Research News

Limited Submission Opportunity: Tennessee Arts Commission – Arts Build Communities FY2025

Applications due April 11

Vanderbilt University may submit only one application to the TN Arts Commission’s Arts Build Communities program.

The Arts Build Communities (ABC) grant program is designed to provide support for arts projects that broaden access to arts experiences, address community quality of life issues through the arts, or enhance the sustainability of asset-based cultural enterprises. ABC funds may be used to:

  • Provide innovative arts experiences that are new or unfamiliar to community residents
  • Offer arts programs that are designed to help affect positive change in community social issues
  • Develop arts programming that strengthens social networks through community engagement
  • Undertake cultural arts initiatives that enhance a community’s identity and/or economic development
  • Offer training that helps experienced or emerging artists/arts administrators develop entrepreneurial skills or innovative strategies for building sustainability


Colleges and universities are eligible only for activities that clearly serve the needs of surrounding communities or the State and are designed to involve a broad audience. Activities that are credit-producing or are oriented primarily to collegiate students and the academic community are not eligible.

Vanderbilt may request a maximum of $5,000 from the TN Arts Commission.

New in FY25: ABC is now a non-matching grant.

  • Appropriate Activities: 
    • Projects that involve and promote Tennessee artists
    • Visiting artists conducting master classes
    • Festival coordination and programming
    • Public performances, productions and exhibitions produced by the applicant
    • Exhibitions of art by Tennessee artists and artists from outside Tennessee
    • Promotion, publicity and newsletters
    • Administrative and artistic staff support
    • Research and documentation as part of a project or program development
    • Touring projects that bring professional performers to communities across the state
    • Improved program accessibility for underserved constituencies, such as at-risk youth, economically disadvantaged individuals, people living in rural communities or isolated settings, people with disabilities, people of color and senior citizens
    • Art in public places
    • Extensions of literary projects, journals with continuing publication or juried anthologies
    • Apprenticeship programs
    • Computer software/training that builds or enhances creative workforce skills
    • Technical/production support
  • ABC funds may NOT be used:
    • Insurance premiums
    • Endowments
    • Office space rental
    • Janitorial service and general physical plant maintenance
    • Food and hospitality
    • Permanent equipment purchases
    • Scholarships
    • Payment of accumulated deficits
    • Capital improvements
    • New periodicals, books, etc. (such as vanity publications)
    • Out-of-state travel
    • Scholarly arts-related research and writing
    • Cash awards
    • Purchase of local public art
    • Legal fees
    • Planned fundraising events
    • Events to which the general public is not invited
    • Payments to members of the organization’s board
    • Consultant fees for technical assistance
  • Please note:
    • All projects sponsored in part or entirely with ABC funds must be accessible to the general public
    • Applications from colleges or universities or other institutions of higher education, whether public or private, must emphasize non-academic community involvement in the planning and implementation of the project

Please see the program website for more information.

Internal Application Instructions

Interested faculty should visit to apply for the internal LSO competition and to find additional information about the opportunity. The deadline for the internal competition is April 11, 2024.

Any questions about this opportunity or the LSO process may be directed to