Tennessee Receives South Arts Awards in Performing Arts Touring, Literary Arts Touring, and Cross-Sector Impact Grants

From South Arts –

Performing Arts and Literary Arts Touring Grants support the presentation of out-of-state Southern artists for public engagements and residences, and Cross-Sector Impact Grants support collaborative, community-building projects spanning arts, culture, and other sectors of society.

These three granting programs, supported by a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, connect arts organizations and communities with artists across our primary nine-state region of AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, and TN. Applicants submitted proposals for each program throughout the spring, which were then reviewed by panels of peers and respected leaders in the field. While each grant has its own criteria and purpose, they collectively build towards South Arts’ mission: advancing Southern vitality through the arts. These grants are part of South Arts’ annual cycle of programming, and organizations are encouraged to review the current guidelines as they plan current and upcoming work.

Performing Arts Touring Grants support the presentation of Southern performing artists with up to $7,500. Applications for this program were due March 2, 2020. Tennessee organizations who were awarded grants in this category include:

  • Big Ears Festival, Knoxville: $5,000
    The Big Ears Festival will present Leyla McCalla for two performances and an educational residency as a part of the 2021 festival, to occur 3/25/21 through 3/28/21.
  • Buckman Arts Center at St. Mary’s School, Memphis: $4,250
    Orlando,Florida-based Matsurizo Taiko drummers will offer a residency at the Buckman Arts Center in Memphis, Tennessee with a lecture/demonstration for at-risk Shelby County elementary Orff music students, a percussion clinic for middle school musicians, a public concert and post-show discussion.

Literary Arts Touring Grants support the presentation of Southern writers of fiction, creative nonfiction, and/or poetry with up to $2,500. Applications for this program were due May 1, 2020. Review the guidelines and meet the Literary Arts Touring Grant recipients. Tennessee recipients include:

  • Big Ears Festival, Knoxville: $2,500
    Big Ears will hold a residency with poet Nikky Finney as part of the 2021 Big Ears Festival, to include a collaboration with cellist Tomeka Reid, conversation with novelist Richard Powers, and an educational workshop with students at Pellissippi State Community College.
  • Chattanooga State Community College, Chattanooga: $2,500
    The Chattanooga State Community College Writers@Work (W@W) program will engage current Georgia resident and poet Jericho Brown for a four-day educational initiative that will include two free readings, performances, interviews, and book signings for the general public; 13 classroom meetings with community college English students; and, as scheduling allows, an author visit to a local high school and an area correctional facility for readings, Q&A, and book signings.
  • Global Education Center, Nashville: $2,000
    Poet Jaki Shelton Green will conduct a three-day residency at the Global Education Center which will include a workshop for high school youth; a workshop for mothers and grandmothers of court-involved youth, grandmothers who are caregivers to grandchildren, and immigrant grandmothers (location TBA); a community writing workshop for women, and a community reading and book signing, both to be held at the Global Education Center’s main site in Northwest Nashville.

Cross-Sector Impact Grants harness the power of collaborative, community-building “arts and…” projects spanning arts, culture, and other sectors of society with awards up to $15,000. Letters of Interest for this program were due March 30, 2020. Review the guidelines and meet the Cross-Sector Impact Grant recipients. Three Tennessee organizations were awarded:

  • Memphis Public Library, Memphis: $15,000
    How to Stage a Protest is an intergenerational immersive documentary theatre performance co-created with surviving participants from the 1960 historic Cossit Library sit-in, which was responsible for the desegregation of the Memphis public library system and young teenage activist artists from Lionheart Youth Theatre.
  • Town of Cumberland Gap, Cumberland Gap: $15,000
    The Cumberland Gap Memory Trail is a virtually guided and enhanced walking/moving tour through historic Cumberland Gap, TN. Participants will travel through time and space as they experience art, multi generational storytelling, and the natural beauty of the original Gateway to the West.
  • Global Education Center, Nashville: $10,000
    Global Education Center and Davidson County Juvenile Court’s continuing partnership, Passport to Prevention, is a family-centered program that provides creative, interactive, multicultural arts experiences for court-involved youth and their families, including activities with incarcerated youth, as a way to keep families connected, help them learn to enjoy positive and engaging experiences as a family unit, and provide resources that help entire families remain involved in the broader community.

Congratulations to all the Tennessee awardees!