Press Releases

Arts Build Communities Grant Now Accepting Applications for FY 2017

Nashville—Nonprofit and government organizations can now submit applications for projects thatstimulate economic activity and connect neighbors through arts and culture to receive the Arts Build Communty (ABC) Grant for FY 2017 from the Tennessee Arts Commission.
ABC Grants provide support for arts and cultural projects that positively impact communities across Tennessee. Funding can be used for arts and cultural projects that: introduce communities to unfamiliar art forms or programs; address social issues; strengthen community engagement; target youth for after-school initiatives; enhance a community’s identity or brand; add value to tourism efforts; and encourage further economic development.
This past year, 13 arts councils and development districts worked as designated agencies with the Tennessee Arts Commission to award 159 ABC Grants in 53 counties. The awarded grants totaled approximately $245,000 and resulted in additional investment of $1.4 million. The vast majority of those dollars were leveraged by private contributions and earned income.
“Across the state, 678,000 people benefited from ABC activities, including 80,000 youth,” commented Shannon Ford, Tennessee Arts Commission Director of Community Development. “The projects also resulted in donations of goods and services valued at $1.1 million, including 5,061 volunteers working 125,233 hours. These numbers show how relevant these investments in Tennessee communities are.”
For example:
East TN
– The Cancer Support Community East Tennessee, Inc. in Knoxville received a $1,080 grant for “Healing Through Art.” A two-hour program facilitated by area artists under the supervision of clinical staff, participants explored a variety of artistic techniques from acrylic painting, mixed media, beading, to pottery. The class helped the members relax and forget about their cancer diagnosis for a time while allowing their creative side to flourish and build community with other others who are facing cancer.
Middle TN
– Another ABC Grant was awarded to Salama Urban Ministries, Inc. in Nashville who received $2000 for “Empowering Underserved Youth Through The Performing Arts.” This project enhanced the organization’s academic enrichment and life skills programming by providing lessons to 20 underserved youth with a professionally trained ballet and modern dance instructor twice per week for 8 months.
West TN
– Literacy Mid-South in Memphis also received $2000 for the Mid-South Book Festival, a literary festival featuring presentations by more than 60 authors, writing workshops, book signings, showcases for local and regional writers, cookbook demonstrations and street fair.
– The City of Paris received its second $2000 grant this past year for “Back Alley Paris,” a long-term revitalization project for downtown Paris alleyways. Local historians, designers, artists, and schoolchildren participated in creating murals that depict historical vignettes, businesses and commonplace recreation from life in Paris, Tennessee during the late nineteenth century.
ABC Grants opened April 1, 2016. Program guidelines are online. The application deadline for projects occurring between August 16, 2016 and June 15, 2017 is July 1, 2016. Grant awards range from $500 to $2,500.  
For more information about applying for a grant, please contact the appropriate designated agency or the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Director of Community Arts Development, Shannon Ford, (615) 532-9796.