Targeted Arts Development Initiative

Support for arts projects in underserved, rural communities with special focus on Distressed counties and At-Risk counties.

The Targeted Arts Development Initiative (TADI) is a strategy developed to reach counties identified by the Tennessee Arts Commission as under-represented in Commission investments. TADI is designed to build capacity and develop leadership potential, while encouraging applications from the identified counties to existing Commission grant categories or programs.



The Targeted Arts Development Initiative (TADI) is a strategy developed to:

    1. Better serve Distressed counties, including: Coming Soon. Counties identified as At-Risk counties may also qualify. At-Risk counties for FY2025 include: Coming Soon.


    1. Reach counties in Tennessee which have been identified by the Commission as needing capacity building technical assistance for the current fiscal year. FY2025 counties are Crockett, Hardin, Houston, Lewis, Meigs, Moore, Polk, Stewart, Trousdale, Wayne, and White.

Government and nonprofit entities within identified counties above with projects that use arts and cultural activities to benefit their community, build upon existing assets, or overcome challenges are urged to apply. The Targeted Arts Development Initiative is designed to leverage investments and develop leadership potential, while encouraging applications from the identified rural and/or distressed counties to existing Commission grant categories or programs. Periodic reviews of the Commission’s grant portfolio may determine if counties are added to or removed from the Targeted Arts Development Initiative program.

Match: No match is required for TADI grants.

Eligibility Requirements

See legal requirements published here.

Government entities, schools, and organizations within any of the above counties, and artists who can use arts and cultural activities to benefit schools and communities in these counties are urged to contact Commission staff to discuss this opportunity. Note the applicant must be a nonprofit organization or local government entity. Individual artists may not apply directly for the grant. Those applicants existing in Distressed and At-Risk counties may also qualify. Please contact Evangeline Mee, Traditional Arts Specialist, at to verify if funds are available.

Those who may apply include Federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit arts and non-arts organizations or governmental organizations including units of government, schools, colleges, and universities. (Colleges and universities may be eligible and only for activities that clearly serve the needs of surrounding communities or the state, and are designed to involve community input during planning and a broad audience. Activities that are credit-producing or oriented primarily to university students and the academic community are not eligible.)

Arts organizations that receive revenue directly from a “New Specialty Earmarked Plate” under T.C.A 55-4-215 (a) (1) are ineligible for Commission grant funding.

In order to submit an application for funds, all new applicants will need to register in the Commission’s online grants system. During this process:

  1. All applicants must be able to provide an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). Applicants who have not already done so must register with the federal government in the website to secure a UEI. There is no fee for registering for a UEI. For more information see Transition from DUNS to UEI.
  2. First time, nonprofit applicants will be required to upload a copy of the organization’s Tennessee state charter (verification of incorporation) and current by-laws. Note the applicant organization must be 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; however, the applicant does not need to upload the determination letter unless requested.
  3. Nonprofit applicants will be required to upload a Corporation Annual Report as filed annually with the Secretary of State’s Office with every application submitted. In lieu of the report, you may also upload 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.
  4. All awarded recipients will need to complete Title VI training certification before the disbursement of any funds.
Legal Requirements

All TADI grants are subject to legal requirements related to application requirements, funding restrictions, non-discrimination and accessibility as published here.


All Commission sponsored programs, services and facilities are fully accessible to all Tennessee artists and citizens. Organizations are urged to consider contracting with diverse artists, artists living with disabilities, and/or artists representing Tennessee’s diverse artistic and cultural heritage. 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 Kim Johnson, the Commission’s Director of Arts Access, at or (615) 532-9797.

Who to Contact

Interested parties may contact the appropriate program director:

Project Accountability & Reporting

Grants must be closed out no later than 30 days after the project activity end date or June 30, whichever comes first. Evidence of success may include impact to the community, scope of community partnerships, and the contribution(s) of the project to larger community goals. TADI recipients will be required to complete and submit a grant evaluation in the online grant system and to upload proof of Tennessee Arts Commission credit. This may include a brochure, poster, newspaper article, program, etc. that shows the Arts Commission logo and gives credit to the Commission for funding.  See LOGO USAGE AND CREDIT MATERIALS section of website for further information.