Tennessee Arts Commission Reinstates Arts Build Communities Grant Program

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Tennessee Arts Commission has reinstated its popular Arts Build Communities (ABC) grant program. The ABC grant category is designed to provide support for arts projects that broaden access to arts experiences, address community quality of life issues through the arts, and enhance the sustainability of asset-based cultural experiences. 

Through the ABC grant program, the Commission seeks to build communities by nurturing artists, arts organizations, and arts supporters in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. ABC grants will be coordinated through a decentralized decision-making and distribution process in partnership with regional designated agencies. A list of designated agencies is available online at: www.tn.gov/arts/guidelines/fy14/guidelinesabcfy14.pdf 

“During the year that the Arts Build Communities program was on hiatus, the commission received overwhelming feedback from past grant recipients and community members statewide about the value of the program,” said Anne Pope, executive director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. “It reinforced our understanding about how important ABC has been in helping local communities preserve and grow their cultural assets.” 

According to Shannon Ford, director of community arts development for the commission, awards will range from $500 to $2,000.  The funds may be used for a variety of quality arts projects. 10 designated agencies administer the ABC program statewide on behalf of the Tennessee Arts Commission in 66 counties. For the 2013-2014 grant cycle the Commission will administer the program directly in 29 Middle Tennessee counties. 

“ABC grants provide innovative arts experiences that are new or unfamiliar to community residents, and allow for the development of arts programming that strengthens social networks through community engagement,” said Mr. Ford. “ABC grants also offer training for emerging artists and arts administrators to develop entrepreneurial skills or innovative strategies for building sustainability.” 

All events sponsored in part or entirely with ABC funds must be open to the general public. Community involvement is an important component in the planning and implementation of ABC projects. 

Applications must be submitted online through the Tennessee Arts Commission’s eGrant system by 4:30 p.m. (CT) on July 1. The ABC online application can be accessed beginning at 8 a.m. (CT) on May 31, 2013 at www.tn.gov/arts. Once there, scroll over “Grants” on the left side of the home page, and click on the eGrant button to access the ABC application. Faxed, mailed, or hand delivered applications will not be accepted. 

Prior to submitting an application, qualifying organizations should discuss the program or project proposal with the designated agency, or the Tennessee Arts Commission representative. 

For more information on the ABC grant program contact Shannon Ford, director of community arts development, at 615 532-9796 or e-mail:Shannon.ford@tn.gov.

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