Grant Openings

South Arts’ new Express Grant program is an opportunity for presenting arts organizations in rural Southern communities (with populations of 50,000 or below) to receive fee support to present Southern guest performing or literary artists from outside of the presenter’s state. These quick-turnaround grants offer more flexibility for programming that may not fit within South Arts’ annual grantmaking schedule. Touring support is awarded to theater, music, opera, musical theater, dance, fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry projects that contain both a public performance or reading and an educational component. The maximum request is 50% of the artist fee, up to $2,000. These grants are very limited and awarded on a first-come/first-served basis; so early submission is encouraged. A dollar-for-dollar cash match is a requirement.

Projects must take place between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020.

Express Grant applications must be submitted online by at least 60 days prior to the project start date.

Read the guidelines

Narrative Instructions


Ann and Steve Bailey Opportunity Grants Available through the Arts & Heritage Fund

Up to $100,000 combined available for Individuals and Organizations

(01/15/2020/Knoxville) – The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to announce Ann and Steve Bailey Opportunity Grants, a funding program through the Arts & Heritage Fund. Distributed through the Arts & Culture Alliance, Bailey Opportunity grants provide financial and technical support to individual artists and small, professionally-oriented arts and culture organizations (whose budgets are under $100,000). The grants are designed to spur continued artistic and administrative growth in innovative, entrepreneurial artists and organizations at any stage in their development. Projects that allow for the exploration of new avenues of creativity, wrestling with new ideas that can advance one’s creative work, and strengthening business practices are especially encouraged.

The application receipt deadline is midnight on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

Awards range from $100 to $75,000. Bailey Opportunity grants will invest $100,000 in East Tennessee arts projects and programs taking place July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

Interested applicants may view the guidelines and download the application at Previous grantees are eligible to apply.

The goal of Bailey Opportunity Grants is to create a more vital creative community in Knoxville by: encouraging contributions to the city’s economy and quality of life by artists and arts and history organizations; positioning Knoxville as a community that honors its creative industry and supports the efforts of artists and organizations to achieve excellence; and raising public profiles of artists and organizations within the city and beyond.

A list of the past three year’s grantees may be viewed at

For more information about Bailey Opportunity Grants or to make an appointment to discuss an application, please contact Liza Zenni, Executive Director of the Arts & Culture Alliance, at 865-523-7543 or Applicants are strongly encouraged to meet with Liza Zenni prior to submitting an application.

Cross-Sector Impact Grants, Emerging Leaders of Color, and Literary Arts Touring Grants

Emerging Leaders of Color: Applications due April 17, 2020

To promote representative leadership and equity in the arts, 11 to 13 cultural workers and arts administrators located in seven states in the southern region will be selected for this partnership program between South Arts and our colleague Regional Arts Organization WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation). Building on the success of WESTAF’s ELC program which has been attracting, training, networking and promoting a new generation of diverse arts leaders since 2010, the South Arts program will serve to advance Southern vitality through the arts through leadership development.

Cross-Sector Impact Grants: Letter of Interest due March 30, 2020

South Arts seeks to provide significant support to projects developed by partners that harness the power of “Arts & …”. South Arts recognizes that as our communities continue to change, the arts play an incomparable role in addressing many of our communal and individual challenges and strengths. Further, the value of partnership, and working together across sectors, brings new opportunity, increased effectiveness, and greater depth to our collective work. Grants of up to $15,000 are available for partnerships or projects taking place between July 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.

Literary Arts Touring Grants: Applications due May 1, 2020

Literary Arts Touring grants support presenting organizations for engagements by guest Southern writers (fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry) from outside the presenter’s state. These touring funds support publicly accessible readings and educational activities that provide opportunities for people to participate in the arts. Grants of up to $2,500 are available for projects taking place between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.