Funds for At-Risk Youth

Important:
Funding to support arts-based programs preparing students in grades PK-12 for success in school, career and life.

Funds for At-Risk Youth Fiscal Year 2021 Guidelines

Funds for At-Risk Youth (FAY) grants provide funds for projects meeting the following objective and one or more strategies:

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

  • Strategy 1: Advance arts education and arts integration initiatives that develop 21st century learning and literacy skills.
  • Strategy 2: Nurture initiatives that build skills to prepare students for jobs in the creative sector.
  • Strategy 3: Encourage positive youth development through the arts.
Description

The category provides funds ranging from $1,000 to $9,000 to support out-of-school time, arts-based programs designed for children in grades PK-12 who are considered at-risk. Eligible projects must provide hands-on, experiential arts learning activities. Professional artists must be integral to the project and provide primary instruction in one or more of the following artistic disciplines: performing, visual, literary, and/or folk arts. Applicants must provide verification that the majority (51% or more) of participating students are considered at-risk.

Projects using Strategy 1 are encouraged to:

  • demonstrate a commitment to the artistic advancement of skills and knowledge for students.
  • link content to arts and non-arts (if applicable) state and/or national curriculum standards and explain how the standards will be incorporated as part of instruction.
  • explain how standards relate to the project outcomes being evaluated.

Do not simply list the standards. To view the state curriculum standards, visit the TN Department of Education’s website.

Projects using Strategy 2 are encouraged to:

  • offer work-based learning opportunities to shadow professionals in the creative sector.
  • develop creative sector work readiness knowledge, attitudes, and skills in students.
  • incorporate portfolios for students to demonstrate skills development.

For more information on work-based learning, visit the Tennessee Department of Education’s website on Career & Technical Education.

Projects using Strategy 3 are encouraged to:

  • create a safe and affirming environment conducive to positive youth development through the arts.
  • foster relationship-building and social skill development through small-group interaction, collaboration with professional and student artists, and community engagement.
  • promote student ownership by involving participants in planning, leadership roles, and developing student voice.

For more information on arts-based positive youth development, visit the Creative Youth Development National Partnership’s website.

A project may not begin until July 1, 2020 and must conclude by June 15, 2021.

Eligibility
First-time applicants should contact the Arts Education Special Projects Coordinator at meredith.callis@tn.gov or 615-532-5934 prior to submitting an application to verify eligibility.

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

Applicants must be one of the following:

  • nonprofit organizations or government agencies with a primary mission to serve youth
  • libraries
  • nonprofit arts organizations (See Glossary to define arts organizations)
  • PK-12 schools or school systems (public or schools with nonprofit 501(c)3 status)

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.  DUNS information and application instructions can be found 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 he or she has been subjected to discrimination, he/she should contact the Commission’s Director of Arts Access, Kim Johnson, (615) 532-9797.

Appropriate Funding

Requested funds must be listed under one or two expense categories on the budget page for one or two of the following:

  • Professional contracted artist fees
  • In-state travel and/or lodging for artists
  • Space rental (for locations in which the applicant must pay to use and is not currently renting)
  • Marketing
  • Consumable supplies related to the project

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

Inappropriate Activities
  • Projects in which the artist is to serve as the arts teacher in the absence of any ongoing arts education programs
  • Permanent staff of an organization
  • Incentives for participation
  • Cash awards
  • Performances, demonstrations, or exhibits with only minimal impact and limited hands-on participation
  • Field trips
  • Competitions and/or tours in which students are presenting, performing, and/or exhibiting
  • Out-of-state travel
  • Individual private lesson instruction
  • Payment for apprentices or interns
  • Capital outlay for permanent or non-consumable materials or equipment purchases (such as musical instruments, books, cameras, easels, etc.)
  • Planned fundraising activities
  • After-school clubs
  • Scholarships or competitions
  • Food
  • Grant writing fees
  • Non-classical art forms including, but not limited to culinary arts, martial arts, healing arts, exercise programs, acrobatics or gymnastics (exceptions exist – contact the Commission for details)
  • Payments to an employee or official of the State of Tennessee (exceptions exist – contact the Commission for details)
  • Guest artists to exhibit, direct, choreograph, or conduct productions or performances
Matching Funds & In-Kind Contributions

Funds for At-Risk Youth grants do not require a dollar for dollar match; however, applicants are encouraged to match the grant as much as possible. In-kind contributions cannot be used for cash match purposes but may strengthen the application. In the space provided for in-kind contributions, show the monetary value of services and supplies donated to the program free of charge. FAY grant funds cannot be used to support full-time employee salaries; but the percentage of the employee’s salary devoted to the FAY project/program may be used as cash match.

Program Requirements

Application must:

  • have a single project focus. Organizations with expansive arts education programs should narrow their focus to one project.
  • align with with one or more of the three strategies listed in these guidelines. The application narrative should include an indication which strategy or strategies align with the project.
  • have a clear beneficial educational focus which demonstrates thorough planning and implementation.
  • include an instructional component that clearly defines the goals and objectives of the project, provides learners with historical and/or social context, and demonstrates and/or reinforces the skill sets needed for the artistic medium being used. The instructional component details the content of the project – how subject matter will be taught and reinforced, the goals of the project, hands-on activities, and any problem-solving or critical thinking components. A sample lesson plan or content outline from one class session must be submitted in the Documents section of the application.
  • include an evaluation component that measures the planning, implementation, and successes of the program and addresses plans for improvements or expansion of future projects. Evaluations should effectively measure the goals and objectives (outcomes) of the project and reflect whether or not those outcomes were sufficiently met.
  • involve at least one supplemental activity to share with the broader community, demonstrate learning, or deepen instruction such as:
    • “End-of-project” sharing event, such as a performance, exhibition, reading, or presentation that demonstrates what the students learned for parents, school personnel, and the community.
    • Participatory family night that involves adults and students in joint hands-on arts activities as they relate to the project.
    • Related arts field trip to a museum gallery, concert, or performance for the participants which includes a guided lesson. (NOTE: Grant funds may not be used to pay for field trips but admission costs and transportation can be used as part of the applicant’s match.)
Defining At Risk

The FAY program adheres to the U.S. Department of Education’s definition of youth at-risk: “any primary or secondary grade student who is at risk as a result of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, recent migration, disability, ELL (English Language Learners), juvenile delinquency, illiteracy, extreme poverty, or dropping out of school.” Additionally, children encountering Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) who are are at an increased risk of negative health outcomes also are considered youth at-risk. For more information on Adverse Childhood Experiences visit the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth website. To be eligible for funding, proposed projects must be tailored to serve one or more of these groups considered at-risk.

Verification of At-Risk Status

Organizations applying for a FAY grant must submit a letter explaining the indicators for the majority (51% or more) of the students participating are considered at-risk based on the U.S. Department of Education’s at-risk definition or due to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) put forth on the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth website. Names of students should not be provided.

Follow these instructions to provide verification:

  • Applicants that are Title I schools or organizations partnering with Title I schools: Submit documentation from an appropriate school official authenticating that the majority (51% or more) of participating students attend a Title I school and qualify for free/reduced lunch status.
  • Applicants partnering with a non-Title 1 school: Submit a letter from a school guidance counselor, principal, or other appropriate school official who will be involved in selecting participants. The letter should detail the selection criteria and process used to verify that the majority (51% or more) of participants are considered at-risk based on one or more of the indicators established in these grant guidelines.
  • Applicants not partnering with a school and by mission primarily serve youth at-risk: Submit a brief letter (maximum one page) from the executive director of the organization which includes the organization’s mission and lists the criteria and process used in selecting students for participation in this project.
Evaluation Criteria

Advisory panels reviewing grant applications for this program use the following evaluation criteria citing evidence that the:

  • proposed project demonstrates artistic, cultural and/or educational value to the community being served (10 points)
  • proposed project advances the organization’s mission to the community being served (10 points)
  • organization understands and is responsive to the diverse interests and needs of the community it serves (10 points)
  • proposed project supports the work of artists through payment of fees, services or appropriate benefits (10 points)
  • organization understands and acts as an advocate for the public value of the arts in the community (10 points)
  • planning procedures are comprehensive, inclusive and communicated (10 points)
  • organization understands principles of documentation and evaluation and results are used to guide future planning and programming (10 points)
  • organization understands and demonstrates the value of public and private partnerships (5 points)
  • organization demonstrates financial stability and a broad base of financial support (5 points)
  • organization’s ability to carry out proposed project based on history of Commission funding (10 points)
  • the organization’s application is well planned, addresses all questions, and is correct and
  • complete in all information provided (10 points)
Deadline & How to Apply
  1. For new applicants, contact the Director of Arts Education to verify eligibility at meredith.callis@tn.gov or 615-532-5939.
  2. Register in the Online Grants System (a link of the Online Grants System may be found here) to use the Online Grants System. You are strongly advised to register well in advance to the application deadline. Anyone registering close to the deadline date can expect delays in the processing of their grant application.
  3. Log in to the Online Grants System to complete your “Organization” profile and begin an application.
  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 an Annual Grant” link listed on the page.
  7. Complete all of the application fields.
  8. Create and upload required attachments.
  9. Submit by Tuesday, January 21, 2020, by 11:59 p.m. (CST).

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

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

  1. Proof of Arts Advocacy: Arts advocacy is communicating to elected officials your views on the importance of the arts and how public support of the arts can and has impacted your community. Examples of arts advocacy proof may include membership in Tennesseans for the Arts, copies of recent letters to legislators and other elected officials, photos of elected officials at the applicant’s arts events, newspaper clippings that create awareness about public support for the arts through the organization’s activities (news articles that primarily market events are not acceptable) and other pertinent print materials. Proof of advocacy must be demonstrated by the applicant organization. Applicants may not submit advocacy efforts conducted by contracted artists. Multiple examples of arts advocacy may strengthen the application, but only one (1) example proving advocacy is required.
  2. Evaluation Tools: Upload one sample of each type of evaluation tool that will be used during the project as one uploaded document. Do NOT include several completed evaluation instruments as part of the application.
  3. Key Staff Bios: Short bios (2-3 sentences) of the primary administrative and artistic personnel, including contract artists, who will be involved in the grant activity. Do NOT upload resumes.
  4. Lesson Plan or Content Outline: Insert one sample lesson plan for one lesson that will be taught as part of the proposed project (limit 5 pages). Do NOT send lesson samples for the entire project or for more than one lesson. Samples should include instructional objectives and method of assessment. A content outline is a less formal version of a lesson plan but should still include instructional objectives and method of assessment.
  5. Schedule: Outline the schedule of activities with as much detail as possible, such as the daily and/or weekly schedule for both students and staff.
  6. Verification Letter: The letter should detail the selection criteria and process used to verify that the majority (51% or more) of participants are at risk based on one or more of the indicators established in these grant guidelines.
  7. Board of Directors List: Only nonprofit organizations with 501(c)3 status upload this document. Entities of government and PK-12 public schools do not provide a Board of Directors List.
    The board list must include the following:

    • Full Name
    • Occupation
    • Address
    • Phone number
    • Email address
    • Number of years on the board
    • Length of term(s)
  8. Corporation Annual Report: Only nonprofit organizations with 501(c)3 status upload this document. In lieu of the report required to be filed annually with the Secretary of State’s Office, 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.

If applicable, create and upload the following documents in the Documents section (below the Required Documents section) of your Annual Application in the Online Grants System. Please note that you will NOT be prompted to upload these documents in the system, but these documents may be required based on your application type.

  1. Evaluation Summary: Only required for continuing projects funded in the last fiscal year. Provide qualitative and quantitative data collected from evaluations from the previous year’s funded project.
  2. Optional Support Material: Other support materials (artist resumes, reviews, clippings, photos, and brochures) directly related to the application proposal.

If applicable, create and upload the following document in the Organization profile in your portal of the Online Grants System.

  1. Bylaws: Only nonprofit organizations with 501(c)3 status upload this document. Upload the most recent copy of the Bylaws of the organization in the Organization profile.