A! Magazine for the Arts

Tennessee Arts Organizations receive Grants From The National Endowment for the Arts

July 14, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN -- As a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), federal funds have been designated to help preserve jobs in Tennessee's highly-regarded arts industry during the current economic downturn.

With those funds available, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently announced that eight Tennessee arts organizations will receive funding directly from the NEA in the form of direct grants.

In addition, 13 other arts organizations in the state will receive Investing In Tennessee grant funds through the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Southern Arts Federation. Many arts-related jobs have been threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support, and these funds are primarily for the preservation of those jobs.

President Barack Obama and members of Congress recognized that the nonprofit arts sector is an important part of the economy. Key members of the Tennessee Congressional delegation encouraged the President to provide funding for the arts in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

"The support of friends of the arts in Tennessee's Congressional delegation was crucial in this process, and it's gratifying these individuals recognize the value and importance of the arts to our communities across the state," said Rich Boyd, executive director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. "We want to thank all those who supported the grant funding, as we look forward to the positive impact these funds will have on the economic vitality or our state."

Arts organizations receiving direct grants from the NEA include:

Jubilee Community Arts Knoxville $25,000

Knoxville Symphony Society Knoxville $25,000

Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga $100,000

Cumberland County Playhouse Crossville $50,000

Nashville Symphony Association Nashville $50,000

Beale Street Caravan Memphis $25,000

Center for Southern Folklore Memphis $50,000

Memphis Orchestral Society Memphis $50,000

Tennessee arts groups receiving funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission's Investing In Tennessee grant program include:

Johnson City Area Arts Council $28,000

Knoxville Opera Knoxville $25,000

Knoxville Museum of Art Knoxville $25,500

Jackson Foundation
dba The Renaissance Center Dickson $26,750

Arts and Education Council Chattanooga $26,000

Association of Visual Artists Chattanooga $26,000

Hunter Museum of American Art Chattanooga $25,000

Jackson Arts Council Jackson $18,800

Nashville Children's Theatre Nashville $25,000

Nashville Shakespeare Festival Nashville $25,000

Country Music Foundation, Inc. Nashville $25,000

Theatre Memphis Memphis $25,500

Memphis Black Arts Alliance, Inc. Memphis $25,000

"With the 13 grants awarded through the Commission and the Southern Arts Federation, along with the eight grants awarded directly through the National Endowment, our state's economic recovery is well on its way," said Boyd. "These grants will save jobs in the arts sector, which will strengthen our communities and have a far-reaching economic impact on our state. The arts make immeasurable contributions to our state, whether its attracting industry, cultural tourism, or contributing to our children's education."

Nationwide, the NEA is awarding 631 direct grants, totaling $29,775,000.The funds are to be used specifically for jobs preservation. Threatened positions may include full-time permanent staff or contracted artists, technicians, or part-time staff whose elimination impedes the organization from fulfilling its mission. Organizations may also use funding to re-contract with performing groups or exhibiting artists who were canceled due to the economic downturn.

About the Tennessee Arts Commission

The Tennessee Arts Commission is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences that add value to the lives of every citizen, and enhances the quality of life in Tennessee communities.