About the Review Process

Once the application has been submitted

Annual Grants: Major Cultural Institution, Partnership Support, Small Rural Partnership Support, Small Urban Partnership Support, Arts Project Support, Rural Arts Project Support, Arts Education Community Learning, Arts Pathways for Youth Success, Arts Education Teacher Training, Arts360, Creative Placemaking, Rural Arts Facilities Fund, Arts Access, and Arts Build Communities grant applications are sent to Advisory Panel members. At Advisory Panel meetings, staff members briefly summarize each application, and panelists score based on standardized Commission review criteria (as published in each category guideline). Prior to final scoring, panelists may discuss the application.

Individual Artist Fellowship application packets are sent to out of state adjudicators. Packets include copies of all applications, work samples, and information on scoring. Staff will provide an orientation session for adjudicators to answer any questions about the process and funding policies. Adjudicators will return results to the Commission by a specified date with their recommendations and comments. As the major evaluation criterion for this category is artistic excellence, applicants are encouraged to send in their highest quality work samples as directed by the guidelines. All fellowship recommendations are presented to Commission members for final approval. All fellowship applicants will be notified of the results on, or around, June 1 via email.

Role of Out-of-State Adjudicators: The Commission contracts with out of state professionals with pertinent expertise to evaluate Major Cultural Institution and Individual Artist Fellowship grants applications.

Rolling Grants: Rolling Grants such as Arts Access Mini-Grant, Arts Education Mini-Grant, Arts Education Teacher Incentive, Special Opportunities, and Student Ticket Subsidy grants are reviewed and rated on a first-come, first served basis, according to evaluation criteria by Commission program staff. Following staff funding recommendations, the Executive Director or Associate Director for Grants approves the award.

Title VI certification review for Rolling Grant applicants:

  1. Individual artists and/or individuals do not submit a Title VI certification.
  2. K-12 public schools and public school teachers’ Title VI certification will be checked through the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE).  If the school district has not received certification through TDOE, Title VI training through the Arts Commission’s online system will be required.
  3. All other applicants, the Arts Commission’s Title VI Coordinator will review each submitted Title VI form and fill in a “Title VI Approval Date” located in each organization’s profile card.  If there is not a Title VI approval date in the organization profile, the organization has not submitted a Title VI for that year.

Appeals Process

An applicant has a right to appeal any decision that denies funding to the proposed program or project either in whole or in part. This appeal should be directed in writing to the Executive Director of the Commission.