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Metro Arts Announces Grant Awards for Fiscal Year 2019

Emily Waltenbaugh

$2.47 Million Represents Investment in Nashville’s Culture, Encouragement of Innovation, Broadening of Access

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission (Metro Arts) at their June 21 meeting approved $2,470,200 in community arts investments for the 2019 fiscal year. This funding provides 60 grants to the 50 different 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, support established cultural organizations, such as the Nashville Symphony and the Nashville Children’s Theatre, as well as new and emerging organizations. Four 2019 grantees — chatterbird, Portara Ensemble, Friends Life and From the Heart International Education Foundation — are first-time grant recipients.

Of the funding awarded, approximately $2.3 million is allocated for operational support for local arts and culture institutions, representing Metro Arts’ continued commitment to investing in the longevity and resilience of Nashville’s cultural organizations.

The remaining funds were distributed among 19 project grants intended to increase access to the arts, create new artworks and build organizational capacity and sustainability, such as:

Intersection contemporary music ensemble, to bring the works of composer Hannibal Lokumbe to men, women and youth incarcerated at area prisons and detention centers

  • New Dialect contemporary dance company, for the development of dance workshops designed specifically for differently abled youth, adults and their caregivers
  • Nashville Ballet, for the production of “Lucy Negro Redux,” an original ballet by Artistic Director Paul Vasterling, based on the work of local poet Caroline Randall Williams and composer Rhiannon Giddens, which explores themes of racism, otherness and self-love
  • Adventure Science Center, to engage teaching artists to work with middle school students in the Nashville After Zone Alliance on a community-created art exhibition inspired by outer space.
  • National Museum of African American Music, to conduct “From Nothing to Something: Workshops for Seniors,” exploring the musical history of instruments used by early African Americans

“Through Nashville’s population growth and budget changes, we’re thankful to be able to maintain our commitment to equitable access to the arts, to the longevity of these cultural institutions and to making innovation possible for new projects,” said Metro Arts Chair K. Clay Haynes.

“We appreciate the great partnerships we have with arts institutions and organizations in Nashville and look forward to another great year of programming and cultural services for all residents of Davidson County,” said Metro Arts Interim Director Caroline Vincent. “We are grateful for the support Mayor Briley and the Metro Council in supporting access to arts and culture. Investment in the arts is an investment in all of Nashville.”

The nonprofit arts and culture industry 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.

A complete list of grant awards and other program information can be found at the Grants page of

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 receives operational support from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and additional information is available online at