Arts Education Mini-Grant

Important:
Funding for arts integration projects to improve instruction and increase student outcomes through arts integration.

Arts Education Mini-Grant

Funding for arts integration projects to improve instruction and increase student outcomes through arts integration.

The Arts Education Mini-Grant Application for Fiscal Year 2022 will open on September 1, 2021 for projects occurring between October 1, 2021 to June 15, 2022.

Arts integration is a method of teaching that supports learning both in and through the arts. Teachers of non-arts subjects work alongside arts specialists and teaching artists to create collaborative lesson plans that infuse creativity into learning. The curriculum standards and objectives of arts and non-arts subjects are connected seamlessly to strengthen understanding in multiple content areas.

Arts Education Mini-Grants (AE-MG) provide funds to meet one of the following objectives and strategies:

  1. Leverage arts and cultural assets to increase access and improve the quality of arts learning for all Tennessee children and youth.
  2. Prepare students for success in school, career and life through the arts.

Eligible activities include:

  • Hands-on training opportunities in arts integration techniques for arts specialists, classroom teachers, teaching artists, and/or education staff of arts nonprofit organizations.
  • Arts-integrated classroom residencies in partnership with a professional teaching artist or arts nonprofit organization

Applicants must be a public PK-12 school or a private PK-12 school with 501(c)3 status or a nonprofit organization.

All applications must be submitted 30 days prior to the project start date.


Guidelines

Description

This grant category provides funds ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 for projects that support one of the following Arts Education objectives and strategies:

Objective 1: Leverage arts and cultural assets to increase access and improve the quality of arts learning for all Tennessee children and youth.

  • Strategy a: Support arts specialists and teaching artists as integral to arts learning through professional development and resources.

Projects meeting this objective and strategy should consist of training opportunities for arts specialists, classroom teachers, teaching artists, and/or education staff of nonprofit organizations. Training must be in-depth, hands-on, and engage participants in specific strategies to integrate the arts into the core curriculum. Training should result in the development of lesson plans that infuse creativity into learning.

Applicants will be encouraged to submit lesson plans and report on project outcomes during the grant closeout process.

Funds under Objective 1 may be used to support contracted fees (such as a teaching artist to facilitate training and/or contracted fees for substitute time for teacher participation), travel, and registration fees.  The Tennessee Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster is an online, searchable database that can help you find qualified teaching artists and arts organizations to design and lead training.

Objective 2: Prepare students for success in school, career, and life through the arts.

  • Strategy a: Advance arts education and arts integration initiatives that develop 21st-century learning and literacy skills.

Projects meeting this objective and strategy should consist of arts integration residencies that partner a classroom teacher with a visiting teaching artist to connect curriculum standards in one arts area with those of one non-arts subject to strengthen understanding in both content areas. Residencies must consist of a minimum of five 45-60 minute sessions per class, which may take place on consecutive days or take place weekly. Projects may serve multiple classrooms or grade levels, but each classroom must receive a sequential experience of at least five sessions. (For example, a residency might partner a dance teaching artist with four third grade classrooms to explore science topics, meeting weekly with each class for six weeks.)

Applicants will be encouraged to submit lesson plans and report on project outcomes during the grant closeout process.

Funds under Objective 2 may be used to support contracted fees, travel fees for professional artists, and consumable supplies.

The earliest start day for a project is October 1, 2021. The latest end date for a project is June 15, 2022. The program is open to the end of Fiscal Year 2022 or until all funds are expended.

Grant recipients must be prepared to handle expenditures prior to reimbursement since grant funds will be paid as reimbursements after the project. Grantees must submit all required close-out paperwork, including invoices and a list of expenditures showing where the funds were used. All grants must be closed by or before June 15, 2022. Failure to submit all of the close-out requirements may jeopardize future funding.

The Tennessee Arts Commission reserves the right to deny any application if the proposed activity’s purpose is outside of the scope or spirit of this grant program.                                                                                             

Eligibility

Funds are open to eligible applicants in all 95 Tennessee counties. The Tennessee Arts Commission encourages applications from any public school or arts nonprofit organization across the state. Eligible organizations in distressed counties, at-risk counties, rural counties, and/or TADI counties are encouraged to apply. All applicants should contact the Director of Arts Education at alicia.fuss@tn.gov or 615-253-8914 prior to submitting an application to verify eligibility and availability of funds. Applicants must be one of the following:

  • Public PK-12 schools
  • Private PK-12 schools with nonprofit 501(c)3 status
  • Nonprofit organizations

Applicants may not apply for funds for the same project in another Commission grant category in the same fiscal year.

The Tennessee Arts Commission reserves the right to deny any application if the proposed activity is outside of the scope or spirit of the agency’s mission, purpose, or this grant program.

Debarment and Suspension: Grantees are required to sign contracts certifying to the best of its knowledge and belief, that it, its current and future principals, its current and future subcontractors and their principals are not presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from covered transactions by any federal or state department or agency.

DUNS Number: All applicants are required to have a DUNS number. Information and application instructions are available here.

Affirmative Duty to Report Major Organizational Change

Any grantee shall promptly notify the State in writing of any significant changes in the organization’s structure, leadership or financial circumstances that could affect services provided under the grant contract resulting from this application.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Accessibility

All Tennessee Arts Commission sponsored programs, services, and facilities are fully accessible to all Tennessee artists and citizens. Artists representing Tennessee’s diverse artistic and cultural heritage are urged to apply and participate in programs and activities. No person on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, religion or sex shall be excluded from participation in, or be denied benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination of services, programs and employment provided by the Commission and its contracting agencies. If an individual believes they have been subjected to discrimination, they should contact the Commission’s Director of Arts Access, Kim Johnson, (615) 532-9797.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Program Restrictions
  • Organizations applying for or awarded any other Tennessee Arts Commission Arts Education grant are allowed to apply for an Arts Education Mini-Grant in the same fiscal year.
  • Organizations may not apply for more than one Arts Education Mini-Grant in the same fiscal year.
  • AE Mini-Grants may not be used to support projects funded by another Tennessee Arts Commission grant category in the same fiscal year.
  • AE Mini-Grants may not be used to support guest artists to direct, design, choreograph or conduct productions or performances or mount exhibitions.
  • AE Mini-Grants may not be used for projects in which the artist is primarily performing, demonstrating or exhibiting work with minimal hands-on instruction and/or impact.
Evaluation Criteria

Arts Education Mini-Grant applications will be reviewed by the following criteria.

  • The application should be well planned and presented.
  • The Funding Description should be clear and concise.
  • The Narrative should have a clear educational focus that:
    • Clearly describes the goals of the project and how they align with one or more of the objectives highlighted in the guidelines.
    • Clearly outlines what the applicant intends to do (how, when, where, for whom, and with whom)
    • Clearly explains how you will measure and monitor progress toward achieving the goals.
  • The Required Documents (see below) are attached to the Application and Organization profile (if applicable).  These documents are a primary means of demonstrating the quality of the arts integration project.
Matching Requirements
This grant does not require a cash match.
Review Process

Arts Education Mini-Grant applications are reviewed in-house by Commission staff and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are expended to applicants submitting complete and eligible application materials. Funding notification will take place via email within 30 days of the application submission.

The TN Arts Commission reserves the right to deny or withhold, in whole or in part, public funds for projects, programs, or other activities deemed inappropriate by the Commission.

Payment & Close-Out Requirements
Grantees must submit receipts and all required close-out paperwork no later than 30 days after the project or by June 15, 2022, whichever comes first. Learn more about how to manage a grant here.
Deadline & How to Apply
  1. All applicants contact the Director of Arts Education to verify eligibility at alicia.fuss@tn.gov or 615-253-8914.
  2. Register to use the Tennessee Arts Commission Online Grants System.
  3. Log in to the TN Arts Online Grants System.
  4. Use the “Organizations” link to the left in your Online Grants System portal to ensure that the record is complete and accurate. This information is as important as the application itself, and incomplete or erroneous data will impact your chances for funding. To open the record for completing/editing, click the “Edit” button at the top of the Organizations screen.
  5. Use the “People” link to ensure that the record is complete and accurate. This information will also be used in the review of the application. To open the record for editing, click the edit button at the top of the screen.
  6. When both your “Organization” and “People” profiles are complete and accurate, select the “Apply for Grants” tab again and click the “Apply for a Rolling Grant” link listed on the page.
  7. Complete all of the application fields.
  8. Create and upload required attachments.
  9. Submit no later than thirty (30) days prior to the beginning date of your project.

NOTE: The forms in this portal do not auto-save. Always click the “Save” button before navigating away from the form you are editing to save your work.

Beware that clicking the back navigation button on your web browser will exit you from the system and you will lose your work.

Association or Connection to Multiple Organizations: If you are associated with more than one organization, the organization that you were originally associated with will pre-populate in the organization name field on any newly opened application. To change to another associated organization, simply delete the pre-populated name and type in the correct organization.

Required Documents
Upload the following documents in the Required Documents section of your Rolling Grant Application in the Online Grants System. Please note that you will NOT be prompted to upload all items, but these may be required based on your application type:

  1. Key Staff Bios: Short bios (2-3 sentences) of the primary administrative and artistic personnel, including contracted artists, who will be involved in the grant activity.
  2. Contracted Personnel Resume(s): Upload resumes for all contracted personnel to be paid with grant funds including contracted facilitators and/or professional artists.  If contracting with an organization, a link to the organization’s website may be provided in lieu of a resume.
  3. Schedule: Include a detailed schedule of all project dates and activities related to the project.
  4. Lesson Plan or Content Outline
    • (Objective 1 Projects Only): Upload an outline providing an overview of how the training time will be used, including topics covered, hands-on approach, and methods of evaluation.
    • (Objective 2 Projects Only): Upload a sample lesson plan outlining steps of one lesson providing hands-on arts-integrated learning, including state curriculum standards, methods of assessment, and materials.
  5. Intent to Partner Letter (nonprofit applicants only): If the applicant is a nonprofit organization, a letter from the partner school must be uploaded. This letter should describe the school’s interest in the project and expected benefits for students.
  6. Corporation Annual Report: Only nonprofit organizations with 501(c)3 status will be prompted to upload this document (as required to be filed annually with the Secretary of State’s Office). In lieu of the report, you may also submit a copy of the email verification issued by the Secretary of State’s office or a copy of the online verification sheet maintained by the Secretary of State’s Office found here. Entities of government do NOT submit.
  7. List of Board of Directors. Only nonprofit organizations with 501(c)3 status will be prompted to upload this document. Note that Commission staff may request that grantees provide additional information about the board including but not limited to contact information and occupation during the grant period. The board list (at the time of application) must include only the following:
    • Full Name
    • Email address
    • Number of years on the board
    • Length of term(s)

If applicable, create and upload the following document in the Documents section of your Rolling Grant Application in the Online Grants System. Please note that you will NOT be prompted to upload Optional Support Material but are welcome to do so.

  1. Optional Support Material: Other support materials (additional lesson plans, photos, videos and brochures) directly related to the application proposal.  Please note that during closeout you will be asked to upload photo/video documentation of your project as well as lesson plans for possible including in the Lesson Plan Database.

If applicable, create and upload the following document(s) in the Organization Profile of your portal in the Online Grants System.

  1. Bylaws: Only nonprofit organizations with 501(c)3 status will be prompted to upload this document. Upload the most recent copy of the Bylaws of the organization in the Organization Profile. (If you have filled out your organization profile, copies of your By-Laws should automatically upload in the application under “Organization Documents.”)
  2. W-9 Form (if this application is the organization’s first application submittal)
  3. FY22 Title VI training and certification form. Organizations that receive grant funding from the TN Arts Commission must complete Title VI training certification in the Online Grants System before payment will be distributed. If your agency has already completed the training in the TN Arts Commission’s online grant system for the FY22 fiscal year, it is not necessary to repeat the training. Failure to complete this training may result in the cancellation of your grant.  Public schools are typically covered by training requirements through the Department of Education, but if a school is not in compliance with current requirements they will be asked to complete the Title VI training and certification form.

Direct questions to:

Alicia Fuss
Director of Arts Education
alicia.fuss@tn.gov
615-253-8914