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2015

Arts Build Communities Grant Now Accepting Applications for FY 2017

Nashville—Nonprofit and government organizations can now submit applications for projects thatstimulate economic activity and connect neighbors through arts and culture to receive the Arts Build Communty (ABC) Grant for FY 2017 from the Tennessee Arts Commission.
ABC Grants provide support for arts and cultural projects that positively impact communities across Tennessee. Funding can be used for arts and cultural projects that: introduce communities to unfamiliar art forms or programs; address social issues; strengthen community engagement; target youth for after-school initiatives; enhance a community’s identity or brand; add value to tourism efforts; and encourage further economic development.
This past year, 13 arts councils and development districts worked as designated agencies with the Tennessee Arts Commission to award 159 ABC Grants in 53 counties. The awarded grants totaled approximately $245,000 and resulted in additional investment of $1.4 million. The vast majority of those dollars were leveraged by private contributions and earned income.
“Across the state, 678,000 people benefited from ABC activities, including 80,000 youth,” commented Shannon Ford, Tennessee Arts Commission Director of Community Development. “The projects also resulted in donations of goods and services valued at $1.1 million, including 5,061 volunteers working 125,233 hours. These numbers show how relevant these investments in Tennessee communities are.”
For example:
East TN
– The Cancer Support Community East Tennessee, Inc. in Knoxville received a $1,080 grant for “Healing Through Art.” A two-hour program facilitated by area artists under the supervision of clinical staff, participants explored a variety of artistic techniques from acrylic painting, mixed media, beading, to pottery. The class helped the members relax and forget about their cancer diagnosis for a time while allowing their creative side to flourish and build community with other others who are facing cancer.
Middle TN
– Another ABC Grant was awarded to Salama Urban Ministries, Inc. in Nashville who received $2000 for “Empowering Underserved Youth Through The Performing Arts.” This project enhanced the organization’s academic enrichment and life skills programming by providing lessons to 20 underserved youth with a professionally trained ballet and modern dance instructor twice per week for 8 months.
West TN
– Literacy Mid-South in Memphis also received $2000 for the Mid-South Book Festival, a literary festival featuring presentations by more than 60 authors, writing workshops, book signings, showcases for local and regional writers, cookbook demonstrations and street fair.
 
– The City of Paris received its second $2000 grant this past year for “Back Alley Paris,” a long-term revitalization project for downtown Paris alleyways. Local historians, designers, artists, and schoolchildren participated in creating murals that depict historical vignettes, businesses and commonplace recreation from life in Paris, Tennessee during the late nineteenth century.
ABC Grants opened April 1, 2016. Program guidelines are online. The application deadline for projects occurring between August 16, 2016 and June 15, 2017 is July 1, 2016. Grant awards range from $500 to $2,500.  
For more information about applying for a grant, please contact the appropriate designated agency or the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Director of Community Arts Development, Shannon Ford, (615) 532-9796.
Build a Stronger Community with a Creative Placemaking Grant

NASHVILLE — For the second year, the Tennessee Arts Commission is offering a Creative Placemaking Grants Competition to help build stronger communities through the arts. Calling for applicants specifically focused on using arts or cultural assets to enhance the distinctive character of local Tennessee places for positive economic and community outcomes, the submissions deadline is midnight (CST), Monday, May 2, 2016.

“Last year we received tremendous interest for this grant, especially in rural counties,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. “Through creative placemaking, communities have used their arts and cultural assets to affect their communities in a positive way.”

Creative placemaking provides the opportunity to animate public and private spaces, rejuvenate structures and streetscapes, improve local business visibility and increase public safety. It brings diverse people together to build shared understanding of culture and community. This grants competition offers applicants the opportunity to enhance their community’s unique assets, strengthening economic vitality, livability and growth.

“Arts and culture can be used by communities to encourage economic growth, quality of life or tourism, or address barriers to community development,” said Stephanie B. Conner, Chair of the Tennessee Arts Commission. “Partnerships among public, private, nonprofit and community sectors can strategically shape the physical and social character of Tennessee’s neighborhoods, towns, cities or regions through the arts.”

The Commission expects to provide five to ten awards ranging from $5,000 to $8,000 for projects that occur in one place. Applications that involve partnerships of two or more towns, cities and/or counties can request up to $10,000. At least two awards will be made to eligible rural applicants. A total of $50,000 in grants will be awarded for FY2017. Projects must take place between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.

Eligible projects could include:

  • Arts used as a catalyst to revitalize downtowns or neighborhoods
  • Development of an arts or cultural business incubator or apprenticeship program
  • Development of an activity or project that encourages greater engagement with the arts in state parks, farmer’s markets, or other natural, unique ecological or recreational assets
  • Transformation of a perceived community liability into a community asset through the arts

A list of FY2016 awards is available on the Commission’s website.
Grant applications are now available online. Contact Hal Partlow, Associate Director of Grants at hal.partlow@tn.gov or visit the website for more information. 

Tennessee Participates Statewide for the First Time in Nationally Led Nonprofit Arts and Economic Prosperity Study
NASHVILLE —  The Tennessee Arts Commission has signed on with Americans for the Arts (AFTA) to conduct Arts & Economic Prosperity 5: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations and Their Audiences in the State of TN (AEP5), a national study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry. In Tennessee, the Commission has partnered with 25 local arts councils, universities, city and county government agencies, as well as the nine development districts to ensure comprehensive study data by city, county and region.
AEP5 will document the key roles played by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences in strengthening the state’s economy. It is the fifth study conducted by AFTA, stretching over a 25 year period. Data is being collected throughout 2016 and complete national, state and custom local reports will be released in June, 2017. 
“We have heard from communities across the state on the the impact of arts and culture,” says TN Arts Commission Executive Director Anne B. Pope, “and with this being the first statewide and largest endeavor of its kind in Tennessee, we anticipate this study will provide important data on how the arts and culture positively affect economic development, tourism and quality of life.”
Local partners will receive a customized final report on the economic impact of spending by the community’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences, including: the number of full-time equivalent jobs supported by the industry, the amount of resident household income generated by the industry, and the amount of local and state government revenue generated by the industry.
This valuable data is being collected through two types of surveys; one targets nonprofit arts and culture activity attendees, and the other is specific to eligible nonprofit arts and culture organizations. 
All nonprofit arts and culture organizations including informal arts groups are encouraged to contact their local study partner or the TN Arts Commission in order to be included in the study.
Contact TN Arts Commission staff Carol White at carol.white@tn.gov 615.253.8914 or Grace Robinson at grace.robinson@tn.gov or 615.253.5133 or visit the Economic Study webpage for more information.
Lendon Noe Installation to exhibit November 20, 2015–January 15, 2016 at the Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery
Nashville — Jackson, TN native, Lendon Noe’s Inspired by The Forest Unseen installation will be on exhibit in the TN Arts Commission Gallery from November 20,2015–January 15,2016.The installation is comprised of works Noe created in response to David Haskell’s book The Forest Unseen. A professor of biology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Haskell observed a one-square-meter “mandala” for a year and recorded his findings. Reading the book, Noe began to keep a sketchbook and made her own observations, drawing parallels between her sketches and his writings.Noe first discovered her love for creating art with nature as the subject in the summer of 1994 while working with students on landscape painting in Southern France.“The experience of being outside in the woods was extraordinary compared with being in the studio,” says Noe, “I found it to be a different reality. My work has been centered in nature and natural history ever since. The woods have become my refuge, my sanctuary.”Noe was a Professor of Art at Lambuth University from 1984-2011, where she taught drawing, painting and design. She also served as Head of the School of Arts and Communications, Chair of the Visual Art Department. She earned her bachelor’s in art and English literature from Rollins College in Florida and master’s in art education at UT Knoxville, and as well as a master’s in painting and mixed media at Vermont College.A member of the Southern Arts Federation Artist Registry, Noe has exhibited works in Middle and West Tennessee, Alabama, Nevada and South Carolina. Her work can be found in numerous permanent collections, including those of The Omni Hotel and Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville; International Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Jackson, TN; and the Jackson Kennedy Douglas Art Center in Florence, Alabama; as well as in various private collections. Find out more about Lendon Noe at www.lendonnoe.com.The Tennessee Arts Commission gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. To schedule a gallery tour, contact Krishna Adams at 615.532.9798.
New Arts Integration Grant Brings More Arts Into Tennessee Classrooms
Nashville, Tenn. — The Tennessee Arts Commission launches the new Arts360 Arts Integration (AE-AI) grant program with the opening of FY17 annual grants on October 15, 2015. The AE-AI grant program supports schools in implementing arts integration in every classroom to improve instruction and increase student outcomes.
Arts integration is a method of teaching that supports learning both in and through the arts. Teachers of non-arts subjects work alongside artists to create collaborative lesson plans that infuse creativity into learning.
Specific program goals include improving the academic performance of students and supporting the development of arts integration throughout Tennessee.
“Making funds available specifically for intensive, whole-school arts integration is a significant step in expanding the arts integration community of practice in Tennessee,” says Anne B. Pope, Executive Director, “Arts education prepares students for success in school, work and life. Benefits include increasing learning and achievement, developing critical thinking skills for today’s workforce and preparing students to lead meaningful lives.”
The AE-AI grant program will enable more schools to join the transition to whole-school arts integration that has existed in Tennessee since 2006 through two previous initiatives, Value Plus Schools and Arts360.
For more information about applying for a grant, contact Associate Director of Grants Hal Partlow, hal.partlow@tn.gov, or visit tnartseducation.org. 
Master Artist Apprentice Program on Exhibit

The Tennessee Arts Commission is currently exhibiting The Master Artist Apprentice Program (MAAP), featuring the recent work of multiple master artist and apprentice mentorships, from September 24 – November 14, 2015.

The MAAP is a cooperative partnership of the Tennessee Arts Commission and Tennessee Craft. The mission of this collaboration is to encourage and invest in the continuation, advancement and creation of Tennessee craft by recognizing the role of the master craft artist and apprentice relationship as a way to preserve the state’s cultural heritage.

This year’s featured work was created from 580 hours of one-on-one mentoring instruction by masters with apprentice artists to encourage, strengthen and grow their artistic foundation. MAAP cultivates the traditional master/apprentice relationship by rewarding selected artists with a grant to ensure craft art is nurtured and not lost in Tennessee.

The 2015 MAAP artists are: Pulp Painting: Master Chery Cratty (Smithville) and Apprentice TraciPaden (Chattanooga); Wood Furniture: Master Scott DeWaard (Walland) and Apprentice StephenShankles (Maryville); and Papermaking: Master Claudia Lee (Liberty) and Apprentice Gail Looper (Smithville).

The Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery is located at 401 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37243. The gallery is free and open to the public Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. To schedule a gallery tour, contact Krishna Adams at (615) 532-9798. For ADA inquiries, contact Kim Johnson (615) 532-9797. Learn more about MAAP. 

Tennessee Arts Commission Now Accepting Applications for FY17 Annual Grants
The Tennessee Arts Commission is accepting applications for fiscal year 2017 Annual Grants through January 2016 for projects and activities that occur between July 1, 2016 and June 17, 2017. Grants are announced in July 2016 after extensive paneled reviews.

Annual Grants provide funds for: a variety of arts education projects, such as professional development for teachers, arts education in communities and programming for children in grades PK-12; operating support for well-established arts organizations; and project support in urban and rural counties.

In fiscal year 2016, the Commission awarded 311 Annual Grants, investing $3,925,710 in Tennessee communities to help fund arts and cultural activities for schools, local governments, nonprofits and artists.

“These investments support and encourage sustainable communities built through the arts in both urban and rural areas,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission, “the funded projects help improve quality of life, drive economic development and tourism, and help provide a more balanced education for our children.”

For more information about grant eligibility, contact Associate Director of Grants Hal Partlow, hal.partlow@tn.gov, or visit tnartscommission.org.

Tennessee Arts Commission to conduct free grants workshops in East TN, August 19-21, 2015
The Tennessee Arts Commission is conducting a series of grants workshops August 19-21 in East TN cities Knoxville, Jonesborough and Chattanooga to inform the public of funding opportunities offered by the Commission. These workshops are free informational meetings for potential and current constituents, nonprofit organizations, local government agencies, TN teachers and artists. Attendees will learn about grant opportunities and the application process, state arts resources, accessibility strategies and the Arts Education Teaching Artist Roster.

Grants Workshop Schedule:

• Knoxville  — August 19 at 1 p.m. EST
Knoxville Museum of Art Auditorium
1050 World’s Fair Park
Knoxville, TN 37916
Participants are invited to stay afterwards for a free community viewing of the National Association of State Arts Agencies webinar “Engaging Millennials” at 3 p.m.

• Jonesborough  — August 20 at 11 a.m. EST
International Storytelling Center
116 West Main Street
Jonesborough, TN 37659
A limited number of complimentary tickets to Teller-in-Residence David Holt’s 2 p.m. performance are available on a first come, first served basis. Contact Jared Morrison at 615.352.9801 to reserve.

• Chattanooga  — August 21 at 11 a.m. EST
The Hunter Museum of American Art Auditorium
10 Bluff View Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37403

Each workshop is scheduled to last an hour and a half. They are free, and there is no RSVP required.

With the mission to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities, the Commission funds a variety of arts projects through several grant categories. Each year, these grants help fund arts and cultural activities for more than 600 schools, local governments and nonprofit organizations in communities across all 95 counties. Contact Jared Morrison at 615-532-9801 or jared.morrison@tn.gov for questions. For accessibility requests, call (615) 532-9797.

Baldwin Lee photographs to exhibit July 31–September 18 at the Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery
Photographer Baldwin Lee’s project Photographs of Black Americans in the South will be on exhibition in the Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery from July 31 through September 18.

The collection is a compilation of seven years worth of work. In the early 1980s, Lee spent two weeks driving the South, taking photos for project inspiration. After 1,900 miles of traveling, he accumulated 350 sheets of four-by-five inch black and white sheet film. From Knoxville to New Orleans, Lee collected shots of landscape, still lifes, architecture, abstract patterns, animals and people. The people in his photos were young and old, well-to-do and poor, rural and urban, black and white.

“The photographs in this exhibition,” says Lee, “are of those people, who in the process of presenting themselves to me and my camera, revealed grace and poignancy so extraordinary, that it far exceeded my pedestrian ambitions.”

These initial photographs moved him to begin photographing Black Americans in the South, which he would later call the most important work of his career. By his own discovery or through the help of locals, Lee would enter predominately black areas of rural towns and cities, find subjects he found to be ‘distinctive,’ obtain their permission, and begin photographing.

Lee is a professor of Art at the University of Tennessee where he teaches photography. He received a BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a MFA at Yale University School of Art, where he studied with photographer Walker Evans. Lee has shown his work nationally, and received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Museum of the City of New York, University of Michigan Museum of Art, University of Kentucky Art Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation and the Nashville Music City Center.

The Tennessee Arts Commission gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.

The Tennessee Arts Commission is the state’s arts agency whose mission is to cultivate the arts for the benefit of Tennesseans and their communities.  Tnartscommission.org

Nashville Resident Stephanie B. Conner to be New Tennessee Arts Commission Chair FY15-16

Stephanie B. Conner of Nashville, Tennessee, will serve as the Tennessee Arts Commission Chair beginning July 1, 2015. The Commission members unanimously approved new leadership during the quarterly meeting held in Nashville on June 10, 2014. She will be joined in office by Vice-Chair, Lisa Bobango of Memphis and Secretary, Connie Weathers of Chattanooga.

“Ms. Conner has a long history with the Tennessee Arts Commission, and we are both pleased and honored that she will serve as Chair this year,” says Anne B. Pope, Tennessee Arts Commission Executive Director. “Her commitment to the arts and strong leadership skills have been and will continue to be a tremendous asset to the Commission and the state.”

Conner was appointed to the Tennessee Arts Commission by Governor Bill Haslam for a five-year term representing Congressional District 5 in 2012. She previously served on the Commission from FY 2002-2007, which included service as Commission Chair for FY05-06 and FY06-07. During FY14, Conner was chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and was part of the Allocations Committee.

“I am looking forward to continuing the work of ensuring that all Tennesseans have access to and can participate in the arts, especially for our children,” said Conner. “The arts and culture in Tennessee are broad and diverse—we have much to be proud of.”

Conner’s roots in the arts run deep–her mother, Eleanor Yoakum, is extensively involved in the arts and civic life in Claiborne County and also served on the Commission, including a year as chair; and her father, Robert Barger, is a talented craft artist. Conner has effectively advocated for arts on every level: local, region, state and now national. She was recently announced as a member of the 2015 board of directors for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), having been elected to the board at the NASAA Assembly 2014 Conference in New Orleans.

Prior to her work with the Commission, Conner served as Assistant to the Governor for Boards and Commissions, Assistant to the Governor for Policy, and executive director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission. She was also Board President of Tennesseans for the Arts (TFTA) and served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of South Arts. Currently, Conner serves on the Board of Directors of TFTA, as well as the Board of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film.

The Tennessee Arts Commission is a state arts agency whose mission is to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities. The Tennessee Arts Commission is governed by a 15-member board who are appointed by the Governor for five year terms. The Commission holds quarterly meetings that are open to the public. More information about the Tennessee Arts Commission can by found at the website, tnartscommission.org 

Memphis Resident Lisa Bobango to be Tennessee Arts Commission Vice-Chair FY15-16

Lisa Bobango of Memphis, Tennessee, will serve as the Tennessee Arts Commission Vice-Chair beginning July 1, 2015. The Commission members unanimously approved new leadership during the quarterly meeting held in Nashville on June 10, 2015. She will be joined in office by Chair, Stephanie B. Conner of Nashville and Secretary, Connie S. Weathers of Chattanooga.

“Ms. Bobango is a committed arts and community advocate and we are pleased to have her as this year’s Vice-Chair,” says Anne B. Pope, Tennessee Arts Commission Executive Director. “Her past leadership roles and knowledge of the arts will greatly benefit the Commission and the state.”

Bobango was appointed to the Tennessee Arts Commission by Governor Bill Haslam for a five-year term representing Congressional District 8 in 2013. She served on the Commission’s Allocations Committee and Committee for the Governor’s Arts Awards for FY14-15.

“The Tennessee Arts Commission has been a great force in moving our communities forward through the arts,” said Bobango. “I look forward to assisting the Commission in continuing this mission.”

Active in her community, Bobango has been involved in numerous nonprofit organizations. She has served on the board of the Memphis Literacy Council, the Junior League of Memphis, the Germantown Women’s Club, is past president of the Memphis Bar Auxiliary and is the former Sustainer Director for the Junior League of Memphis.

She is also a founding members of ‘Young at Art’ at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, and she has supported the Orpheum Theater and ArtsMemphis.

The Tennessee Arts Commission is a state arts agency whose mission is to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities. The Tennessee Arts Commission is governed by a 15-member board who are appointed by the Governor for five year terms. The Commission holds quarterly meetings that are open to the public. More information about the Tennessee Arts Commission can by found at the website, tnartscommission.org 

Chattanooga Resident Connie S. Weathers to be New Tennessee Arts Commission Secretary FY15-16

Connie S. Weathers of Chattanooga, Tennessee, will serve as the Tennessee Arts Commission Secretary beginning July 1, 2015. The Commission members unanimously voted for the new leadership during the quarterly meeting held in Nashville on June 10, 2015. Weathers will be joined in office by Chair, Stephanie Conner of Nashville and Vice-Chair, Lisa Bobango of Memphis.

“We are very pleased about the selection of Ms. Weathers as the incoming secretary,” says Anne B. Pope, Tennessee Arts Commission Executive Director. “We look forward to what her experience in the arts and dedication to her community will bring to both the Commission and Tennessee communities, through this leadership role.”

Weathers was appointed to the Tennessee Arts Commission by Governor Bill Haslam for a five-year term representing Congressional District 3 in 2011. This past year, she served on the Commission’s Allocations Committee and the Committee for the Governor’s Arts Awards.

A long-time community advocate, Weathers has served on numerous boards and participated in various societies. She was the president of the American Cancer Society of Hamilton County and was on the Tennessee State Board of the American Cancer Society. She has also been a member of the Memorial Auditorium Board of Directors.

She was commended for her decade of dedication to the Cancer Isn’t the End (C.I.T.E.) counseling program through the Patient Quality of Life Award. This award also recognized her for starting the “Look Good, Feel Better” program in Hamilton County. Weathers has also been named a “Distinguished Citizen” by the Hamilton County Commission.

“I have always found that the arts provide a great deal of vibrancy and sustainability to communities,” says Weathers, “Providing these opportunities to all citizens is a great service of the Commission, and I anticipate the opportunity to assist in the achievement of this goal.”

The Tennessee Arts Commission is a state arts agency whose mission is to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities. The Tennessee Arts Commission is governed by a 15-member board who are appointed by the Governor for a five-year term. The Commission meetings occur quarterly and are open to the public. More information about the Tennessee Arts Commission can be found at them website,  tnartscommission.org 

Tennessee Arts Commission Awards over $3.5m in Annual Grants Across Tennessee
The Tennessee Arts Commission has awarded 311 Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Grants Awards totaling $3,925,710.00 to help fund arts and cultural activities for arts organizations, schools, local governments, nonprofits and artists in Tennessee.

Annual Grants provide funds for: operating support to well-established arts organizations; project support for arts projects in urban and rural counties; and a variety of arts education projects, such as professional development for teachers, arts education in communities and programming for children in grades PK-12.

“The Tennessee Arts Commission is honored to award these annual grants to support Tennessee’s communities and schools through the arts. These investments help cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and offer all of us a better quality of life, provide our children with a more complete education, stimulate economic development and attract tourists to our state,” said Tennessee Arts Executive Director, Anne B. Pope.

Annual Grant review panels were held throughout the month of April to review the grant applications. Panels are divided into different categories including: Arts Education, Arts Access, Community Arts, Folk Arts, Literary Arts, Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Theater, Inter-Arts, Funds for At-Risk Youth and Rural Arts. Panel members are appointed to two-year terms and generally consist of professional artists, arts administrators, patrons, sponsors, educators and community leaders.

The Tennessee Arts Commission board members voted unanimously to approve the annual grants on June 10, 2016 at the Commission quarterly board meeting. The meeting was the last quarterly meeting of FY-15 in which the 15-member board historically votes on allocations and budget for the next fiscal year.

The Annual Grants are the first of a series of grants that will be made by the Tennessee Arts Commission. The Commission expects to award over 1,000 grants during FY2016, totaling more than $5.3 million dollars. These funds have a direct impact on communities across Tennessee, in both urban and rural areas.

Of the $5.3 million dollars that will be granted, $4.5 million came from specialty license plate fees earmarked to benefit the arts. Additionally, the Commission receives a state appropriation and federal funding, namely from the National Endowment for the Arts.

A list of FY 2016 Grant Recipients can be found on the TN Arts Commission website, http://tnartscommission.org/grants/fy2016-grant-awards/   

Joanna Higgs Ross, A Mini-Retrospective 1956-2015
May 29—July 24, 2015
The Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery will exhibit a mini-retrospective of painter, Joanne Higgs Ross. The show highlights Ross’ journey using artistic expression through diverse themes, mediums and styles. Her prolific portfolio extends nearly 60 years and can be found in art collections throughout Tennessee and Illinois, including: the Tennessee State Museum; Austin Peay State University; East Tennessee State University; Brooks Museum of Art; University of Illinois; University of Tennessee Knoxville; Knoxville Museum of Art; Watkins College of Art, Design, & Film; First American Bank; Third National Bank; Bass, Berry & Sims; and the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce.

Ross’ career began in 1957, shortly after graduating as the first female from the University of Tennessee (UT) Knoxville with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, when a few UT art faculty members encouraged Ross to enter paintings into regional juried shows. In 1960, UT art faculty members C. Kermit Ewing, Walter Hollis Stevens and Richard Clark — along with Carl Sublett, a commercial artist who later joined the faculty, and Robert Birdwell, who painted murals for TVA — invited Ross to join them in forming a group called Knoxville Artists. Later, sculptor Phillip Nichols joined the faculty, and the group became The Knoxville Seven. This progressive group (1955—1965) produced some of the first abstract expressionist art in Tennessee during that time.

Ross was employed as staff artist for the Medical Division of the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies in Oak Ridge, Tennessee from 1956-57, and was a designer for The University of Tennessee Graphic Arts Service from 1958-1960. Ross went on to the University of Illinois, Urbana to complete her MFA in 1961. Fresh from college, she began her teaching career as the only art professor at Lambuth College in Jackson, Tennessee, where she taught until 1983. After teaching, she and her husband, Douglas A. Ross, moved to Nashville to care for her elderly parents.

Ross’ work has been selected for juried exhibitions at the Butler Institute of American Art, the Arkansas Art Center, the Hunter Museum of American Art, the High Museum of Art, the Nashville Parthenon, the Brooks Museum of Art and the Evansville Art Gallery. Additionally, her work was featured in solo exhibitions across Tennessee in Nashville, Knoxville, Clarksville, Jackson, Oak Ridge, Memphis and Dyersburg.

The Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Admission is free. To schedule a gallery tour, contact Krishna Adams (krishna.adams@tn.gov), 615.532.9798.

The National Endowment for the Arts Awards $1,072,700 Tennessee

May 6, 2015
Through its grant-making to thousands of nonprofits each year, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) promotes opportunities for people in communities across America to experience the arts and exercise their creativity.

In the second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2015, the NEA will make awards to 15 nonprofit art and design organizations in Tennessee totaling $1,072,700. This includes $767,700 awarded through a state partnership agreement with the Tennessee Arts Commission for programs that move communities forward through the arts.

The state partnership agreements allow the NEA to extend its reach to every community in America; translating national leadership into local, state and regional benefit. The NEA will make 1,023 awards totaling $74.3 million nationwide in this funding round.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The NEA is committed to advancing learning, fueling creativity, and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States, including in Tennessee. Funding these new projects represents a significant investment in local communities and the creative vitality of Tennessee.”

“Every year, the NEA continues to validate the importance of the arts to the progress of individual communities, states and the nation overall, through its awarding generous grants. The state of Tennessee will especially flourish from these grant dollars making projects possible that will enhance cultural life, serve citizens, support education and address public needs,” says Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission.

The following received funding for FY16: 

Tennessee Arts Commission, Statewide: $767,700

ArtsBuild, Chattanooga, TN: $10,000

Gateway Chamber Orchestra, Clarksville, TN: $10,000

Cumberland County Playhouse, Inc., Crossville, TN: $10,000

Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN: $10,000

Knox County, Tennessee, Knoxville, TN: $10,000

Country Music Foundation, Inc., Nashville, TN: $35,000

Frist Center for the Visual Arts Inc., Nashville, TN: $30,000

Humanities Tennessee, Nashville, TN: $30,000

Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Nashville, TN: $100,000

Nashville Academy Theatre & Nashville Children’s Theatre Association, Nashville, TN: $10,000

Nashville Ballet, Nashville, TN: $15,000

Nashville Repertory Theatre, Inc., Nashville, TN: $10,000

Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Nashville, TN: $15,000

Salama Urban Ministries, Inc., Nashville, TN: $10,000

The Tennessee Arts Commission is the state’s arts agency whose mission is to cultivate the arts for the benefit of Tennesseans and their communities. Each year, the Commission helps fund the arts  and cultural activities for more than 600 organizations, schools, local governments, nonprofits and artists in Tennessee. Over the past five years, more than 6,450 grants totaling more than $30 million have been invested in communities across Tennessee. For more information, visit http://tnartscommission.org.

Governor Haslam appoints Murfreesboro’s Andrea J. Loughry to the Commission
April 17, 2015
Governor Haslam has appointed Andrea J. Loughry to the Tennessee Arts Commission board to represent Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District. The 15 volunteer members of the Tennessee Arts Commission are selected from among citizens who have demonstrated a vital interest in the arts and appointed by the Governor for a five-year term. Each year, the Commission helps fund the arts and cultural activities for more than 600 organizations, schools, local governments, nonprofits and artists in Tennessee. Over the past five years, more than 6,450 grants totaling more than $30 million have been invested in communities across Tennessee.

“I am very honored to be given this opportunity to learn more about the rich history and current breadth of the arts in our state,” stated Loughry with excitement.

Loughry resides in Murfreesboro,Tennessee on the historic downtown square. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, she taught for 10 years at MTSU and then opened an independent insurance agency. She is now the President Emeritus of Miller-Loughry-Beach, one of the largest agencies in Middle Tennessee. Currently, Andrea serves solely in the social profit arena. She is a director of the Jones Foundation, serves on the Siegel Foundation board and on the Board of Trustees for The First United Methodist Church, Murfreesboro. A former Vice-Chair of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees and former Chair of the UT Foundation, she currently chairs the Ned Ray McWherter Institute at UT Martin. Andrea served as the first female chair of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce and has been selected as one of their Business Legends. She was the founding chair of the Mind2Marketplace, an organization dedicated to bringing the best and brightest ideas in Middle Tennessee to reality.

Andrea and her husband of 47 years, Ed Loughry, enjoy collecting regional and international art during their travels. They have two children, E Cannon Loughry, III and Lady Loughry Hamilton who also live in Murfreesboro along with seven grandchildren. An avid reader and home chef, she is one of the founding members of More Than a Book Club and Girls Gourmet.

 Patsy W. Camp, Chairman of the Board said, “We are thrilled to have Ms. Loughry join the Commission. The arts in Tennessee will greatly benefit from her extensive business and community experience.”

New Grant Opportunity for Creative Placemaking in Tennessee
April 9, 2015
NASHVILLE — How can your community enhance its unique assets to strengthen economic vitality, livability and growth? How can your community leverage its arts and culture resources to help address key opportunities and challenges?

The Tennessee Arts Commission has designed a Creative Placemaking Grants Competition to help build stronger communities through the arts. It specifically focuses on the use of arts or cultural assets to enhance the distinctive character of local Tennessee places for positive economic and community outcomes.

“The Commission believes that creativity is a catalyst for innovation, entrepreneurship and invention,” said Patsy White Camp, Chair of the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Creative placemaking provides the opportunity to animate public and private spaces, rejuvenate structures and streetscapes and improve local business visibility and public safety. It brings diverse people together to build shared understanding of culture and community. This grants competition offers opportunities for applicants to build on the distinctiveness of place.

“Arts and culture can be used by communities to encourage economic growth, quality of life, tourism or address barriers to community development,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. “Partnerships among public, private, nonprofit and community sectors working together can strategically shape the physical and social character of Tennessee’s neighborhoods, towns, cities or regions through the arts.”

The Commission expects to provide five to ten awards ranging from $5,000 to $8,000 for projects that occur in one place. Applications that involve partnerships of two or more towns, cities and/or counties can request up to $10,000. At least two awards will be made to eligible rural applicants. A total of $50,000 in grants will be awarded for FY2016.

Eligible projects could include:

  • Arts used as a catalyst to revitalize downtowns or neighborhoods
  • Development of an arts or cultural business incubator or  apprenticeship program
  • Development of an activity or project that encourages greater engagement with the arts in state parks, farmer’s markets, or other natural, unique ecological or recreational assets
  • Transformation of a perceived community liability into a community asset through the arts

Grant applications are now available online at http://tnartseducation.org/grants/fy2016-17-creative-placemaking-grant-program. The deadline for submissions is midnight (CT) July 17, 2015. For questions, contact Shannon Ford, Director of Community Arts Development, 615-532-9796 or Hal Partlow, Associate Director for Grants, 615-741-2093.

Robmat Butler: Sojourn
On Exhibit Beginning Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Tennessee Arts Commission will exhibit Sojourn, which features the recent work by Knoxville contemporary artist, Robmat Butler, April 1 – May 22, 2015.

The work in Sojourn explores Butler’s interest in objects that shape, support and define our environment. This solo exhibition studies how objects relate to each other, how we relate to these objects and how these objects create the environment in which we dwell.

Butler received his MFA in sculpture from the University of Tennessee Knoxville. He has been the featured artist for numerous solo exhibitions and has been shown in various museums, galleries and festivals throughout the country, including Miami’s Art Basel and The Foosaner Art Museum’s exhibition, Navel Gazing. He served as the Installation Coordinator for the DUMBO Arts Festival in Brooklyn, NY and is currently the co-chair for the Knoxville Dogwood Arts Festival’s Art in Public Places sculpture program.

The Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery is located at 401 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37243. The gallery is open Mondays-Fridays, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm and admission is free. To schedule a gallery tour, contact Krishna Adams at (615) 532-9798. Learn more about Robmat Butler at postmedium.org/robmat.

Battle Field Academy Junior Wins the 2015 Poetry Out Loud State Competition
March 14, 2015
Saturday, March 14 was a full day of Keats, Burns, Plath and other famous poets’ verses as 22 Tennessee high school students from across the state competed for 2015 Tennessee Poetry Out Loud State Championship. At 3:00 p.m., the official judges’ votes were in and Grace Whitten, a junior at Battle Ground Academy in Franklin took first place. Whitten will now go on to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals April 28-29 in Washington, D.C.

This is Whitten’s third time competing at the state contest—for the past two years, she has advanced to the final round of the Poetry Out Loud Tennessee competition. She began memorizing poetry as a young child and said she initially entered the competition as a freshman for the experience of performing for an audience. She loves slam poetry and has published her own work in various online magazines. “Poetry Out Loud has been an amazing experience and I am looking forward to competing in Washington DC,” she said.

Whitten recited poems by Larry Levis, Sylvia Plath and William Butler Yeats. She was coached by her teacher, Leah Handelman who is in her tenth year of teaching at Battle Ground Academy and says she knew Whiten had a good chance of winning. “She loves poetry and that really shows when she recites,” said Handelman.

Marissa Corleone is Poetry Out Loud’s first runner-up. She is a junior at St. George’s Independent School in Cordova. She is active in the theatre department and the forensics program at her school.

Second runner-up, Brittany Thompson is a sophomore at Brighton High School where she plays in the band and was recently selected to the All-West Honor Band. She loves music and thinks of poetry as lyrics to which she can write her own music.

Finally, the 3rd runner-up is Stephanie Bennett, a sophomore at Arlington High School in Arlington. She recently starred in a musical and is a former NDA Dance Grand Champion. Bennett currently competes in speech and debate tournaments around the state. She plans to study journalism in college.

Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation contest presented by The National Endowment for The Arts and the Poetry Foundation in partnership with the Tennessee Arts Commission. The program seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry, recitation and performance building on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form.

The Tennessee Arts Commission is a state agency whose mission is to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities.

Poetry Out Loud Awards

The state champion and his/her teacher will receive cash prizes and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete for the national championship. The first runner-up and his/her teacher will receive cash prizes and the school will receive a stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends at the National Finals, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

For more information about the Poetry Out Loud Tennessee, visit tnartseducation.org. For more information on the National Poetry Out Loud contest, visit poetryoutloud.org 

2014

Tennessee’s Arts Advocate, Stephanie Barger Conner to join National Assembly of State Arts Agencies Board
December 4, 2014
Nashville, TN — The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) announced the election of Stephanie Barger Conner to its board of directors. As part of a rigorous national nomination process, Conner was elected to the 15-member board at the NASAA Assembly 2014 conference in New Orleans.

Conner, who grew up in Claiborne County, is currently the vice-chair of the Tennessee Arts Commission serving for fiscal year 2015. She was appointed in 2012 by Governor Haslam and previously served on the Commission from 2002 to 2007, which included service as chair from 2005 to 2007. Her mother, Eleanor Barger, who was equally passionate about the arts in Tennessee, also served on the Tennessee Arts Commission for two terms and was a past chair.

“NASAA is thrilled that Stephanie Conner was elected to our board,” said NASAA Interim Chief Executive Officer Kelly Barsdate. “I’ve worked with the Tennessee Arts Commission and Tennesseans for the Arts several times over the years, so I’ve seen Stephanie’s smart, strategic and gracious leadership in action. Her advocacy for the arts—for all communities—and her knowledge of public policy will be assets to the whole nation through her work on the NASAA board.”

Conner’s father was a talented craft artist and amateur guitar picker. His and her mother’s influence became the foundations of Conner’s life long commitment to Tennessee’s arts and culture. She also grew up listening to poetry recitations by her grandmother who had spent years in the public schools in Claiborne County and surrounding rural counties teaching classic poetry to students.

As a young girl, Conner remembers spending time at the tobacco warehouse with her grandfather watching the farmers whittle figures, canes and other objects from slabs of cedar and weaving tobacco twists from tobacco leaves. She was always very proud of where she came from. Her drive today to champion the arts is a result of keen awareness how many of her community members lacked access and opportunities to the arts in the area, and also how vital it is to preserve those local traditions and heritage.

Conner has chaired the Commission’s Strategic Planning Committee and now chairs the Allocations Committee. Prior to her work with the Commission, she served as executive director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission.

“We believe NASAA has gained an incredible resource by electing Stephanie. Her knowledge and experience with the arts in Tennessee will serve the nation’s art and cultural communities very well,” said Anne B. Pope, Tennessee Arts Commission Executive Director. “She is an incredible asset for Tennessee and her work is instrumental in helping move communities forward through the arts.”

Conner has also served as assistant to the Governor for Policy and was assistant to the Governor for Boards and Commissions. She was board president of Tennesseans for the Arts and served on the Executive Committee of South Arts. Currently, she sits on the board of Tennesseans for the Arts and of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. Conner has a special interest in arts education, access for rural communities and advocacy. She received her bachelor’s degree in human and organizational development from Vanderbilt University.

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies is the membership organization that unites, represents and serves the nation’s state and jurisdictional arts agencies. Founded in 1968, NASAA represents their individual and collective interests, empowers their work through knowledge, and advances the arts as an essential public benefit. To learn more about NASAA and state arts agencies, visit nasaa-arts.org. For more information on NASAA’s board members, visit NASAA 2015 Board of Directors.

The Tennessee Arts Commission is a state agency whose mission is to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities. For more information, visit tn.gov/arts.

A 30-year collection of Tennessee Folklife archived for future generations
November 21, 2014
Nashville—The Tennessee Arts Commission has completed archiving 30 years of cultural documentation and records from its Folklife Program, and the collection will be transferred to the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) for preservation and public access. The archiving project is a culmination of the dedicated work of program director, Dr. Robert Cogswell, who will be retiring in December of 2014.

Cogswell began his career with the Tennessee Arts Commission in 1984 and he was recently honored by the American Folklore Society (AFS) with the 2014 Benjamin A. Botkin Award. This honor is given annually to an individual for significant lifetime achievement in public folklore.

Since joining the Tennessee Arts Commission, Cogswell has dedicated a 30-year career to the state’s traditional arts and culture. Through on-going fieldwork, advocacy and program management, he has distinguished himself as one of the country’s longest serving and most influential folklorists in the public sector. The AFS cited one of his nominators as saying, “He has, while maintaining the outspokenness for which he has become famous, forged effective working relationships with other organizations in meeting his goals of documenting, presenting, and preserving the folk traditions of Tennessee. He has been a consistent and active voice at regional and national meetings for the standards of public folklore service.”

Cogswell’s folklife archive represents a rich resource of information and media materials about the state’s folk culture including extensive documentation of folk artists and local traditions from across Tennessee. By donating this unique and invaluable collection to TSLA, the Tennessee Arts Commission is ensuring its future preservation and accessibility. Cogswell worked with archivist Christina Skinker to catalog the program’s 22,000-image photography collection. With help from TSLA, they completed a digital database of over 4,000 of its best images.

In addition to the photography collection, highlights of the archive include: files on Tennessee’s program at the 1986 Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife; documents about Tennessee artists who’ve received the National Heritage Fellowship and Tennessee Folklife Heritage Awards; clippings on folk organizations and events statewide; records of folk arts grants awarded by the TAC; diverse audio-visual resources; and research files from dozens of exhibits, publications, and other special projects on Tennessee folklife topics.

At TSLA, the Tennessee Arts Commission’s folklife archives will join the collection created by the Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project beginning in the 1970s. Together, these two archives will distinguish TSLA as the premier repository of documentary materials about Tennessee folk culture. They form an unmatched record of the state’s folklife and traditional arts in recent decades, holding great value to researchers and communities alike.

The Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife program will continue to work closely with TSLA in promoting and encouraging the use of the donated collection to expand support for Tennessee folk arts and culture—and looks forward to future collaborative opportunities.

A retrospective of Cogswell’s photography work will be on exhibit at the Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery beginning January 15, 2015. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4 pm, admission is free.

Rich Boyd of Tennessee Honored with 2014 Gary Young Award
November 18, 2014
Washington, D.C. — The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) has named Rich Boyd, former executive director of the Tennessee Arts Commission, the recipient of its 2014 Gary Young Award. The award recognizes Boyd’s exemplary leadership, innovative thinking, and extraordinary contribution to public support for the arts at the state, regional and national levels. The award was presented on November 15 during NASAA’s annual conference, Assembly 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Boyd served as executive director of the Tennessee Arts Commission in a career that spanned 28 years of service (1984-2012), including 15 years as assistant director. Under his leadership, the Arts Commission became a national leader among state arts agencies in terms of public funding, arts education, advocacy, cultural heritage, strategic planning, support for individual artists and innovative services to constituents.

“The Tennessee Arts Commission board and staff were honored to nominate Rich for this award. It is well-deserved and we are very proud of him,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Boyd’s leadership resulted in the rebirth of a statewide arts advocacy organization and the formation of a state legislative arts caucus, considered a national model. He expanded the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Arts Education Program, resulting in $2 million in two Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination grants from the U.S. Department of Education for the Value Plus Schools and Arts 360° programs. Tennessee was the only state arts agency to have been awarded consecutive federal funding under this program.

“Tennessee is so fortunate to have benefited from the leadership of Rich. He led the state in recognizing the wealth of artistry we enjoy here and we are all the better for it today,” said Tennessee Arts Commission chair, Patsy Camp of Jackson.

Boyd designated increased funding for the development of a distinguished Folklife Program to preserve and promote Tennessee’s cultural heritage. He led the Tennessee Arts Commission’s participation in the National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpiece Initiative that identified the Fisk University Jubilee Singers as a state and national treasure. In the words of one colleague, Boyd “put the arts in Tennessee on the map.”

“NASAA applauds Rich’s receipt of the Gary Young Award, which is our field’s highest honor for executive leadership and represents a ‘standing ovation’ from the entire nation,” said NASAA Interim Chief Executive Officer Kelly Barsdate. “We salute his many program innovations, his savvy policy leadership, his championship of the arts and the passion he brings to public service.”

The Gary Young Award was established by the New England Foundation for the Arts to honor the memory of a man who made numerous contributions to the state arts council movement in the United States, and to provide recognition to those who carry on his tradition of leadership in this field.

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies is the membership organization that unites, represents and serves the nation’s state and jurisdictional arts agencies. Founded in 1968, NASAA represents their individual and collective interests, empowers their work through knowledge and advances the arts as an essential public benefit. To learn more about NASAA and state arts agencies, visit www.nasaa-arts.org.

Statewide arts conference held in Dickson County
November 7, 2014
Nashville – The Dickson County Community Choir kicked off the state arts conference Tuesday night with a moving performance composed of several genres of music. The evening also included a brand presentation from the Tennessee Arts Commission and an interactive performance by Mawre & Co.

Becky Anderson, founding Director of HandMade in America, opened Wednesday with her inspiring keynote on weaving communities together with the threads of: community based tourism, community revitalization, the environment, inclusiveness and empowering all levels of education.

Executive Director Anne B. Pope introduced the Commission’s new five-year strategic plan prior to the lunchtime plenary session, What Works in The Arts: Three Foundation’s Perspectives. This panel included leaders from three of Tennessee’s largest foundations: Michael McClamroch, President and CEO, East Tennessee Foundation; Gretchen Wollert McLennon, Program Director for Authentic Assets and Communications, Hyde Family Foundation; and Ellen Lehman, President, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. The panelists discussed how their regional the arts organizations are advancing community priorities through the arts.

The conference was also honored with the presence of Senate Majority Lead Mark Norris and State Treasurer David Lillard during the Tennesseans for the Arts (TFTA) presentation. They spoke on the development of the gift voucher to add to the current specialty license plate program. Sen. Norris also informed attendees of the happy news that he and Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey have declared October as arts and humanities month in Tennessee.

The conference will conclude Thursday with a session by Becky Anderson and Bill Strickland, President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation; and the final endnote by Gary Glazner, founder of The Institute for Dementia Education.

Tennessee Arts Commission to host statewide arts conference

September 29, 2014
Nashville, TN—The Tennessee Arts Commission will hold its statewide conference at Montgomery Bell State Park from October 28-30. All arts organizations, artists, arts advocates and supporters are welcome to attend. Registration is available online at tn.gov/arts

Special Opportunity Grants are available for arts organizations and artists for conference registration, accommodations and travel. Applications can also be found at the Tennessee Arts Commission website.

Last held in 2012, the Tennessee Arts Commission designs this three-day conference to connect, educate and motivate people through the arts. This year’s conference, Cultivating the Arts in Tennessee, includes nationally renowned presenters: Becky Anderson, founding Director of Handmade in America; Bill Strickland, President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation; and Gary Glazner, founder of The Institute for Dementia Education.

Additionally, the Wednesday lunchtime plenary session, What Works in The Arts: Three Foundation’s Perspectives, includes a panel of leaders from three of Tennessee’s largest foundations: Michael McClamroch, President and CEO, East Tennessee Foundation; Gretchen Wollert McLennon, Program Director for Authentic Assets and Communications, Hyde Family Foundation; and Ellen Lehman, President, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. The panelists will discuss how their regional arts organizations are advancing community priorities through the arts.

The conference will open with dinner and entertainment on Tuesday evening. Nine workshop sessions will follow over the next two days designed to foster learning and discussion on best practices as well as provide specific strategies and skills that can be implemented in communities across Tennessee.

There will also be opportunities for networking with peer groups, an introduction of the new Tennessee Arts Commission strategic plan with a follow-up town hall and a session with Tennesseans for the Arts on how to be a champion for the arts.

For more information and a complete schedule, visit tn.gov/arts/2014confrence.html.

Tennessee Arts Commission to host Grants Workshops
September 23, 2014
The Tennessee Arts Commission will be conducting a series of workshops across the state to inform the public of grant opportunities that are offered by the agency. These workshops are informational meetings for potential and current constituents. Nonprofit organizations, government agencies, Tennessee teachers and artists are encouraged to attend. Attendance at one of the workshops is important for new teaching artists interested in applying for the Teaching Artist Roster.

Each workshop attendee will receive information on: all grant opportunities offered by the agency and the application process, specific Arts Education programs, accessibility strategies and information on how to apply for the teaching artist roster.

To date, workshops have been scheduled in East Tennessee. Middle and West Tennessee workshops details will be available at a later date. All workshops will be held from 3:30-5:30pm EST at the following locations:
October 1st – Chattanooga
Barger Academy of Fine Arts
4808 Brainerd Rd, 37411

October 2nd – Knoxville
Knoxville Arts & Culture Alliance
100 South Gay Street # 201, 37902

October 3rd – Kingsport
Northeast State
300 W. Market St, 37660

With the mission to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities, the Tennessee Arts Commission funds a variety of arts projects through several grant categories. In 2013, through the Tennessee Arts Commission grant programs, $6.3 million was invested across Tennessee in all 95 counties to over 600 organizations, over half of which were schools.

Contact James Wells at james.wells@tn.gov or (615) 532-5934 to register for a workshop. For accessibility requests, please contact William Coleman at william.coleman@tn.gov or (615) 532-9797.

High school students in Tennessee invited to compete in national poetry contest

October 17, 2013
Nashville, TN – The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation present Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, in partnership with the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at Austin Peay State University.  Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. During January and February, schools are invited to participate in classroom and school wide contests, advancing to a state competition on Saturday, March 15, 2014. The state champion will then advance to National Finals, to take place on April 28-30, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

Whitney Baxter from Providence Academy, in Johnson City was selected as the 2013 Tennessee Poetry Out Loud champion and represented that state in the 2013 National Finals in Washington, DC, last April. Some 365,000 students from more than 2,000 high schools throughout the country took part in the 2012-2013 Poetry Out Loud Program.

Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry – recitation and performance. The program builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among youth. Poetry Out Loud invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English classroom. Through Poetry Out Loud, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

The NEA and the Poetry Foundation have partnered to provide administrative grants to state arts agencies and awards, and will coordinate the National Finals next April. With this support, the Tennessee Arts Commission will target 40+ schools in Tennessee.

Additionally, the NEA and the Poetry Foundation will provide state arts agencies with free, standards-based curriculum materials for use by partnering schools. These materials include online poetry anthologies, a Teacher’s Guide with sample lesson plans to help instructors teach recitation and performance, and a Learning Recitation DVD. Program materials are available for download on the website www.poetryoutloud.org which offers additional resources.

How to get involved in Poetry Out Loud 

High school teachers who are interested in participating in Poetry Out Loud should know that the program takes one to three weeks of classroom time, and may be incorporated with existing poetry units. High schools that wish to be part of the official Poetry Out Loud program must contact the Tennessee Arts Commission to participate. Tennessee Arts Commission will determine which schools are eligible to take part in the official Poetry Out Loud program. Schools that are not in the official program may conduct their own contests using the online resources. Contact Nan Zierden, at nan.zierden@tn.gov (615)532-5934 or visit www.poetryoutloud.org for more information.

Poetry Out Loud Awards

Students who participate in the official Poetry Out Loud program may be eligible to compete in the state and National Finals in 2013-2014. Each state champion and their teacher will receive cash prizes and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete for the national championship. The state champion’s school will also receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up and his/her teacher will receive cash prizes, and $200 for the school library. Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends at the National Finals, included a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

For further information on Poetry Out Loud, visit www.poetryoutloud.org

An exhibit by African American Folk Sculptor, Hattie Duncan is open through September 19, 2014

August 4, 2014
Nashville –“Hattie Duncan: African American Folk Sculptor” opened July 31, 2014 at the Tennessee Arts Commission’s gallery and will remain through September 19, 2014. Duncan’s expressive sculpture offers a loving, humorous portrayal of her hometown community in Jackson, Tennessee.

The daughter of a sharecropper who “was always sketching, painting and doodling” in his spare time, Duncan notes that her father “was a folk artist, but we didn’t know that’s what it was called back then.”  Taking after her father, Duncan began to create sculpture in 1997.  She makes her own paper clay from shredded newspaper, white glue and water mixed up in a blender.  Using common household items, she builds the frames for her pieces out of wire hangers, plastic bottles and old stockings.  After molding the figures, she adds texture and detail by applying coffee grounds for hair, pine cones for hats, and broken egg shells for clothing.   Many of her pieces are portraits of actual people, but she never knows who they are going to end up being until she has already commenced molding.  “It starts to look like somebody,” she observes.  “I don’t know who it is until it’s finished.”

Duncan first shared her unique sculpture with the public at the University School of Jackson’s Bruins Arts Festival, where attendees raved about it.  She has since exhibited at the West Tennessee Regional Arts Center, the Bank of Jackson, and local festivals and art fairs.  She is featured in a “Creative License” segment, a television series on Tennessee artists, which aired for the first time on Nashville Public Television in July, 2014.

The Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery is located at 401 Charlotte Avenue in downtown Nashville and is open to the public Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Call 61  5-532-0169 for more information or visit tn.gov/arts.

Jackson resident, Patsy W. Camp to be the new Tennessee Arts Commission Chair
June 27, 2014
Nashville—Patsy White Camp of Jackson, Tennessee, will serve as the Tennessee Arts Commission Chair beginning July 1, 2014. The Commission members unanimously approved new leadership during the quarterly meeting held in Nashville on June 10, 2014. She will be joined in office by Vice-Chair, Stephanie Conner of Nashville and Secretary, Ann Smith of Johnson City.

Anne B. Pope, Tennessee Arts Commission Executive Director commented, “We are very excited to welcome Mrs. Camp as our incoming chair on July 1, 2014. She is a committed community and arts leader in Jackson and West Tennessee and has been a strong voice at the Commission for the past several years. We will benefit from her experience as a long-time arts advocate and champion.”

Camp was reappointed to the Tennessee Arts Commission effective July 1, 2014 by Governor Haslam, representing Congressional District 8, which includes Jackson and surrounding counties. Mrs. Camp was previously appointed to fill an unexpired term. She has served as FY14 Commission Secretary and, over the past two years, has served on the Strategic Plan Committee, the Governor’s Arts Awards Committee, the Allocations Committee and the Executive Committee.

“I was very honored to be reappointed by Governor Haslam to serve my community and state in this capacity. Now moving into this leadership position, I hope that I can contribute even more in helping move communities forward through the arts,” said Camp.

Among other committee positions and leadership roles, Camp has served on the Board of Tennesseans for the Arts (TFTA), has been President of both the Jackson Arts Council and the Jackson Service League, and has been on Board of Trustees for both Lambuth University and Episcopal Day School.

She received the Jackson Award for the Arts and was recently named a recipient of the Sterling Award by the Business and Professional Women and the Jackson Sun, naming her to be one of the 20 most influential women in West Tennessee. Additionally as an active member at her church, Camp has held leadership positions and participated in many church-related missions and charities.

The Tennessee Arts Commission is a state arts agency whose mission is to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities. The Tennessee Arts Commission is governed by a 15-member board who are appointed by the Governor for a five year term. The Commission meetings occur quarterly and are open to the public. More information about the Tennessee Arts Commission can be found at the website, tn.gov/arts.

Stephanie B. Conner of Nashville to be the new Tennessee Arts Commission Vice-Chair
June 30, 2014
Nashville—Stephanie B. Conner of Nashville, Tennessee, will serve as the Tennessee Arts Commission Vice-Chair beginning July 1, 2014. The Commission members unanimously approved new leadership during the quarterly meeting held in Nashville on June 10, 2014. She will be joined in office by Chair, Patsy Camp of Jackson and Secretary, Ann C. Smith of Johnson City.

“Mrs. Conner has a long history serving on the Tennessee Arts Commission,” says Anne B. Pope, Tennessee Arts Commission Executive Director. “Her commitment to the arts and strong leadership skills have been a tremendous asset to the Commission and the state. We are honored that she has accepted to serve as Vice Chair this year.”

Conner was appointed to the Tennessee Arts Commission by Governor Bill Haslam for a five-year term representing Congressional District 5 in 2012. She previously served on the Commission from FY 2002-2007 which included service as Commission Chair for FY05-06 and FY06-07. During FY14, Conner was chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and was a part of the Allocations Committee.

“I am looking forward to continuing the work of ensuring that all Tennesseans have access to and can participate in the arts, especially for our children,” said Conner. “The arts and culture in Tennessee are broad and diverse—we have much to be proud of.”

Prior to her work with the Commission, Conner served as Assistant to the Governor for Boards and Commissions, Assistant to the Governor for Policy, and executive director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission. She was also Board President of Tennesseans for the Arts (TFTA) and served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of South Arts. Currently, Conner serves on the Board of Directors of TFTA, as well as the Board of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film.

The Tennessee Arts Commission is a state arts agency whose mission is to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities. The Tennessee Arts Commission is governed by a 15-member board who are appointed by the Governor for five year terms. The Commission holds quarterly meetings that are open to the public. More information about the Tennessee Arts Commission can by found at the website, tn.gov/arts.

Ann Smith of Johnson City to be the new Commission Secretary
June 30, 2014
Nashville—Ann C. Smith of Johnson City, Tennessee, will serve as the Tennessee Arts Commission Secretary beginning July 1, 2014. The Commission members unanimously voted for the new leadership during the quarterly meeting held in Nashville on June 10, 2014. Smith will be joined in office by Chair, Patsy Camp of Jackson and Vice-Chair, Stephanie Conner of Nashville.

“We are so pleased about the selection of Mrs. Smith as the incoming secretary,” says Anne B. Pope, Tennessee Arts Commission Executive Director. “The arts in Tennessee are very fortunate to have Mrs. Smith’s experience as a long-time arts advocate and community leader.”

Smith was appointed to the Tennessee Arts Commission by Governor Bill Haslam for a five-year term representing Congressional District 1 in 2011. Previously, Smith served on the Tennessee Arts Commission from FY1998-2002 and was also a former Chair. This past year, Smith served on both the Allocations Committee and the Strategic Plan Committee for the Commission.

An avid believer in community involvement, Smith has held numerous leadership positions across East Tennessee. She has served on the Johnson City Area Arts Council and was a Trustee of the Johnson City Medical Center Foundation. In 2013, Smith was a recipient of the prestigious YWCA’s Tribute to Women Award.

In 1999, she was named Volunteer of the Year by the Mountain States Health Alliance and was also a member of the Tennessee State Museum Committee. In the political realm, Smith served as Interim Regional Representative for Former Gov. Don Sundquist and President of Washington Republican Women. Smith is currently on the National Republican Committee and the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women.

“Serving on the Tennessee Arts Commission board is very rewarding as I have personally witnessed how the arts can improve communities, schools and make us all better,” said Smith. “I am honored to accept this new leadership position.”

The Tennessee Arts Commission is a state arts agency whose mission is to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities. The Tennessee Arts Commission is governed by a 15-member board who are appointed by the Governor for a five year term. The Commission meetings occur quarterly and are open to the public. More information about the Tennessee Arts Commission can be found at the website, tn.gov/arts.

Strengthening Communities Through the Arts

May 6, 2014
NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Arts Commission is now accepting applications for Arts Build Communities (ABC) Grants. The ABC Grant program is designed to provide assistance for projects that increase access to the arts and achieve positive outcomes for the community at large.

“These investments will help build sustainable communities through the arts,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. “They open the door for community development as well as opportunities for artists, arts organizations and nonprofits to form alliances and partnerships in their communities.”

Ten designated agencies from across Tennessee (soon to be 14) distribute the grants on behalf of the Tennessee Arts Commission as well as bring value to the ABC program with their local knowledge and regional perspectives. Shannon Ford, Director of Community Arts Development for the Tennessee Arts Commission, explains, “Every application is reviewed by the agencies with integrity, fairness and impartiality. Each designated agency has a strong interest in funding projects that will improve their communities.”

With awards that range from $500 to $2000, the funds can be used for any type of project that will involve communities underserved by the arts, such as those limited by geography, ethnicity, economics or disability. “At the conclusion of funded activities, each grant recipient provides specific information about the impact of their work. The Tennessee Arts Commission will compile, analyze, and report the results of the program’s effect on communities across the state,” says Ford.

For more information about applying for a grant or upcoming grant workshops, please contact Director of Community Arts Development, Shannon Ford (shannon.ford@tn.gov) or go to the Arts Build Communities webpage on the Tennessee Arts Commission website at http://tn.gov/arts/community_arts_abc.htm. For a copy of the grant guidelines, go to http://tn.gov/arts/guidelines/fy15/guidelinesabcfy15.pdf

Tennessee Junior Wins the 2014 Poetry Out Loud National Championship
May 1, 2014
Nashville—Anita Norman, a junior at Arlington High School won first place in last night’s ninth annual National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Poetry Out Loud National Championship, edging out every other state champion to win the $20,000 grand prize and $500 for her school to purchase poetry books for its library. She will serve as the NEA’s Poetry Out Loud ambassador for the coming year.

The competition began with 365,000 participants across the country. Last night’s event opened with nine finalists, all state champions who recited two poems each before the field was narrowed to Norman, Natasha Vargas of New Jersey and Lake Wilburn of Ohio. After Norman’s  recitation of Hayden’s “Mourning Poem for the Queen of Sunday,” emcee Neda Ulaby, NPR Arts reporter, asked what Norman would remember most about her visit to the capitol. “This trumps everything,” she replied.

Norman worked hard to become the nation’s champion. She began competing in 2012 as a freshman. That year, Norman won the Tennessee State championship and made her first appearance at the national competition. In 2013 as a sophomore, Norman lost the state competition, coming in second. However, Norman plunged back in again this year and took home the Tennessee State Championship on March 15, 2014.

Norman has invested a great deal of herself into getting this far, but also knows she hasn’t done it alone. Norman commented after winning the state championship, “I am so blessed with fantastic parents and a wonderful teacher who works around the clock with me.” She was coached by her teacher, Anna Terry who is in her eleventh year of teaching at Arlington High School. Terry says she enjoys helping her students connect with the universal human experience through poetry.

The Tennessee Arts Commission is the state arts agency that partners with the NEA and Poetry Foundation to bring Poetry Out Loud to Tennessee. Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission commented, “It has been a privilege to watch Anita grow in her performance these past three years. She has such a remarkable talent, but we have also seen her dedication and determination that make her a true champion. We are so proud of her and of all the 8,000 students who competed in the competition across Tennessee.”

Norman recited poems by Robert Hayden, Stanley Kunitz and George Moses Horton. “I think there’s a huge difference between memorizing a poem and saying a poem because when you just read it, you connect with the words on a literal level. You may pick up on some of the undertones, but you get this appreciation of the poem when you read it,” said Norman, in an interview after the competition by the NEA’s audio producer, Josephine Reed. “When you start to memorize it, you internalize it. It becomes a part of you and you’re able to take in the words, but you’re also able to add a little bit of yourself to it.”

The other national finalists represented high schools from Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Texas, New Jersey, Washington State and West Virginia.

A partnership among the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the state arts agencies, Poetry Out Loud encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. Visit poetryoutloud.org to learn more about the competition structure and browse the anthology of poems.

The Tennessee Arts Commission is a state arts agency whose mission is to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities. More information can be found at tn.gov/arts.

Caption: National Poetry Out Loud Champion Anita Norman recites at the National Finals in Washington DC, April 30, 2014. Photo by James Kegley.

Baxwin’s Best by Chattanooga artist, Denice Bizot opens Thursday, April 3
April 8, 2014
Nashville
– The Tennessee Arts Commission is delighted to exhibit the work of Denice Bizot from Chattanooga. She has been a professional sculptor for 12 years. Born in New Orleans, Bizot graduated from Loyola University, earning a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 2001. Most recently her works have been collected by Catherine Zeta Jones, Volkswagon Chattanooga and West Point, as well as corporate collections in Amsterdam, Houston, Manhattan and New Orleans.

Creating treasures from discarded metals intrigues Bizot. She spends hours searching through junk and muddy slosh pits to hunt down interesting shapes—some suitable for assemblages, others for torching.

“Metal recycle centers have become my favorite haven. While massive machines are busy crushing cars, churning old washing machines into delightful forms, I’m assessing the potential of car hoods, drum lids, shovels and twisted sheets of steel to be carted back to studio to continue the transformation into sculpture.”

Every piece of metal is pierced using a hand-held plasma torch by Bizot without assistants. “I would like to thank my friend Dave, an art patron and business owner, for allowing me to prowl his recycle center to continue my passion for sculpting.” 

New Arts Specialty License Plate Available for Purchase

March 5, 2014
Nashville
—On Wednesday, March 5, 2014, the Legislative Arts Caucus, Tennesseans for the Arts and the Tennessee Arts Commission along with arts leaders from across the state celebrated that the new Arts specialty license plate has been produced, road tested and is now available at County Clerk offices in Tennessee.

“The specialty license plate program is critical to the arts in Tennessee,” said Senator Doug Overbey, Chairman of the Legislative Arts Caucus. “Last year, $4.5 million of the $6.3 million in grants that was invested in every region of the state came from funding generated by the sale of specialty license plates.”

The grants are distributed through the Tennessee Arts Commission, a state agency. In 2013, over 600 organizations received funding, over half of which were schools. In the past 3 years more than a quarter million school children had arts experiences thanks to the Arts Commission’s Student Ticket Subsidy Program.

“The new Arts plate is possible because of the tremendous time and energy that the members of Tennesseans for the Arts and the Legislative Arts Caucus have invested in the arts,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. “We are extremely proud of the partnership. Tennesseans for the Arts is a voluntary membership of significant community and arts leaders from across the state who are instrumental in helping the arts remain strong. The Legislative Arts Caucus is one of the oldest and strongest arts caucuses in the nation. Senator Overbey has been chair of the Arts Caucus since its inception. I would like to thank the Arts Caucus and Senator Overbey for his leadership.”

Bonnie Macdonald, incoming president for Tennesseans for the Arts talked about how an initial grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Art Builds Communities Program became the catalyst for the Kingsport Carousel project. The Carousel is forecasted to build economic development for Kingsport.

Senator Overbey added, “The arts are so important to Tennessee. They impact communities in so many positive ways including quality of life, economic development and tourism as well as providing a more balanced education for our children. The arts are often the glue that holds communities together and help preserve the traditions that define who we are as Tennesseans.”

Tennesseans can support and help fund the arts by choosing a specialty license plate, including the new Arts plate. Plates can be exchanged at any time as the fees will be prorated. The cost is $35 annually and the plates can be ordered at the County Clerk’s offices. People should call ahead to check on their local office’s availability. More information about Specialty License Plates can be found at http://www.tn.gov/revenue/vehicle/licenseplates/specialty.shtml.

Caption:LtoR: Leslie Haines, Arts license plate designer, Nashville; Rhea Condra, Chair of Tennessee Arts Commission, Gallatin; Liza Zenni, Outgoing President, Tennesseans for the Arts, Knoxville; Brian Salesky, Executive Director, Knoxville Opera; Representative Curtis Halford, Dyer; Senator Becky Duncan Massey, Knoxville; Incoming President, Tennesseans for the Arts, Bonnie Macdonald, Kingsport; Senator Doug Overbey, Maryville; Anne B. Pope, Executive Director, Tennessee Arts Commission, Nashville.

Noted Cookeville Writer Appointed to Tennessee Arts Commission

March 5, 2014
Nashville—When Leo McGee retired from Tennessee Tech University in 2007, he became a full-time Southern writer with a bucket list that included enhancing his award-winning Hydrangea Garden and visiting the venues of the Grand Slam Tennis Tournaments around the world.

Regular tennis players themselves, McGee and his wife have since been to the US and Australian Opens as well toured the tournament grounds of Wimbledon in London and Roland Garros in Paris. This past year, his Hydrangea garden won the 2013 Better Homes and Gardens National Award and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Country Garden Magazine.

With his bucket list near completion, McGee was excited to be chosen for the Tennessee Arts Commission. “I was truly honored when Governor Haslam appointed me to serve the citizens across the state of Tennessee in this significant capacity,” said McGee. “I look forward with great anticipation to being a productive board member, representing the 6th Congressional District.”

McGee is the author of more than 40 professional articles, 20 creative and opinion essays and has written or co-written five books. One of his creative essays, “Nothing Could Stop My Wife,” was published in Good Housekeeping magazine. Written about his adventures as a house-husband when his wife returned to school, it served as the basis of a television documentary which was produced by Lifetime Cable Network. McGee is also a long-time collector of art depicting African-Americans in the Southern cotton industry. His collection is intended to understand, acknowledge and pay tribute to his ancestors.

Rhea Condra, Chairman of the Arts Commission Board said, “With his extensive experience, Dr. McGee has so much to contribute to the Commission in its effort to help move communities forward through the arts in Tennessee.”

McGee joined the administration at Tennessee Tech in 1977 as assistant dean of Extended Services and associate professor of Education. During his 19-year tenure at the university, he has also served as assistant, associate and interim vice president for Academic Affairs. He holds master’s and doctorate degrees in education from Ohio State University, where he also served as assistant director and director of Student Teaching. McGee later became a department head in the College of Education at Tennessee State University.

His professional memberships before retiring included the American Higher Education Association, National Association of Continuing and Adult Education, and Phi Delta Kappa. He has also been named a fellow with the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management and with the University of Tennessee Institute for Leadership Effectiveness. McGee’s honors include the President’s Award at Philander Smith College, the Distinguished Scholar Award at Ohio State University and a Young Leader in Education Award with Phi Delta Kappa International. McGee is also a member of the Rotary Club of Cookeville. He and his wife, Gloria, Professor Emeritus at Tennessee Tech, have two grown daughters.

The mission of the Tennessee Arts Commission is that all Tennesseans have access to and participate in the arts. In 2013, the Commission made grants totaling $6.3 million to over 600 organizations in every region of the state, over half of which were schools.The Tennessee Arts Commission consists of 15 members who are appointed by the governor from among the citizens of the state who have demonstrated a commitment to the arts.

23 Tennessee High School students to Compete in State-Wide Poetry Contest
February 3, 2014
Nashville, TN
—23 Tennessee high school students from across the state will participate in the 2014 Tennessee Poetry Out Loud State contest. Students learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition as they master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. The contest will decide the state champion who will go on to National Finals that take place on April 28-30 in Washington, D.C.

The Tennessee Arts Commission will host the state contest on Saturday, March 15, 2014 from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at Austin Peay State University. This event is free and open to the public.

Poetry Out Loud is a National Recitation Contest presented by The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in partnership with the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at Austin Peay State University. The program seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry, recitation and performance building on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form.

The high schools are: Antioch High School; Arlington High School; Battle Ground Academy, Franklin; Baylor School; Bolton High School; Cedar Springs Homeschool; Clarksville High School; Cookeville High School; Cumberland County High School; East Hamilton High School; Elizabethton High School; Fairview High School; Franklin Road Academy, Nashville; Hutchison School; McEwen High School; McMinn County High School; Oakridge High School; Overton High School, Nashville; Pope John Paul II High School; Providence Academy, Johnson City; Ridgeway High School; St. Benedict @ Auburndale High School; Unicoi County High School.

Poetry Out Loud Awards

The state champion and his/her teacher will receive cash prizes and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete for the national championship. The first runner-up and his/her teacher will receive cash prizes and the school will receive a stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends at the National Finals, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

For more information on Poetry Out Loud in Tennessee, visit www.tn.gov/arts
For more information on the National Poetry Out Loud contest, visit www.poetryoutloud.org

Clorinda Chávez Galdós Bell: Cuzco School of Religious Art on show at the Tennessee Arts Commission gallery

January 10, 2014
Nashville
– The Tennessee Arts Commission is extremely proud to exhibit for the first time, Peruvian painter, Clorinda Bell. Her paintings exemplify the Cuzco School of Religious Art, a style of Peruvian painting that was introduced to Cuzco by Italian artist/Jesuit monk Bernardo Bitti in the 16th century. His depictions of Catholic iconography functioned as religious education for the indigenous population, who learned through intimate workshops. The most acclaimed Cuzco School painter of the 17th century was an Incan, Diego Quispe Tito. Bell is among modern practitioners of this traditional style. A native of Cuzco, she currently resides in Powell, Tennessee.

Bell’s relatives on both sides have carried on this style of painting for generations, and she grew up watching her father and brothers create wonderfully intricate communal canvases in the family workshop. Daring to take up the paint brush at age 11 to participate in what was traditionally a masculine art, Bell won over her brothers with her talent, becoming one of the first women to work in this genre of painting. Before moving to Tennessee with her American husband, Bell assisted her siblings in painting the family’s communal canvases.  Since moving here, her canvases are entirely her own. Members of the Chávez Galdós clan have exhibited in Peru, Chile, Washington D.C. and, now, Tennessee.

The Tennessee Arts Commission to discuss the future of the arts in Tennessee at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music
January 8, 2014
Nashville — The Stax Museum of American Soul Music will host the Tennessee Arts Commission on January 13th for the last of 4 strategic planning public meetings held around the state. An earlier meeting date of December 9th was canceled due to inclement weather. The meeting will take place from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. (CST) with networking and entertainment from 3:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. by students from the Stax Academy.

The meeting will feature a distinguished panel that includes Bob Loeb, President, Loeb Properties, Memphis; Gretchen Wollert McLennon, Program Director, Authentic Assets and Communications, Hyde Foundation, Memphis; Tim Sampson, Communications Director, Soulsville Foundation, Memphis; and our own Patsy Camp, TN Arts Commission Member, West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation Member and Jackson Arts Council Past President. The panel will be moderated by Ann Coulter, Principal, A. Coulter Consulting, Chattanooga.

The panel will discuss how the arts can move Tennessee communities forward and will specifically look at how the arts can improve economic development and contribute to the educational success of children.

The Stax museum is located at 926 E. McLemore Ave., Memphis. More information about the Tennessee Arts Commission can be found online at tn.com/arts.

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