NEA Awards FY2017 Grants to Tennessee

By Anne B. Pope, Executive Director –

NEA_Art_Works_logo-colorFor its first major national grant funding round of fiscal year 2017, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced that $245,000.00 will be awarded to nine nonprofit organizations and individuals across Tennessee for grants in the areas of Art Works, Art Works: Creativity Connects, Challenge America, and Creative Writing Fellowships. These grants cross all artistic disciplines and also support partnerships between the arts and non-arts sectors.

“The arts are for all of us, and by supporting these projects, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”

Awardees include:

International Storytelling Association (International Storytelling Center) – $30,000 Jonesborough, TN, Art Works – Folk & Traditional Arts

Jubilee Community Arts, Inc. (Laurel Theater) – $15,000 Knoxville, TN, Art Works – Folk & Traditional Arts

Knoxville Museum of Art – $10,000 Knoxville, TN, Challenge America

ArtsMemphis – $25,000 Memphis, TN, Art Works – Local Arts Agencies

Blues City Cultural Center – $10,000 Memphis, TN, Challenge America

Hattiloo Theatre – $40,000 Memphis, TN, Art Works: Creativity Connects

Opera Memphis, Inc. – $15,000 Memphis, TN, Art Works – Opera

Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County, Tennessee (On behalf of Metro Nashville Arts Commission) – $85,000 Nashville, TN, Art Works: Creativity Connects

Nashville Symphony Association (Nashville Symphony) – $15,000 Nashville, TN, Art Works – Music

View more details about each grant

Vanderbilt University receives $150,000 grant for NEA Research Labs project

In addition, on Monday, December 12, the NEA announced funding for four inaugural projects totaling $598,600 through the new NEA Research Labs. This program supports cross-sector research “labs” that investigate the intersection between the arts sector and non-arts sectors such as healthcare, education, business, and management.

Of the 44 applications received by the NEA, the four labs recommended for funding are: Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA; University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR; University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA; and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, & Public Policy at Vanderbilt University will partner with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago and with the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville to study the arts, creativity, cognition, and learning. Through the lab, researchers will conduct a nationally representative survey to test the relationship between arts-based creativity and broader types of creativity such as problem-solving, entrepreneurship, and social networking. Furthermore, researchers will conduct a mixed-methods study of Nashville artists to understand how their activities and proclivities intersect with other domains of creativity.

The Tennessee Arts Commission would like to congratulate the International Storytelling Center, Laurel Theater, Knoxville Museum of Art, ArtsMemphis, Blues City Cultural Center, Hattiloo Theatre, Opera Memphis, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Nashville Symphony, Vanderbilt University and the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville on winning these awards. The Commission would also like to thank the NEA for its continued support in moving communities forward through the arts in Tennessee.