Arts Access Mini-Grant
Fiscal Year 2019
July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019

Application Deadline: 30 days prior to the beginning date of the project activity. Applications become available on June 1, 2018.


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, 2018 and must be completed no later than June 15, 2019.

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, 2019. Failure to submit all of the close-out requirements may jeopardize future funding.

The Tennessee Arts Commission reserves the right to deny any application, if the proposed activities purpose is outside of the scope or spirit of this grant program.


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


This grants category is especially designed for new organizations that are not currently receiving TN Arts Commission funding.  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.  Only one (1) application per organization per year may be funded in this category.

The following are not eligible to apply in this category:

  • K-12 Schools;
  • Current Operating Support Grantees (MCI, CEP, PS)
  • Current Project Support Grantees (APS, RAPS, Arts Access and Creative Placemaking) and
  • Current TN Military, Veterans and the Arts grantees

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.

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.

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.  Arts Access Mini-Grant 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, and 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, or if the proposed activities purpose is outside of the scope or spirit of this grant program.

Deadline and How to Apply

  1. Contact the Director of Arts Access with intent to apply.
  2. Register to use the new TN Arts Online Grants System.
  3. Log in to the new TN Arts Online Grants System.
  4. Carefully read the guidelines for the grant program in which you intend to apply. Links to each of the Guidelines can be found in the “Apply for Grants” tab in the left-hand menu. We strongly suggest that you print a copy of the Guidelines or have them open in a separate browser tab to have available when filling out the application. If you have questions about which program(s) your organization may be eligible for, please contact a staff member of the Commission before beginning an application.
  5. If you are applying on behalf of an organization, 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.
  6. Use the “People” tab on the left-hand menu to ensure that the 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.
  7. When both your “Organization” and “People” profiles are complete and accurate, select the “Apply for Grants” tab again and choose the correct grant application link listed below for the program in which you intend to apply.
  8. Create, upload required attachments to, and complete a Rolling Grant Application online using the Tennessee Arts Commission Online Grants System. Submit at least thirty (30) days prior to the beginning of the project activity.  You will be notified by email of the acceptance or denial of funding for your project.

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.

Supporting Materials

You will be prompted to upload the following Supporting Materials.  Prepare and title each of the following documents before submitting your application.

In the application under “required documents,” upload the following document:

  • Corporation Annual Report (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.
  • Board of Directors list

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

  • Organization By-Laws
  • W-9 Form (if this is the organization’s first application submittal)
  • FY19 Title VI training and certification form
    Organizations that receive grant funding from the TN Arts Commission must complete Title VI training certification in the Online Grants System before payment will be distributed. If your agency has already completed the training in the TN Arts Commission’s online grant system for the FY19 fiscal year, it is not necessary to repeat the training. Failure to complete this training may result in the cancellation of your grant.
    Note: If you are applying between June 1-30, 2018, the FY19 Title VI training certification form will be due after July 1, 2018 and before your project starts.

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



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