Nearly Half a Million Dollars of COVID-19 Relief Money to Fund the Arts in Tennessee


The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded The Tennessee Arts Commission with $474,000 in COVID-19 relief money to, according to a press release, to “save jobs in the nonprofit arts sector.”

The COVID-19 relief money comes courtesy of the federal CARES Act. The Arts Commission will also receive another $60,000 in federal CARES Act funds from South Arts, the regional arts agency for Southern states, the press release said.

“The Commission will re-grant 100 percent of the federal CARES funds totaling $534,000 to approximately 190 arts organizations and local government entities with a distinct arts focus across the state. These federal CARES funds are intended to be distributed as broadly as possible to help save jobs in the nonprofit arts sector and keep the doors open to arts organizations that add value to Tennessee’s economy and the creative life of our communities,” according to the press release.

“In an effort to expedite federal CARES funding and to ensure proper management of federal dollars, these funds will be re-granted directly, without separate application, to Tennessee organizations meeting all of the eligibility requirements.”

According to the press release, those eligibility requirements include the following:

• Nonprofit arts organizations or local government entities with a distinct arts focus as defined by the Commission

• They have applied for and will receive a competitive Annual grant award in FY2021

• They have received Commission awards within one or more of the past three years (FY 2018, 2019 and/or 2020)

As The Tennessee Star reported last week, Nashville Mayor John Cooper directed $24 million in funding from the federal CARES Act to provide every public school student in Nashville-Davidson County with a laptop.

And students who need internet connectivity will get it.

This, according to the city’s COVID-19 website.

“This investment is sufficient for Dell Computers to provide Metro Nashville with up to 90,000 laptops for the projected 84,740 students who will be enrolled in traditional and charter schools in the upcoming school year,” according to the website.

“The cost of each computer will be just above $200 per device, a significant reduction from their list price.”

Earlier this summer, MNPS surveyed families to determine how many families had access to the Internet. Fifteen percent of families who responded to the survey reported that they did not have internet access. Adjusting for no respondents, MNPS has estimated that 20 percent of their families lack internet access, the website said.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]



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One Thought to “Nearly Half a Million Dollars of COVID-19 Relief Money to Fund the Arts in Tennessee”

  1. 83ragtop50

    More of my tax dollars down the toilet.