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Metro Arts Announces Grant Awards for Fiscal Year 2022

Emily Waltenbaugh, 615-862-4099, 615-406-8153

$2.4M Allocation Represents Investment in Nashville’s Culture and Recovery, Continued Commitment to Fostering Equity in the Arts

The Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission (Metro Arts) at their June 17 meeting approved $2,425,163 in community arts investments for the 2021/2022 fiscal year, providing operating grants to the 54 different arts nonprofit organizations that were successful in Metro Arts’ competitive grant review process.

Metro Arts grants, funded through the operational budget of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, help support established cultural organizations as well as new and emerging organizations, and allocations are formulated to equitably distribute funding based on organizational budget size.

Fund availability, uneven pandemic recovery and additional arts nonprofits affect grant amounts

Metro Arts’ FY2022 grants budget reflects the restoration of $200,000 cut in FY2021. A panel of professional adjudicators and community panels review and score qualified nonprofit organizations, who are grouped into categories according to their operating budget size. Allocations are then made according to a formula approved by the Metro Arts Commission.

As Nashville emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects, arts and culture nonprofits have experienced varied and atypical budgets. To support grant partners’ stability and limit the impact of the pandemic, Metro Arts established a floor on decreases, ensuring that no organization would experience more than a 10% cut to their award from the previous year. Nineteen grantee organizations experienced growth over the past year, and as a result, qualified to request increased funding. Five organizations, through growth, longevity, or a change in mission, were first-time qualifiers for Metro Arts operating grants this year:

  1. Creatives Day - a nonprofit connecting youth and young adult emerging artists to resources and opportunities that foster creativity and financial stability through arts education and artist development training.
  2. Girls Write Nashville - a songwriting mentorship organization that cultivates empowered expression and positive community for teen girls.
  3. Make Music Nashville - an all-day, open-access, free nonprofit festival taking place in neighborhoods across Nashville on June 21st every year, with the goals of providing an equal platform for musicians of all skill levels, interests and walks of life and inspiring the next generation of musicians through innovative outreach programming.
  4. MOVE Inclusive Dance - an inclusive dance studio that empowers individuals of all ability levels to learn life skills through dance, using the power of movement and music to transform students’ lives while providing a nurturing, inviting community for all.
  5. Native American Indian Association of Tennessee - a nonprofit providing social and supportive services and cultural revitalization and promoting Native American Indian arts and crafts for the more than 25,000 Native American Indians living throughout Tennessee.

Organizations qualified for and requested a total of $5.4 million in Metro Arts support.

“Investment in the arts is an investment in community support and recovery for all Nashvillians,” said Metro Arts Executive Director Caroline Vincent. “We are deeply grateful to Mayor Cooper and the Metro Council for restoring our grants budget to its pre-pandemic level, helping to sustain funding for the arts and culture organizations that are vital to our community.”

“Nashville is fortunate to have such a large and diverse group of nonprofits that bring the arts to us all,” said Metro Arts Commission Chair Jim Schmidt. “However, that growing number of nonprofits must request grants from a pool of funding that has seen very little growth in 20 years. In fact, we had $3 million in qualified but unfunded requests. We appreciate the city’s restoring what was cut from Metro Arts’ grants budget, and we are hopeful for their continued support as we explore ways to strengthen funding for the arts and culture that are at the core of Nashville’s identity and brand.”

The nonprofit arts and culture sector generates $429.3 million in annual economic activity in Davidson County, supports 14,277 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $51.1 million in local and state government revenues, according to the 2017 Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 national economic impact study. In FY20, Davidson County arts organizations provided more than 200,000 student arts interactions, such as field trips, school visits and virtual programs.

A complete list of grant awards and other program information is at the Grants page of Metro Arts’ website.

About Metro Arts

Metro Arts is the Nashville Office of Arts + Culture. Our mission is to drive a vibrant and equitable community through the arts. Metro Arts strives to ensure that all Nashvillians have access to a creative life, and we work toward this goal through community investments, artist and organizational training, public art and creative placemaking, and direct programs involving residents in all forms of arts and culture. Metro Arts receives operational support from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and additional information is available online at