Funds are no longer available for this category.

Technical Assistance Grant
Fiscal Year 2020
For projects that occur July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

Application Deadline: 30 days prior to the beginning date of the project activity. Applications become available on June 1, 2019

Non-matching Technical Assistance Grants are available to nonprofit arts organizations that support the development of effective leadership, sound management practices, diverse financial resources and successful partnerships.  Applicants are asked to identify appropriate, realistic strategies for developing organizational skills or addressing challenges, as well as demonstrate readiness to undertake capacity building activities.  Proposed projects should enhance the overall artistic, educational and/or cultural value of the organization to their communities and help maintain a strong infrastructure for the arts throughout Tennessee.

The Tennessee Arts Commission encourages applications from any eligible organization from across the state. Those located in distressed counties (Lake, Lauderdale, Hardeman, McNairy, Perry, Jackson, Clay, Grundy, Van Buren, Bledsoe, Fentress, Morgan, Scott, Hancock and Cocke), at-risk counties, and rural counties are encouraged to apply.


This grant category provides non-matching funds ranging from $500-$2,000 to enhance organizational development that wish to strengthen their capacity. Eligible activities are those that help arts organizations strengthen their service capacities and/or respond to challenges of their external environment, and that occur between July 1, 2018 and June 15, 2019.

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.

For the purposes of this grant program, “technical assistance activities” refer to learning activities which may include (but are not exclusive to) the following:

• Short-term consultations to assist with organizational problems, like contracting with a consultant to address administrative and managerial concerns such as short or long-term planning, marketing and promotion, board/staff development, accessibility planning/training, financial management, technical skills, and external environment challenges. The staff will carry out the resulting plan of action.
• Facilities or activities assessment
• Training opportunities for organizational staff and/or trustees, like sending appropriate personnel to professional development conferences or seminars to increase job effectiveness.
• Improvements to technology, such as website development or redesign or computer software purchases only in conjunction with computer training. Note: TA support of expenses related to ongoing website updates and maintenance is not allowed.

Activities NOT supported in the TA grant category include, but are not limited to:

  • Funds used to augment an existing employee’s salary for such work
  • Paying for tuition, fees, or work toward any degree
  • Payment of debts incurred before the grant activities begin
  • Activities that attempt to influence any state or federal legislation or appropriation
  • Capital costs (such as equipment purchases, improvements, construction, or property)
  • To start, match, add to, or complete any type of capital campaign (such as endowment, debt retirement, or building campaigns)
  • Payment of costs for activities that take place outside the geographic boundaries of the U.S.
  • Medical, legal, or accounting fees
  • Meals, food, hospitality expenses
  • Release time or sabbatical from work
  • Expenses involved in establishing, maintaining, or administering an organization or company
  • To use in conjunction with another Tennessee Arts Commission grant to fund participation in the same event.
  • General programming or art-making activities designed for the public.
  • Projects, programs, or other activities deemed inappropriate by the Commission.

For further eligibility information, please refer to the Commission’s Legal Requirements.

All Technical Assistance grantees must be prepared to handle all necessary expenditures up front. Commission funds will be paid as reimbursement to the grantees upon submission and approval of reports and invoices. No Commission funds are available prior to the Technical Assistance project or activity.


For general information contact Hal Partlow, Associate Director for Grants, 615-741-2093

Krishna Adams, Director of Visual Arts, Craft, Media and Design, 615-532-9798

Lee Baird, Director of Literary Arts, 615-532-0493

Ann Brown, Director of Arts Education. 615-532-5939

Shannon Ford, Director of Community Arts Development, 615-532-9796

Bradley Hanson, Director of Folklife, 615-532-9795

Kim Johnson, Director of Arts Access, 615-532-9797

Jared Morrison, Director of Performing Arts, 615-532-9801

Please contact the appropriate program director to discuss the eligibility of your proposal.

All Organizations:
An organization is eligible to apply for funding support if the organization meets one of the following qualifications:

• The organization is a nonprofit arts organization legally chartered in Tennessee and 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. Organization must currently receive project or operational support from the Tennessee Arts Commission. Non-arts entities are not eligible in this category.
• The organization is an entity of government with an arts focus (such as an arts council or commission).

New 501(c)(3) applicants will be required to upload copies of the basic nonprofit status documentation into the online grant making system including:
• Tennessee State Charter
• IRS 501(c)(3) Determination Letter
• Most recent copy of the bylaws of the organization

DUNS Number requirement. All organizational applicants are required to have a DUNS number. Information and application instructions can be found here. 

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 Tennessee Arts 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, (615) 532-9797.

Evaluation Criteria
Technical Assistance applications will be reviewed by Commission members and staff using the following criteria to be considered for support. Competitive applications may demonstrate merit by showing the following:
• The proposed project will have a significant impact on the organization’s capacity to deliver programs & services. The project supports organizations’ efforts to improve business practices, or add new knowledge and skills that forward the organizations’ mission.
• The applicant should have a past record of administrative cooperation and compliance with Commission grant requirements and procedures, if Commission funding has previously been awarded.
• The application should be well planned and presented.
• The application narrative should identify the training opportunity needed, the rationale for training, and the challenge the organization wishes to address.
• The narrative demonstrates that the project activity will add value to the organization, its constituents and their community. Your funding request is clear, concise and specific. What do you wish to accomplish? Identify your goals and how you will accomplish them. If your project involves a specific consultant, identify that person, why s/he was chosen, and what the fee will be. If your project involves sending personnel to a conference or seminar, identify the conference, the learning opportunity and the cost associated with attending. A compelling narrative is a crucial factor in the grant award.
• The application narrative should explain how the project will increase the sustainability of and appreciation for the arts.
• The appropriate documentation was attached to the application.
Only one (1) Technical Assistance grant will be awarded to any one applicant in a single fiscal year.

Funding is based on the narrative case for technical assistance, the accuracy of the application, and the availability of funds, which are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

This grant can fund consultation fees, registration fees, travel and hotel expenses related to consultations or conference or seminar attendance. Funds may be requested for the following:

• Contracted Professional Fees – negotiated between the organization and consultant.
• Registration – for personnel attendance to conferences or seminar, etc.
• Travel – Mileage reimbursement is $.47/mile and subject to change per state regulations. To determine mileage, applicants must use MapQuest or another tool to verify round trip distance. For travel outside of Tennessee upload verification of airline fee.
• Hotel – Please refer to the US General Services Administration website to identify the state per diem rate.

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.

Matching Requirements 
This grant does not require a cash match.

Review Process
Technical Assistance applications are reviewed in-house by Commission members and staff. Funding notification will take place via email.

Payment & Close-Out Requirements 
Grantees must submit receipts and all required close-out paperwork no later than 30 days after the ending date of the activity. Failure to do so may jeopardize future funding.

Applications become available on June 1, 2019. Prior to submitting a FY20 Rolling Grant Application for a Technical Assistance grant, applicants should check on the status of funding availability in this category with Hal Partlow, Associate Director for Grants, (615) 741-2093.
How to Apply & Requirements
  1. 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.
  2. Once you’ve been emailed a username and password, log in to the new Online Grants System to complete your profile and begin an application.
  3. 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.
  4. Use the “People” link to ensure your profile is complete and accurate. This information will also be used in the review of the application. To open the record for editing, click the edit button at the top of the screen.
  5. When your “Organization” and “People” profiles are complete and accurate, select the “Apply for Grants” tab again and click the “Apply for an ROLLING Grant” link listed on the page.
  6. Make note of the application number for reference.
  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 that clicking the back navigation button on your web browser will exit you from the system and you will lose your work.

What To Submit
By the specified deadline, applicants must complete and successfully submit all sections, including required uploaded documents, of the FY20 Rolling Grant Application eGrant electronically.

Required documents:

  • You will be prompted to upload the following documents in the Required Documents section of your application in the Online Grants System.
    • 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.
  • You will NOT be prompted to upload these documents in the system, but these documents may be required based on the activity described in the application. These documents can be uploaded in the “Documents” section below the “Required Documents” section of your application.Accepted file types include .pdf, .jpg, or .png. For video and audio samples, provides links to projects in the section labeled “Optional Material Link(s)” below the “Documents” section.Dependent upon your proposed project, additional documents may be required prior to evaluating your application. For example:
    • Letter of agreement between the organization and a consultant
    • Biographical information of a consultant
    • Brochures and information pertaining to a training opportunity
    • For travel outside of Tennessee, verification of airline fee.
    • Contact a staff member if you have questions about additional documents
    • Any documentation important to the narrative or budget of your request.
  • You will NOT be prompted to upload these documents in the system, but at the time of application, you must upload these document in the “organization profile”:
    • FY19 Title VI training and certification form (due at time of application if applying after July 1, 2019). Note: if you are applying between June 1-30, 2019, a FY20 Title VI training and certification form will be available after July 1 and due before your project activity. 
    • You must have successfully submitted an approved Title VI training and certification form for the fiscal year your project will occur in order to receive any awarded funds from the TN Arts Commission.



Translate »