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Arts Commission

Learning Lab Community Artist Training Program

Learning Lab Project Photos

In 2016, Metro Arts launched an artist development program called Learning Lab to train artists in civic, public, social and placemaking practices. This program, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and co-designed with the Center for Performance and Civic Practice (CPCP) and the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville, helped artists deepen their knowledge around equitable, community-based work and created capacity for neighborhood transformation through the arts.

The program provides artists with the tools to work in authentic community partnerships through deep listening and co-design skills, practical knowledge needed to enter into partnerships and project management basics.

Through a series of lectures, individual assessment exercises, group activities and one-on-one coaching, artists:

  • Explore public, civic and social artistic practices;
  • Examine how to build authentic community partnerships through a practice of listening;
  • Engage community partners in change efforts reflecting community-defined needs;
  • Learn how to successfully expand their studio practice to include social and civic practices (if desired), create competitive proposals and present their work;
  • Explore project management, budgeting, contracts, fabrication

Learning Lab 2018

Metro Arts is currently accepting applications for the 2018 Learning Lab. Artists can apply online via the Metro Arts Submittable page.

All applications must be received by 11:59 p.m., before midnight, CDT on Friday October 27, 2017.

Questions? For more information, please contact Learning Lab Program Manager Van Maravalli,

Learning Lab 2016

The inaugural session of Learning Lab took place during the summer of 2016. Previous Learning Lab artists have been funded to work with community partners on projects covering a wide range of community concerns such as affordable housing and displacement, restorative justice and issues important to Nashville’s immigrant communities.

Congratulations to the following Learning Lab graduates who were awarded funding to realize a project in the Nashville community:

  • Julia Brown, pottery studio employing adults with disabilities
  • LeXander Bryant, mixed media visual art campaign addressing social issues and student mentorship
  • Robbie Lynn Hunsinger, interactive audiovisual/video projection public artwork activated by participant's movements
  • Elisheba Israel, a coloring book featuring influential African American figures in Nashville history
  • Jamal "Jay" Jenkins, mural series and community workshops on affordable housing issues
  • Courtney Adair Johnson, artist-in-residency programming at McGruder Family Resource Center
  • Xavier Payne, billboard campaign addressing gentrification and displacement in communities of color
  • J. Elizabeth Williams, exploring storytelling and functional art traditions in the Kurdish community

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Metro Arts is also supported in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission.

National Endowment for the ArtsArts and Business Council logoCenter for Performance and Civic Practice

ADA Compliance & Accessibility

The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, creed, or ability in admission to, access to, or operations of its programs, services, or activities. Discrimination against any person in recruitment, examination, appointment, training, promotion, retention, discipline, or any other employment practices because of non-merit factors shall be prohibited.

Questions, concerns, complaints, requests for accommodation, or requests for additional information regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act may be forwarded to Metro Arts’ ADA Compliance Coordinator:

Laurel Fisher, Metro Nashville Arts Commission
P.O. Box 196300
Nashville, TN 37219-6300
TTY Relay Service 800-848-0298

Individuals who need auxiliary aids for effective communication in the programs, services, or activities of the Metro Nashville Arts Commission are invited to make their needs and preferences known to the ADA Compliance Coordinator. This notice can be made available in alternative formats through the office of the ADA Compliance Coordinator, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.


Metro Arts offices are located in the Metro Office Building of the Richard C. Fulton Complex.

The street address is 800 2nd Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37210. Parking is available in front of the Metro Office Building. Metro Arts is located on the 4th Floor.

Bus Access

This location is walkable from the number 6, 12, 15, 18, 25, 34, 36, and 55 buses. Visit the Nashville MTA web site for maps and schedules.

Wheelchair Accessibility

The Metro Arts office is located on the 4th Floor of the Metro Office Building. Wheelchair accessibility is available via the Lindsley Avenue entrance to the Richard C. Fulton Complex.

Interpretation Services

Should an individual need language interpretation, Metro Arts will secure assistance using a Metro approved over-the-phone or in-person translation service.

Forward inquiries concerning nondiscrimination policies, other than ADA compliance, to:

Metro Human Relations Commission
404 James Robertson Pkwy, Suite 130
P.O. Box 196300
Nashville, TN 37219-6300

Learning Lab 2018 Application

Applications for the 2018 Learning Lab Artist Training Program are now live! The deadline to apply is October 27, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time. Apply online via the Metro Arts Submittable page.

Funded in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission

Tennessee Arts Commission