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Arts Commission

Metro Arts Grants

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Metro Arts seeks to make creative exploration central to the lives of all Nashvillians. Each year, the Mayor & Metro Council approve funds from the general operating budget to invest in community arts through grants. These grants support nonprofit organizations through operating and project-based support. In FY2018 Metro Arts will provide over $2.4 million in funding to area nonprofits in support of our goals to build a stronger creative workforce, deepen creative participation and inspire dynamic, creative neighborhoods.

2018 Metro Arts Grants

Metro Arts Grants: Metro Arts awards two different types of grants: operating and project support. Operating funds for organizations who have an average annual revenue of $100,000 or more are eligible for Basic Operating Support. Applications in this category are adjudicated every three years by a group of out-of-state adjudicators. The next Basic Operating Support review will be in 2020 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Core Support also provides operating support funds but these are distributed to organizations who have an average annual revenue of under $100,000. These grant awards are reviewed and awarded on an annual basis.

Project grant funds are available in four different categories: Creation, Catalyst, Arts Access, and Youth Arts. Arts Access and Youth Arts are two project support categories open to both arts-focused and non-arts nonprofit organizations. Projects in these categories target under-invested communities in Nashville who for a number of reasons have barriers accessing arts opportunities. An organization can apply one of these categories per year.

Creation and Catalyst funds are reserved for arts-focused organizations who are eligible for operating support funds. Creation funds support the development of new works while Catalyst funds are designed to support organizations with capacity-building and sustainability planning projects.

Applications are typically available in January for projects beginning in July or later. Not sure what you might be eligible for? Check out the Grant Eligibility Map.

Arts Build Communities Grants: The Tennessee Arts Commission’s Arts Build Communities (ABC) grant program is designed to provide support for arts projects that broaden access to arts experiences, address community quality of life issues through the arts, or enhance the sustainability of arts organizations. Metro Arts serves as the Designated Agency to administer this program for Davidson County. Applications are typically available in April for projects beginning in August or later.

ABC funds may be used to:

  • Provide innovative arts experiences that are new or unfamiliar to community residents
  • Offer arts programs that are designed to help affect positive change in community social issues
  • Develop arts programming that strengthens social networks through community engagement
  • Undertake cultural arts initiatives that enhance a community’s identity and/or economic development
  • Offer training that helps experiences or emerging artists/arts administrators develop entrepreneurial skills or innovative strategies for building sustainability

Click Apply for a Grant to learn more about the next application opportunities for Metro Arts Grants and Arts Build Communities Grants

Nominate a Panelist to Review Grants

Metro Arts seeks volunteers to serve as grant application reviewers. No experience required. We provide sufficient orientation so all panelists may serve confidently. Panelists review all submitted application materials online, attend required orientation and review meetings, and score each grant application. Scores are averaged and used to help Metro Arts determine grant awards. Nominate yourself or someone else to serve as a volunteer grant review panelist

Grants Committee

Committee Members

  • Marielena Ramos, Co-Chair
  • Manuel Delgado, Co-Chair
  • Niki Coffman
  • Jackie Daniel
  • Dr. Ruth Ross Edmonds
  • Danielle McDaniel
  • Joseph "Pepe" Presley

Team Members