(NASHVILLE, TN) — State Senators Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro and Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) announced today that 13 arts grants have been awarded to 11 organizations in Rutherford County from the Tennessee Arts Commission with a combined total of $71,340. 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 Tracy. “I am very pleased these grants have been awarded for this purpose.”
“We thank the Tennessee Art Commission and Executive Director Anne Pope for their decision to award these grants,” said Senator Ketron. “The arts are extremely important to our communities, especially in terms of education, economic development and cultural development. Our local organizations fared very well with these grants and I am sure the recipients will put the funds to good use in promoting our cultural heritage and the arts.”
The grants include $15,900 for the Center for the Arts, $9,000 for the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra and $7,150 for Kids for the Creative Arts. The Youth Empowerment Through Arts and Humanities will receive $12,800 in three separate arts grants. Other recipients include Smyrna West Alternative School, Eagleville School, International Folkloric Society Planning Council, Middle Tennessee Choral Society, Children’s Museum Corporation, Generation for Creation and Main Street Murfreesboro.
“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 Senator Tracy.
According to Pope, the Arts Commission will award approximately 1,000 community grants in both urban and rural areas through the 2016 fiscal year, totaling $5.3 million. The allocation process involves a review by citizen advisory panels made up of Tennesseans with expertise in appropriate disciplines and a final review by the full 15-member Commission.