Arts Education Teacher Incentive

Support to individuals for intensive arts learning professional development.

The Teacher Incentive Grant benefits their work or career development in arts education and is available to full-time educators who reside in Tennessee. All applications must be submitted 30 days prior to the project start date.

Teacher Incentive Grant Guidelines Fiscal Year 2020
Application Deadline: 30 days prior to the beginning date of the project activity

This grant category provides funds ranging from $100-$1,000 to help full-time educators, including arts specialists, general classroom teachers, principals, roster teaching artists, and arts education administrators who work directly in or with K-12 schools to take advantage of unique opportunities that significantly will benefit their work or career development in arts education and arts integration. Arts integration involves integrating standards-based performing, visual, and literary arts into non-arts subjects such as math, science, and reading.

The earliest start date for a project is July 1, 2019. The latest end date for a project is June 15, 2020. This program is open throughout Fiscal Year 2020 OR until all funds are expended.

Funds may be used for:

  • Stipends: Applicants may request a $100 stipend for each full day of training (7 or more hours) and $50 for each half day (less than 7 hours).
  • Registration fees for the conference.
  • Travel for the individual applicant only; although, attendees are encouraged to carpool. Mileage reimbursement is $.47/mile and subject to change per state regulations.
  • Hotel: Applicant may request funds at the hotel rate indicated by the GSA here.

All Teacher Incentive grantees must be prepared to handle all necessary expenditures up front. Commission funds will be paid as reimbursement to the grantees upon submission and approval of reports and invoices. No Commission funds are available prior to the Teacher Incentive activity.


Applicants must contact Ann Brown, Director of Arts Education, at or 615-532-5939 before making application.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and legal residents of Tennessee at the time of application with a permanent Tennessee mailing address. Evidence of residency includes a valid Tennessee voter registration card or a State of Tennessee driver’s license.

The Tennessee Arts Commission encourages applications from any individual across the state. Eligible applicants living in distressed counties (Lake, Lauderdale, Hardeman, McNairy, Perry, Jackson, Clay, Grundy, Wayne, Bledsoe, Fentress, Morgan, Scott, Hancock and Cocke), at-risk counties, rural counties, and/or TADI counties are encouraged to apply.

Those not eligible to apply include: organizations; full-time State of Tennessee employees; members of the Commission, its staff, and members of their families; full-time registered students working toward a degree or diploma in an educational institution; teaching assistants; and artists not on the Tennessee Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster.

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.

  • Only one Teacher Incentive grant will be awarded to an individual in a single fiscal year. A maximum of five may be awarded to individuals employed at any given school or organization in any grant cycle.
  • Applicants must attend the entire opportunity for which they are applying and provide proof of attendance. Failure to attend the entire opportunity and/or provide proof of attendance for any reason will disqualify the application and nullify the grant contract.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit realistic budget projections in their application. Before applying, price airlines tickets and Google Map distance between home and the event to estimate mileage. Call the hotel to obtain the price per night with taxes. Providing realistic expenses will save time and paperwork during the close-out process and expedite payment.
  • All reservations must be made in the name of the applicant.
  • Expenses paid for by credit card or check must be in the name of the applicant to receive funding. Receipts will not be honored if they are in a spouse’s name or someone other than the applicant.
  • For applicants who are sharing travel and rooming expenses, grant funds will be awarded to the applicant named on the receipt. It is the responsibility of the applicant, NOT the Arts Commission, to sort out shared expenses.
  • Applicants who are attending the same opportunity and sharing transportation and/or rooming costs with another applicant may not “double-dip” and ask for reimbursement of expenses that were not incurred. For example, two applicants sharing a room may not both claim the total cost of the room. This action will disqualify the applications of all individuals involved and nullify all grant contracts.

Examples of activities NOT supported by Teacher Incentive Grants:

  • Strictly commercial activities (i.e. projects that are primarily revenue-producing and benefit the applicant financially). Applicants may not request funds for opportunities in which they are being compensated in any way for presenting, including waived registration fees.
  • Fees for medical, legal, accounting, or insurance.
  • Applicant’s own artistic or consultant fees.
  • Release time or sabbatical from work.
  • Purchase of equipment, supplies, and/or food.
  • Projects that are currently or could potentially be funded under another TAC Arts Education category.
  • Expenses involved in establishing, maintaining, or administering an organization or company.
  • Membership dues.
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 he or she has been subjected to discrimination, he/she should contact the Commission’s Director of Arts Access, Kim Johnson, at (615) 532-9797.
Evaluation Criteria
Arts Education Teacher Incentive applications will be reviewed by the following criteria to be considered for support. Competitive applications may demonstrate merit by showing the following:

  • The application should be well planned and presented.
  • Your funding request should be clear and concise.
  • The narrative should define the goals and objectives of the project. What do you wish to accomplish? What value will be added to you or to your organization and community? Please be specific. The narrative portion of the grant application is extremely important in the determination if, and how much, an award will be.
    • What are your goals for this project and how will you monitor progress toward achieving them?
    • What would you like to happen as a result of this project, and how is your project designed to achieve this result?
    • The application narrative should describe how the project activity will add value to your work as an educator and how that translates to their community. Your funding request should be clear and concise. What do you plan to do (how, when, where, for whom, and who benefits)?
    • The application narrative should promote excellence in the arts education and/or arts integration and professional development for the individual.
    • The application narrative should demonstrate how the project will deepen the educator’s knowledge in arts education and/or arts integration.The narrative portion of the grant application is extremely important in the determination of if, and how much, a potential award will be. Competitive application narratives will address as many of the following as possible.
  • The appropriate documentation was attached to the application.

Funding is based on the narrative case for funding, the accuracy of the application, and the availability of funds, which are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Funds are awarded on a reimbursement basis to individual applicants. Organizations, schools or any other groups may NOT apply. Reimbursement is made after proof of attendance and receipts documenting expenses are provided. **All receipts must be in the name of the applicant individual.** Receipts in the name of spouses or roommates will NOT be accepted. Expenses that were not incurred directly by the applicant (example: school pays for registration fee) may not be claimed.Training must be a minimum of TWO consecutive full days to be eligible for funding.

  • AE-TI grantees who receive an award of $600 or over will be sent a 1099 form for IRS tax purposes.
  • If approved, funds are paid to the applicant on a reimbursement basis. Payment will be made only after the applicant has completed the project and has submitted:
    • Proof of attendance such as a certificate or letter from a conference administrator verifying the applicant attended the entire opportunity.
    • Receipts in the applicant’s name that verify expenditures. Hotel or travel expenditures in a spouse’s name or roommates name will not be accepted.
    • An invoice addressed to the TN Arts Commission for the full amount noted in the grant award email.
  • Applicants have 30 days from the end of the professional development opportunity to submit receipts and all required close-out paperwork.
Matching Requirements
This grant does not require a cash match.
Review Process
Arts Education Teacher Incentive applications are reviewed in-house by Commission members and staff. Funding notification will take place via email.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, 2020, whichever comes first.
Deadline & How to Apply
  1. All applicants contact the Director of Arts Education to verify eligibility at or 615-532-5939.
  2. Register to use the Online Grants System as an individual.
  3. Log in to the Online Grants System.
  4. 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.
  5. When your “People” profile is complete and accurate, select the “Apply for Grants” tab again and click the “Apply for a Rolling Grant” link listed on the page.
  6. Complete all of the application fields.
  7. Create and upload required attachments.
  8. Submit no later than 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.

Required Documents
You will be prompted to create and upload the following documents in the Required Documents section of your Rolling Grant Application in the Online Grants System.

  1. Applicant Resume: Showing current employer and/or Teaching Artist Roster status
  2. Proof of TN Residency: Copy of TN Driver’s License or Voter Registration Card
  3. Information on Conference or Training: Brochure or information from website showing conference overview, dates, and presenters

If applicable, create and upload the following document in the Documents section (below the Required 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 (artist resumes, reviews, clippings, photos, and brochures) directly related to the application proposal.