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April 23 , 2009

Recovery Act Funds Available To Eligible Arts Organizations

Tennessee Arts Commission will award grants to help preserve jobs

NASHVILLE - - As a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the Tennessee Arts Commission has announced the availability of federal funds through the “Investing In Tennessee” (IIT) grant category.  These funds will provide federal assistance from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for the sole purpose of protecting and preserving jobs in the nonprofit arts sector that are threatened by the current economic downturn. Application deadline is May 21, 2009.

 “Tennesseans value the arts, not only for personal enrichment and a better quality of life, but also for the economic impact they bring to communities across the state,” said Gov. Phil Bredesen. “Like many other segments of our economy, the arts have struggled during these tough economic times. The Recovery Act will allow us to speed economic recovery by saving jobs, including jobs in our highly-regarded arts industry where Tennesseans make immeasurable contributions to their communities, our children’s education, and our state’s culture.”

According to Rich Boyd, executive director of the Tennessee Arts Commission, applicants who receive funding through the IIT grant category will be required to adhere to strict reporting under federal guidelines. Grant recipients must submit quarterly reports detailing the use of funds and progress made toward job preservation.  The grant category aligns with eligibility criteria set forth by the NEA for ARRA funding. “We are pleased to make this one-time opportunity available to our arts organizations across the state, and we look forward to the positive impact these funds will have on the economic vitality of our communities,” said Boyd.

Among the 450 organizations funded annually by the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Commission has identified 82 organizations that would be eligible to apply.  These organizations have received funding in the current and past two fiscal years in the Major Cultural Institution (MCI) and General Operating Support (GOS) grant categories, and have the administrative staff to comply with reporting standards.

An organization may submit one IIT application for up to $25,000, specifically for the purpose of 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.

Because of the shortened application period, the IIT grant application will not utilize the Commission’s eGRANT system. The application and specific guidelines are available through a special section on the Commission’s Web site: www.arts.state.tn.us/grant_arra.htm
Applications must be hand-delivered by Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 4:30 p.m. CDT or mailed and postmarked by May 21 to Tennessee Arts Commission, Attn: Rod Reiner, deputy director, 401 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN 37243-0780.  Projects may begin no earlier that July 1, 2009, and must end no later than March 31, 2011.  For additional information, visit www.tnrecovery.gov or www.recovery.gov.

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.

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