Advisory Panel Review Meetings

Most grant categories are reviewed by advisory panels that are convened every March and April, by artistic discipline, service area or category. The following grant categories are reviewed by panel: Major Cultural Institution, Cultural Education Partnership, Partnership Support, Small Rural Partnerships Support, Small Urban Partnership Support, Arts Project Support, Rural Arts Project Support, Arts Education Community Learning, Funds for At-Risk Youth, Arts Education Teacher Training, Creative Placemaking, Arts360, and Arts Access.

Panel Meetings:

All advisory panel meetings typically are held at the Tennessee Arts Commission (unless notified otherwise) at 401 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Nashville TN 37243. The FY22 Annual Grant panel meetings will be held virtually by conference line only in March-April 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Applicants are notified of the date and approximate time of their application review. It is strongly encouraged, but not mandatory, for a representative of the organization to be present at the time of review. For your convenience, a telephone dial-in attendance option for Advisory Panel Meetings is available. If you choose the dial-in option:
    •  To connect, please dial 888-778-2006. You may dial in, on the appropriate day, approximately 5 minutes prior to the start time listed for your panel. Approximate review time for each application will be sent to the contact person listed on each application. The Commission makes every effort to maintain this schedule, but please dial in early in case we are ahead of schedule.
    • Please mute your phone after being connected to the conference; no need to announce yourself to the group.
    • You may unmute at the time of your grant’s review if prompted for a question and hang-up when finished.
  • Applicants may not make a presentation or pass out additional information at the Advisory Panel meeting but are allowed to respond if a panelist questions them.
  • Panelists and adjudicators are asked to assign ratings for each evaluation criteria. They may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the application and give constructive comments.

Apart from running the panel meeting and keeping the discussions consistent with review criteria, Commission staff members do not take an active role in the review process and do not score applications.

Panelists are instructed on how to review and score or rate each application based on evaluation criteria within the online system. Staff will provide an orientation session for panelists to answer any questions about the process and funding policies. Panelists who have a declared a conflict of interest with an application must remove themselves from the discussion and will not be allowed to score that application.

Funding recommendations are based on the final ratings and rankings of all applications and available funds.

Applications rarely receive total funding requests in this competitive process, and those with the lowest rankings may receive no funding. All funding recommendations are presented to the Commission members for final approval.

Advisory Panel Composition and Charge

Advisory panels are comprised of citizens from across Tennessee. Panelists provide expert guidance so that the Commission can make informed decisions in awarding grants and technical assistance recommendations to applicants. Panelists do not allocate dollar amounts in association with a specific grant application, but rather assign a numerical rating to each of the published evaluation criteria based on the evidence found within every grant application they are assigned to review. They may also advise the Commission and staff on matters of policy.

Panelists serve on panels that review applications representing specific artistic disciplines or grant categories. The composition of each panel ideally represents the cultural and geographic diversity of Tennessee. A panel may have representative expertise in organizational management, program creation and implementation, financial management, education, as well as other business and community development acumen. In the event of unexpected absences, staff may appoint substitute evaluators.

Panelist Nomination and Term of Service

Nominations (including self-nominations) may be made by any interested individual in Tennessee and are accepted year-round.  Please submit the following information on the Panel Nomination Form:

1. The nominee’s name and contact information
2. A statement describing how the individual would make a valuable panel member and of the nominee’s qualifications pertaining to which panel they might best serve on
3. A copy of the nominee’s résumé

The proposed nominees are reviewed for selection by the Commission staff. Nomination does not guarantee selection.

Panelists may serve for up to three consecutive two-year terms on any specific panel. Panelists may serve on different panel after their term expires.

Click here for Hints for Panelists