Press Releases

Strengthening Communities Through the Arts

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Arts Commission is now accepting applications for Arts Build Communities (ABC) Grants. The ABC Grant program is designed to provide assistance for projects that increase access to the arts and achieve positive outcomes for the community at large.

“These investments will help build sustainable communities through the arts,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. “They open the door for community development as well as opportunities for artists, arts organizations and nonprofits to form alliances and partnerships in their communities.”

Ten designated agencies from across Tennessee (soon to be 14) distribute the grants on behalf of the Tennessee Arts Commission as well as bring value to the ABC program with their local knowledge and regional perspectives. Shannon Ford, Director of Community Arts Development for the Tennessee Arts Commission, explains, “Every application is reviewed by the agencies with integrity, fairness and impartiality. Each designated agency has a strong interest in funding projects that will improve their communities.”

With awards that range from $500 to $2000, the funds can be used for any type of project that will involve communities underserved by the arts, such as those limited by geography, ethnicity, economics or disability. “At the conclusion of funded activities, each grant recipient provides specific information about the impact of their work. The Tennessee Arts Commission will compile, analyze, and report the results of the program’s effect on communities across the state,” says Ford.

For more information about applying for a grant or upcoming grant workshops, please contact Director of Community Arts Development, Shannon Ford ( or go to the Arts Build Communities webpage on the Tennessee Arts Commission website at For a copy of the grant guidelines, go to