beware—clicking the back navigation button on your web browser will exit you from the system and you will lose your work.

Required Documents

You will be prompted to create and upload the following documents in the “Required Documents” section of your AA-MG application in the Online Grants System.

  1. Corporation Annual Report: Only nonprofit organizations with 501(c) 3 status will be prompted to upload this document (as required to be filed annually with the Secretary of State’s Office). In lieu of the report, you may also submit a copy of the email verification issued by the Secretary of State’s office or a copy of the online verification sheet maintained by the Secretary of State’s Office found here. Entities of government do NOT submit.
  2. Board of Directors list

Additional Documents

You will NOT be prompted to upload these documents in the system, but these documents may be required based on your applicant type.

Bylaws: Only nonprofit organizations with 501(c) 3 status need to upload this document. Upload the most recent copy of the organization’s Bylaws into the “Organization” profile where prompted, not into the grant application.

Dependent upon your proposed project, additional documents may be required prior to evaluating your application. Please contact the Commission’s Director of Arts Access, Kim Johnson (615) 532-9797, to discuss your application.

In the “organization profile,” upload the following documents:

  • Organization By-Laws
  • W-9 Form (if this is the first time you are applying)
  • FY18 Title VI training and certification form (due at time of application). Note: if you are applying between June 1-30, 2017 FY18 Title VI training and certification form will be due after July 1 and before your project activity.

 If you have filled out your organization profile, copies of your Board of Directors and By-Laws should automatically upload in the application under “Organization Documents.”



Translate »