What is ArtsZone?

ArtsZone is the AutoZone arts funding program administered by ArtsMemphis. ArtsZone strengthens the Memphis community by combining AutoZone’s commitment to excellence and enrichment in the arts with ArtsMemphis’ grant-making experience and knowledge. Funding generally supports programs or program operations. Funding is determined by a grant panel composed of AutoZone representatives. Note: Capital campaigns are not supported through ArtsZone funding.

Who is eligible for ArtsZone funding?

501c3 organizations in the greater Memphis area with an arts focus, a minimum three-year history of presenting quality arts projects and an active Board of Directors.

What should I apply for?

Typically ArtsZone grants range from $5,000 - $15,000.

AutoZone considers the following when reviewing requests for funding: 

Engages the Memphis community 

  • Diverse areas of Memphis have access to and participate in the activity, program or action 
  • Actively promotes Memphis as a place to live, work and play 
  • Broad base of community support and participation 

Exemplifies AutoZone Values and company culture 

  • Puts customers first, cares about people, strives for exceptional performance, energizes others, embraces diversity, helps teams succeed 
  • Organization operates efficiently and adapts to changing financial conditions 

Financial stability and diverse sources of support 

Sustainable partnerships and collaboration with other organizations 

Organization has a clearly defined purpose and the capacity to carry out its mission 

Project goals and measurement tools are clearly defined 

Alignment w/ AutoZone priorities: education, social services, economic development, community vitality 

AutoZoner involvement (AutoZoner=employees of AutoZone); opportunities for AutoZoner and/ or AutoZone customer participation 

Prior year accomplishments 

  • Successful fulfillment of prior grants 
  • History of successful and quality execution 
  • Organization has the capacity to execute grant 

Proactive and timely program/ project communication and partner recognition 

How to Apply:

Submit a Letter of Intent (no more than two pages, emailed as a PDF to lthompson [at] artsmemphis [dot] org) that includes:

  • Description of the project.
  • Description of how the project will strengthen the organization’s mission.
  • Overview of how the project will engage and impact the greater Memphis area.
  • Measures of success, both qualitative and quantitative.
  • Amount of funding requested and project budget amount.
  • Timeframe for the project. (The current application cycle is for projects occurring October 2016-August 2017. If the project you are requesting support for begins before October 15, 2016, please contact Lucie Thompson to discuss prior to submitting a Letter of Intent.)
  • Current operating budget amount.
  • Names of any AutoZoners (AutoZone Employees) involved with your organization.   

Important Dates:

  • Friday, April 8 (5:00 pm): Letter of Intent deadline
  • Week of April 18: Organizations will be notified regarding invitation to submit a full application
  • Friday, May 27 (5:00 pm): Full application deadline
  • September: Funding announcements made

Contact: Lucie Thompson (901-578-2787, lthompson [at] artsmemphis [dot] org)

What if I don’t qualify or have a capital campaign request?

Visit AutoZone.com/CommunityRelations

2015 ArtsZone grants

  • ArtsMemphis                                                General operating support
  • Ballet Memphis                                            Arts Education/outreach
  • Beale Street Caravan                                   Music Zone Elevation Initiative
  • The Blues Foundation                         International Blues Challenge & Blues Music Awards
  • Circuit Playhouse Inc.                                 Arts education/outreach
  • Collage dance Collective                             Collage Ballet Conservatory
  • Dixon Gallery & Gardens                             Teen Studio
  • Hattiloo Theatre                                          Pay-What-You-Want expansion
  • Indie Memphis                                         Film festival
  • Iris Orchestra                                           Community Engagement 
  • Levitt Shell                                               2015/2016 Concert Series
  • Memphis Brooks Museum of Art               General operating support
  • Memphis College of Art                              Scholarships 
  • New Ballet Ensemble & School                    Scholarships
  • Opera Memphis                                        30 Days of Opera
  • The Orpheum Theatre                            Cat in the Hat sponsorship/Student & Family Series
  • RiverArtsFest                                             Artists at Work expansion
  • Stax Music Academy                                Student performances
  • Theatre Memphis                                       A Christmas Carol 
  • TheatreWorks                                             Stage floor
  • UrbanArt Commission                                General operating support
  • Visible Music College                                  Visible Music Week
  • WEVL, 89.9 FM                                            Blues on the Bluff