Skip to Content

Metro Arts Announces $1.8 Million in FY14 Grant Awards

Jennifer Cole

Press Release with Awards

June 27, 2013

Jennifer Cole
(615) 862-6733


Strong Competition Results in Higher Quality and Focus on Arts Education and Arts Access

Nashville, Tenn. ---The Metro Nashville Arts Commission (Metro Arts) today announced $1,890,200 in grants to 51 local nonprofit organizations for 76 community projects and programs taking place during the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

All funded proposals included strategies to enhance the community through one or more key impact areas:
  •  Expand & Improve the Creative Workforce
  •  Increase Availability of & Participation in Creative Activities (Arts Education and Arts Access)
  •  Enhance Creative Quality and Innovation

Competition for Metro Arts’ grant funding increased 17 percent since the 2012-13 fiscal year with more than $4 million in requests for 2013-14. Nine new applicants entered the process for grant funds, and maximum allowable requests grew along with many organizational budgets. Available funding, however, has increased only 1.24 percent, to $1,890,200, including earmarked funds for arts education and arts access activities earmarked by Metro Council in the 2013-14 budget.

“We sincerely appreciate the support of the Metro Council in continuing to deliver of high-quality arts activities to more and more Nashvillians through these grant investments,” said Jennifer Cole, Metro Arts’ executive director. “With limited funding, Metro Arts works to ensure that thousands of Nashvillians will engage through arts learning, performances, exhibitions, and many other projects. As our agency moves forward, we will continue to track the outcomes of these investments and report publicly how these funds impact our community.”

Most of the grant proposals were reviewed by 26 community volunteers who devoted hundreds of hours to reading and scoring applications and attending required meetings. The 12 applicants with budgets of more than $1 million were reviewed by contracted arts management professionals from outside the state. Grant awards are based on aggregated scores and rankings resulting from this citizen-input and professional consultant process.

Grants were funded in Basic Operating Support and three project support categories: After-School Arts Project Support, Arts Access Project Support, and Creation Project Support.

Forty outstanding arts organizations with a wide range of budgets and artistic mediums were awarded Basic Operating Support. Among the highest-scoring organizations receiving operating support are Belcourt Theatre, Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville, Nashville Film Festival, Nashville Jazz Workshop, Nashville Opera and NWP Educational Theatre.

“Metro Arts is proud to invest in our creative community by supporting and developing high-quality local arts organizations and arts experiences that are accessible to all citizens throughout Davidson County,” Cole said.

“Based on recent national news reports, Nashville’s reputation is growing as a unique, global city with authentic local flavor, high quality of life, diverse cultures, multifaceted creative opportunities, strong businesses, and culinary acclaim,” Cole said. “These grants provide more Nashvillians with access to high-quality arts experiences that are innovative and educational.”

In the Creation category, grant awards will fund the development of new works of art by the Dance Theatre of Tennessee, Nashville Ballet, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, and ALIAS Chamber Ensemble.

After-school Arts Project Support grants will underwrite arts education enhancement programs that target at-risk youth and use specific arts curriculum in the after-school timeframe. After-school grants were awarded to nine local nonprofits including Southern Word, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, and the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee. High-quality arts experiences have a proven track-record for improving student academic and behavioral performance.

Arts Access Project Support provided funding for high-quality arts projects that increase arts access for target populations such as seniors, youth, people of color, and people with disabilities.

“Our agency’s mission is to make art central to the lives of everyone in our community, and to do that, we must commit our grant funds to those projects that make high quality art accessible to all Nashvillians,” Cole said.

The Arts Access Project Support category received the most submissions, with 23 reviewed applications. Grant funds were awarded to all applicants, including Conexión Américas, Global Education Center, Healing Arts Project, Inc., Nashville Children’s Theatre, and Oasis Center, among others.

The entire listing of fiscal year 2013-14 grant recipients can be found on the Grants page at

About the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission

The Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission provides leadership that stimulates and advances art and culture to enrich the human experience for the community. More information about grants, training and programs can be found at

# # #