Special Opportunities

Important:
Support for participation in identified opportunities that provide professional development activities which contribute to the creative sector.

Funding support for participation in activities or projects identified by the Commission, and that provide professional development and skills-building activities which contribute to the arts sector. Applicants must make a compelling case as to why their participation will have a substantial impact on their work and/or community.

When available, these grant opportunities are funded based on accurately completed submissions on a first-come, first-served basis, and will close when all funds are allocated or by the deadline, whichever comes first.

Currently, no FY20 opportunities are available. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to learn when new opportunities open.

General Guidelines for Grant Category

Contact

Hal Partlow, Associate Director for Grants at hal.partlow@tn.gov or 615-741-2093.

Eligibility
For Organizations

An organization is eligible to apply for support for registration and travel of multiple staff members to attend the conference (max request $750 for multiple attendees or $500 for a single attendee), if the organization meets one of the following qualifications:

  1. The organization is an entity of Government, or
  2. The organization is a nonprofit organization legally chartered in Tennessee and in possession of a determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service declaring the organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Private educational institutions must be a nonprofit and meet these tax-exempt requirements.

Additional Information for Organizations

  1. All nonprofit organizations are required to upload into the grant application a current Corporation Annual Report as filed with the TN Secretary of State’s office.
  2. All organizational applicants are required to have a DUNS number. Information and application instructions can be found here.
  3. Organizations (not individuals or public schools) that receive grant funding from the TN Arts Commission must complete Title VI training certification in the Online Grants System for the fiscal year of the award, before payment will be distributed. If your agency has already completed the training in the TN Arts Commission’s online grant system for the current fiscal year, it is not necessary to repeat the training. See Title VI Training Certification here. Failure to complete this training may result in the cancellation of your grant.
  4. When closing out the grant and requesting funds:
    1. All receipts must be in the name of the applicant organization. Receipts in the name of employees will NOT be accepted. Expenses that were not incurred directly by the applicant organization may not be claimed as proof of expenditure for your grant.
    2. Organizations must provide proof that the registrants attended the conference by uploading a copy of the name tag for every attendee in the evaluation form
    3. Upload travel receipts for air travel, and hotel receipts associated with the award.

For further eligibility information, please refer to The Arts Commission’s Legal Requirements. 

For Individuals

This grant category is designed to assist professional individuals living in Tennessee. Individuals must live in Tennessee and provide proof of residency by uploading a scan of either a:

  1. valid Tennessee voter registration card, or
  2. legal State of Tennessee driver’s license into the document section of the grant application

Those not eligible to apply include:

  1. full-time State of Tennessee employees (other than instructors on the faculties of state-supported higher learning educational institutions)
  2. children under the age of 18 years; and
  3. members of the Commission, its staff, and members of their families

Additional Information for Professional Individuals

  1. New applicants awarded funding will be instructed to submit an IRS W9 form in the notification of award email.
  2. Upload copies of Tennessee voter registration card, or legal State of Tennessee driver’s license into the document section of the grant application for every member of a duo, group or ensemble named in the application. This grant opportunity is only for members that are Tennessee residents.
  3. When closing out your grant and requesting your funds:
    1. All receipts must be in the name of the applicant individual. Receipts in the name of spouses, roommates, or other performers will NOT be accepted. Expenses that were not incurred directly by the applicant may not be claimed as proof of expenditure for your grant.
    2. Provide proof that the awardee attended the conference by uploading a copy of your name tag into the evaluation form
    3. Upload travel receipts for air travel, and hotel receipts associated with the award.

For further eligibility information, please refer to The Arts Commission’s Legal Requirements.

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 Tennessee Arts 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 or the Tennessee Relay Center at 1-800-848-0298 (TTY) or 1-800-848-0299 (Voice).

Title VI Training

Organizations (not individuals or public schools) that receive grant funding from the TN Arts Commission must complete Title VI training certification in the Online Grants System for the fiscal year of the award, before payment will be distributed. If your agency has already completed the training in the TN Arts Commission’s online grant system for the current fiscal year, it is not necessary to repeat the training. See Title VI Training Certification here. Failure to complete this training may result in the cancellation of your grant.

Evaluation Criteria

Special Opportunities applications will be reviewed by Commission members and staff using the following criteria to be considered for support. Competitive applications may demonstrate merit by showing the following:

  • The application is well planned and presented.
  • Your funding request should be clear and concise. The narrative demonstrates how the summit will add value to the applicant and the constituents served or to the work of the individual. What do you wish to accomplish? Identify your goals and how you will accomplish them. What value will be added to you or to your organization and community? Please be specific. A compelling narrative is a crucial factor in the grant award.
  • The budget request is reflective of the costs associated with the published requirements as they relate to lodging, travel and registration.
  • If the applicant is an organization, it should have a history of providing quality artistic programming and/or demonstrate potential to achieve quality artistic activity.
  • The applicant has a past record of administrative cooperation and compliance with Commission grant requirements and procedures, if Commission funding has previously been awarded.
  • The appropriate documentation was attached to the application.
Funding and Review Process

ALLOWABLE EXPENSES

Funding is based on the narrative case put forth in the application, accuracy of completing the application, and on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are expended. You may request funds for registration fees. travel, and hotel lodging associated with attending this conference. Funds should be listed under line item 2 and may be request up to a total of $500 for individual applicants or $750 for organizational or “duo, group, or ensemble” applicants for the following:

Registration: fees for the conference as explained in the narrative and with documentation of fee or payment uploaded in the application. Awardees will be required to upload the following in the Rolling Grant Evaluation when closing out the grant:

  • Proof of attendance by scanning the name tag for all participants listed in the grant application.

Travel: Round trip to the conference from a single point of departure.

  • Automobile: To determine mileage, applicants must use MapQuest or another tool to verify round trip distance.  Upload documentation to the application. Mileage reimbursement is $.47/mile and subject to change per state regulations. In the budget section multiply the total distance by $.47 for automobile total travel request.
  • Air Travel: Requires uploading flight information/estimates into documents section of the application. When closing out the grant and requesting reimbursement, awardees must upload flight receipt.

Hotel: Please list lodging request in budget narrative. Upload documentation of rates or hotel reservations for this conference (whether conference hotel or other. Applicants may request up to the maximum GSA daily rate for hotel of per/night, unless staying in the conference hotel). This grant does not cover taxes associated with hotel lodging or parking.

  • When closing out this grant, awardees will be required to upload their hotel receipt. The receipt MUST be in the name of the awardee (see note below).

NON ALLOWABLE EXPENSES

This grant does not provide reimbursement for:

  • Meals
  • Incidentals
  • Hotel taxes
  • Teacher Stipends
  • Parking
  • Per Diem
  • Other expenses that do not align with Registration & Travel as expressed in these guidelines

The Tennessee Arts Commission reserves the right to deny any application or withhold funding in whole or in part, if the applicant organization programming and activities are outside of the scope or spirit of the Commission’s mission, purpose, or this grant program.

MATCHING REQUIREMENTS

This category grant does not require a cash match.

REVIEW PROCESS

Special Opportunities applications are reviewed in-house by Commission members and staff. Funding notification will take place via email.

PAYMENT & CLOSE-OUT REQUIREMENTS

See Manage ROLLING Grants website for detailed instructions!

Grantees must submit ALL receipts and all required close-out paperwork no later than 30 days following the activity or risk losing awarded funds.  Failure to close your grant within 30 days of the conference may forfeit payment.

Online Grant System

If you, personally, haven’t registered in the new online grant system, please do so. Instructions can be found here. If appropriate, indicate that you are applying on behalf of an organization (if the organization you work with will be paying for the conference and applying for reimbursement).  It may take up to two working days for your registration to be approved and your log in and temporary password be emailed to you. Once you receive your credentials, you may log into the system. Use the “People” link to ensure your profile 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. Answer the question, “I am (may be) applying for funding as an individual (in the future)” as YES.

  • 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. 
How to Apply for the Grant

Once you’ve received the online grant system credentials and you’ve registered for the conference, log on to the online grant system and fill out the application. Sooner rather than later!

Here’s how:

Select the “Apply for Grants” link in the grey menu on the left side of your screen under the heading INFORMATION.

Scroll down the page to Rolling Grants and select the green link “Apply for a ROLLING Grant”. A preliminary application will open.

  • Make note of the application #: R-XXXX-XXXXX
  • Select Fiscal Year → Enter the fiscal year
  • Select Grant Category → Special Opportunities
  • Select appropriate response to “Is this your first time applying for Commission funds?”
  • Select appropriate response to “Are you applying as”. Note: If you, as an individual (not your organization) are paying for costs associated with this conference, choose “None of the above” AND please check the box immediately below that is listed as “Check this box if you are applying as an individual”
    • If you are applying as an individual, make sure your name appears in the box, “name”
    • If your organization is the applicant four fields appear, make sure that the following four items are filled in correctly:
      1. Organization Name field populates with your organization’s name. If not, erase the organization listed and start typing your organization’s name, it should populate.
      2. the location field pre-populates as “org name” – headquarters
      3. Primary Contact field should populates your name
      4. Primary Signatory field may populate with your name, BUT SHOULD BE the person who can legally sign a contract for your org. They should appear in the dropdown box. If they do not, select Add New and input their name and email address. It could be you, if you are the person who can legally sign contracts for your organizations.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and press the SAVE button on the bottom right of the screen

The system will load the appropriate application for you to fill out. At this point, if you leave the system, you may log back into your account and locate your application by selecting the “Draft Applications” link in the grey menu on the left side of your screen under the heading APPLICATIONS. If you have several drafts located the Special Opportunities FY 2018 application with the correct #: R-XXXX-XXXXX.

Reopen your grant application for editing by clicking the edit button at the top of the screen.

Scroll down & and fill in the remainder of the application.

SAVE YOUR APPLICATION FREQUENTLY

  • Project/Event Title → Name of opportunity
  • Funding Description → To assist with attending [name of conference} in [conference location].
  • Project/Event Start Date →  [date of conference start]
  • Project/Event End Date →  [date of conference end]
  • Total Amount Requested for Project / Event → Insert your request. Do not exceed documented amount or published maximum request. Round your request down to the nearest $10. (example: Round $537 down to $530).
  • Narrative → Explain the reason you wish to attend the summit. How will the summit add value to the applicant and the constituents served or to the work of the individual? What do you wish to accomplish? Identify your goals and how you will accomplish them. What value will be added to you or to your organization and community? Please be specific. A compelling narrative is a crucial factor in the grant award.
  • Number of ADULTS Engaged → Insert the number of individuals this grant will help attend this conference, not the number of adults served by you or your organization.
  • Number of YOUTH Engaged → 0
  • Total INDIVIDUALS Engaged → Insert the number of individuals this grant will help attend this conference.
  • Number of Artists Participating → Insert the number of individuals this grant will help attend this conference who are artists.
  • Underserved Participants → This refers to individuals this grant will help attend the conference, so fill in the appropriate % for any applicable category
  • Project Discipline → Select the appropriate answer for you/your organization.
  • Type of Activity → Seminar/conference – 22
  • Strategic Outcome → Select the appropriate answer for you/your organization.
  • Arts Education → Select the appropriate answer for you/your organization.

BUDGET

Do not put anything in the Contracted Professional Fees or the Consumable Supplies, Printing & Publications, etc  Amount Requested and Explanation area.

Travel, Registration and Teacher Stipend

Amount Requested → List the requested amount (Round down to nearest $10).

Explanation →List the following:

  1. conference registration fees (number of registrations, what type, total cost, etc.) Upload documentation of fees paid or payment structure from conference into document section of application.
  2. Travel: Round trip to the conference from a single point of departure for either:
    • Automobile travel: To determine mileage, applicants must use MapQuest or another tool to verify round trip distance.  Upload documentation to the application. Mileage reimbursement is $.47/mile and subject to change per state regulations. In the budget section multiply the total distance by $.47 for automobile total travel request.
    • Air Travel: List fee. Requires uploading flight information/estimates into documents section of the application.
  3. Hotel: Please list lodging request in budget narrative. Upload documentation of rates or hotel reservations for this conference (whether conference hotel or other. Applicants may request up to the maximum GSA daily rate for hotel night, unless staying in the conference hotel). This grant does not cover taxes associated with hotel lodging or parking.

Combine all costs to a total.  Write “Up to the awarded amount of these listed expenses will be applied toward the reconciliation of any grant contract generated for this application.” after your total.

NOTE: IF AWARDED FUNDS, when filing your Rolling Grant Evaluation report to request reimbursement, awardees will be require to:

  1. Upload proof of attendance by scanning the name tag for all participants listed in the grant application i
  2. If requesting air travel reimbursement, awardees must upload flight receipt
  3. If requesting hotel reimbursement, awardees must upload their hotel receipt. The receipt MUST be in the name of the awardee

Teacher stipends are not an allowable expense for this grant.

REQUIRED AND OTHER DOCUMENT UPLOADS FOR THIS APPLICATION

To upload documents clicking the  icon either beside the Required Document type for Proof of Residency or in the Documents box for the conference registration.

Required and prompted uploads:

  • If applying as an individual, you will be prompted to upload the Proof of Residency document in the Required Documents section of your application. Please upload either a valid Tennessee voter registration card or a legal State of Tennessee driver’s license. If you are representing a duo, group or ensemble, in addition to your own, upload a valid Tennessee voter registration card or a legal State of Tennessee driver’s license for every member that is listed in the application by name.
  • If applying as an organization, you will be prompted to upload your organization’s most recent Corporation Annual Report as filed with Tennessee’s Secretary of State, and board of directors list in the Required Documents section of your application.

Required, but NOT prompted uploads:

  • Conference Registration. Upload documentation of the registration fee structure for the conference that corresponds with your budget narrative explanation, or paid registration receipts in the “Documents” section below the “Required Documents”.
  • Travel Verification. If requesting travel funds, please upload either of the following into the “Documents” section below the “Required Documents”: 
    • airline estimates, or
    • proof of distance from an internet tool (Mapquest, Google Maps, etc.) to verify round trip distance for automobile travel  
  • Hotel. If requesting hotel funds, please upload documentation of rates or hotel reservations for this conference (whether conference hotel or other) into the “Documents” section below the “Required Documents”.  Applicants may request up to the maximum GSA daily rate for hotel of $148/night, unless staying in the conference hotel). This grant does not cover taxes associated with hotel lodging or parking.

ASSURANCES

Type your name and title where requested & check the box certifying your information. If applying as your organization, two separate and distinct certifications are needed. You cannot certify both areas for an organization application.

Save your application.

Successfully submit your application by pressing the submit button on the bottom right.

You will receive a confirmation email upon successful submission.