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February 1, 2008


Cultural Crossroads grants assist communities in promoting their unique artistic and heritage resources

NASHVILLE - - The Community Arts Development Program of the Tennessee Arts Commission has announced the availability of grants for cultural tourism projects. The Cultural Crossroads grant category is designed to assist Tennessee communities to identify and promote their unique artistic and heritage resources through cultural tourism projects. Successful applicants in this category will demonstrate the development of innovative partnerships among arts-focused organizations and tourism and economic development entities. Grant awards will range from $500 to $8,000.

Tennessee-based nonprofit organizations and government entities are eligible to apply for these grants. All funded projects must be arts-focused, and at least one primary partner in the project must be an arts-focused organization. Applicants can now apply for Cultural Crossroads grants through the Commission’s online eGRANT system. Applications must be postmarked by Tuesday, March 25, 2008, for projects taking place between September 1, 2008, and June 15, 2009.

Cultural tourism is the fastest-growing segment of the tourism market, according to Leigh Patton, director of community arts development for the Commission. “There is a direct connection between the promotion of a community’s unique cultural characteristics and its economic condition. These grants will provide some financial support for projects that create new partnerships between the arts and tourism while identifying and promoting unique cultural events and programs in Tennessee.”

The current Cultural Crossroads guidelines reflect feedback received by the Commission since the grant category began in 2002.  The guidelines continue to focus on innovative partnerships among the arts, non-arts, tourism and economic development fields.  If the lead applicant is a non-arts organization, a strong primary partnership with an arts-focused organization is required, and all projects must have an arts focus. 

“We have opened up the program so that more tourism and economic development agencies can participate; but, because our mission is arts-focused, we require that all projects involve an arts partnership and be arts-focused,” Patton said.
  The Cultural Crossroads grants are made possible through a partnership between the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts’ Challenge America Program.

Guidelines and applications are available on the Commission’s Web site: www.arts.state.tn.us/grant_categories.htm.  Application can be made through the Commission’s online eGRANT system. For more information contact Leigh Patton at (615) 532-9796 or e-mail: leigh.patton@state.tn.us.

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