COVID-19 Related Updates for TN Arts Community

Spring is here! Photo courtesy of Cheekwood.
From Anne B. Pope, Executive Director –
As Tennesseans address unprecedented COVID-19 challenges, the TN Arts Commission is rapidly assessing how we can best help TN Arts Grantees with information and resources. The agency is open for business, with staff currently working remotely.

If you have an FY2020 grant, you can review guidance on how best to manage your current grants with the Commission posted here. Commission program directors can answer questions and send information about current grants and closeouts. The Commission is extending all grant final reporting deadlines to June 15, 2020. Of course, grantees may want to close out earlier for cash flow purposes.

The arts sector is susceptible to the challenges of this time and we stand with you as you make incredibly difficult decisions about your programming and services. For resources for the arts and culture community, we have created a webpage featuring many helpful links and will continue to update as more information comes in.

We have decided to cancel the TN 2020 TN Arts and Arts Education Conference that was scheduled for June 8-10 in Marion County. We plan to host the conference in 2021. All of our partners, including Mayor Jackson’s office, the Princess Theatre, and Jasper Elementary School, have been so gracious in welcoming us that we certainly hope they will pencil us in for next year.

Additional conversations are taking place between service organizations and policymakers at local and national levels to support the inclusion of the arts sector in stimulus and relief programs. To support this work, data will be important. Please respond to any local arts council or national surveys, including Americans for the Arts. Any data you can track on reduced services and revenue and increased expenses caused by COVID-19 going forward will be helpful. We have no doubt that Tennessee values the arts and we are confident that together we can get past this stressful and scary time to emerge stronger and more vibrant than ever.

As NEA Chair Mary Anne Carter says “we know that the arts provide comfort, resilience, wisdom, and the means for self-expression and connection, perhaps even more so during challenging times such as these.” We hope you will continue to imagine, create, organize and collaborate because the world needs each of you.

Please take care of yourselves and each other.