Stimulus Saves Up to 35 TN Arts Jobs

The Tennessee Arts Commission says federal stimulus money sent to the state has saved as many as 35 jobs in the arts.

When the $787 billion federal stimulus was approved, $50 million went to the National Endowment for the Arts. From there, some money went directly to arts organizations. The Nashville Symphony and Cumberland County Playhouse have both received $50,000.

The Tennessee Arts Commission was charged with divvying up more than $300,000 in smaller increments to worthy non-profits. Executive director Rich Boyd says applicants had to prove the money would save jobs.

“It had to be documented by actual board minutes, that this had been discussed, or actual job loss.”

For example, the Country Music Foundation received $25,000 dollars to restore a curator position that had been eliminated.

Boyd says the Arts Commission now shifts into a monitoring phase to ensure the money is used as it was intended.

Forty-eight applications came in from across the state asking for more than a million dollars. A list of the Tennessee recipients is at


Arts organizations in Tennessee receiving direct grants from the NEA include:

Center for Southern Folklore, Memphis – $50,000
Jubilee Community Arts, Knoxville – $25,000
Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga, Chattanooga – $100,000
Beale Street Caravan, Memphis – $25,000
Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville – $50,000
Knoxville Symphony Society, Knoxville – $25,000
Memphis Orchestral Society, Memphis – $50,000
Nashville Symphony Association, Nashville – $50,000

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

Johnson City Area Arts Council, Johnson City – $28,000
The Renaissance Center, Dickson – $26,750
Arts and Education Council, Chattanooga – $26,000
Association of Visual Artists, Chattanooga – $26,000
Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville – $25,500
Theatre Memphis, Memphis – $25,500
Jackson Arts Council, Jackson – $18,800
Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Nashville – $25,000
Country Music Foundation, Inc., Nashville – $25,000
Memphis Black Arts Alliance, Inc., Memphis – $25,000
Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga – $25,000
Nashville Children’s Theatre, Nashville – $25,000
Knoxville Opera, Knoxville – $25,000

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