New COVID-19 Arts Resilience Grant Available for Arts Organizations

Press Release #
Arts Resilience Grant graphic

The Tennessee Arts Commission is proud to introduce the Special Opportunities: COVID-19 Arts Resilience Grant for Fiscal Year 2021. This new opportunity provides non-matching funds for nonprofit organizations and local governments (ranging from $500-5,000) to support creative responses to COVID-19 through the arts.

Applicants must complete and successfully submit all sections, including required uploaded documents, of the FY2021 Rolling Grant Application electronically at a minimum of 30 days in advance of the project start date. Projects may occur between December 5, 2020, through June 15, 2021.

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on Tennessee’s creative economy, leading to losses of 61,000 jobs and $3.6 billion in sales and services (Brookings). Cancellations and closings are taking place across the country, and two-thirds of the nation’s artists are now unemployed (Americans for the Arts). This opportunity endeavors to engage the creative sector in ways that strengthen communities through projects that increase community and organizational sustainability and resiliency create a sense of belonging and place, advance community and public health efforts, document this unprecedented moment, and promote community dialogue. In addition, applications should consider ways to enlist and employ artists and creative workers in innovative, responsive initiatives that benefit Tennesseans and their communities and stimulate economic recovery.

Applications are encouraged that

  • 1. Invest in arts and cultural assets to enhance everyday life for all Tennesseans.

  • 2. Foster innovation and excellence.

  • 3. Accelerate the transformation of rural areas through the nonprofit arts and creative sector.

  • 4. Strengthen community vibrancy through cross-sector and public/private partnerships with the arts.

Artistic examples include, but are not limited to, public art projects, murals, drive-in dance or theater performances, outdoor music concerts, and virtual literary arts experiences.

Organizations are eligible to receive one Special Opportunities: COVID-19 Arts Resilience Grant during Fiscal Year 2021. Current grantees, including organizations receiving operating support, are eligible to apply for a Special Opportunities Grant as long as the proposed project is a separate and distinct project not currently funded under other Commission grant programs during FY21.