NASHVILLE -- State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) and Rep. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) announced two arts grants have been awarded in Cannon County from the Tennessee Arts Commission for a combined total of $36,400.
The grants are made possible through an appropriation of state funds by the General Assembly, federal dollars from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by Tennesseans who buy specialty license plates.
"It is very important that we preserve our cultural heritage for future generations," said Senator Beavers. "I am very pleased this grant has been awarded for this purpose."
"The arts do have a positive impact on our community and the effects certainly trickle down: the creative thinking skills of students are improved, our local culture is communicated through various mediums, and the community's beauty is enhanced for our residents and visitors," said Rep. Pody.
A grant of $28,700 goes to the Arts Center of Cannon County in the form of partnership support.
The Center produces community theater & school matinees, offers summer youth conservatory, concerts, gallery exhibitions and displays its folk arts collection in a 18,000 square ft. facility. 33,000 individuals are estimated to benefit from these programs.
The second grant of $7,700 goes to the Cannon Association of Craft Arts for a marketing plan for the annual White Oak Craft Fair.
Neal Appelbaum, Arts Center executive chairman, said he was pleased by the news.
"I would encourage the public to purchase specialty license plates - not just for the Arts; it is an easy way to individually support a big cause," Appelbaum said.
"The Tennessee Arts Commission is honored to award these annual grants to support Tennessee's communities and schools through the arts. These investments help cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and offer all of us a better quality of life, provide our children with a more complete education, stimulate economic development and attract tourists to our state," said Tennessee Arts Commission Executive Director, Anne B. Pope.
Annual grants provide funds for: arts education projects, such as professional development for teachers, arts education in communities and programming for children in grades PK-12; operating support to well-established arts organizations; and project support for arts projects in urban and rural counties.
Annual grant review panels were held throughout the month of April to review the grant applications. Panels are divided into different categories including Arts Education, Arts Access, Community Arts, Folk Arts, Literary Arts, Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Theater, Inter-Arts, Funds for At-Risk Youth and Rural Arts. Panel members are appointed to two-year terms and generally consist of professional artists, arts administrators, patrons, sponsors, educators and community leaders.
The Tennessee Arts Commission board members voted unanimously to approve the annual grants on June 10 at the Commission quarterly board meeting. The meeting was the last quarterly meeting of FY15 in which the 15-member board historically votes on allocations and budget for the next fiscal year.
The Annual Grants are the first of a series of grants that will be made by the Tennessee Arts Commission. The Commission expects to award over 1,000 grants during FY2016, totaling more than $5.3 million dollars. These funds have a direct impact on communities across Tennessee, in both urban and rural areas.
Of the $5.3 million dollars that will be granted, $4.5 million came from specialty license plate fees earmarked to benefit the arts. Additionally, the Commission receives a state appropriation and federal funding, namely from the National Endowment for the Arts.