Stax Music Academy
at the Levitt Shell

ArtsFirst Grants

What is ArtsFirst?

Art lifts our spirits and expands our horizons. Because art plays a vital role in a healthy community, expressing the diversity within our common humanity, the First Horizon Foundation is a long-time supporter of the arts through ArtsFirst, a program to promote excellence and enrichment in the arts in Memphis. Leveraging the grant-making expertise of ArtsMemphis while ensuring a continued significant impact in the community. The grant panel is composed of First Horizon Foundation representatives, who make all funding decisions.

The First Horizon Foundation focuses contributions to strengthen these vital signs of a strong community:

  • Arts & Culture: Promoting excellence and enrichment in the arts
  • Education & Leadership: Educating, developing the next generation of leaders
  • Environment: A more sustainable tomorrow, future
  • Financial Literacy: Investing in the financial future
  • Health & Human Services: Improving the well-being of our communities


The FY23 ArtsFirst Grant is now closed. 


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2023 ArtsFirst Grantees

2023 ArtsFirst Grantees

Ballet Memphis | Ballet Memphis’ New Nutcracker—an Enhanced Tradition with Expanded Reach

Carpenter Art Garden | Art Education

Cazateatro Bilingual Theatre Group | 2023 Dia de los Muertos Celebrations

Creative Aging Memphis |  20th Season Lead Sponsor

Dixon Gallery and Gardens | Black Arts in America: From Civil Rights to the Bicentennial 

Hattiloo Theatre | Hattiloo's Pay What You Want Performance Expansion

Indie Memphis | Black Creators Forum

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art | Art Builds Creativity (ABC) 2023/2024

Memphis Jazz Workshop | Memphis Jazz Workshop After School Music Enrichment Program 

New Ballet Ensemble & School | NBES Scholarship Program

Opera Memphis | Giving Voice to Veterans

Orpheum Theatre Group | Sponsorship: Orpheum Soiree to Benefit Arts Education

Overton Park Shell | Shell on Wheels

RiverArtsFest, Inc. | Expansion of the Peggy Seessel Professional Development Series of free workshops for art educators

Soulsville Foundation | First Horizon: Creative Youth Development, Mental Health, & Student Success & Alumni Relations

Tennessee Shakespeare Company | Sponsorship of the 2023-24 Performance Season on its Tabor Stage, and the Free Shakespeare Shout-Out Series at the Overton Shell and multiple Memphis area venues

Theatre Memphis | Theatre Memphis Season Sponsorship

TONE | Juneteenth: The Family Reunion Weekend

UrbanArt Commission | UrbanArt Commission Operating Support

2022 ArtsFirst Grantees

2022 ArtsFirst Grantees

Ballet Memphis | Fall Season Opening Performance 
Cazateatro Billingual Theatre Group | October 2022 Dia De Los Muertos Events 
Dixon Gallery and Gardens |Doris Lee Exhibition
Hattiloo Theatre l 16th Season Artist Support 
Metal Museum l Reigniting the Fire: Creating a Metal Arts Center in Overton Park
New Ballet Ensemble l NutRemix Performance for Schools 
Orpheum Theatre | Orpheum Soiree to support Orpheum's Education and Community Engagement Programs
Overton Park Shell (formerly Levitt Shell) | Shells on Wheels Mobile-stage based outreach program 
Tennessee Shakespeare Company | 15th Season, including programs for youth and veterans 
Theater Memphis | 101st Season  
Tone (formerly The CLTV) | 2nd Annual Juneteenth Family Reunion Weekend 

2021 ArtsFirst Grantees

2021 ArtsFirst Grantees

Arrow Creative | Youth Summer Camp Scholarships
Ballet Memphis | Capital Campaign 
Carpenter Art Garden | Mosaic Programs
Collage Dance Collective | Capital Campaign 
Creative Aging Memphis | Operating Support
Crosstown Arts | Capital Campaign
Dixon Gallery and Gardens | Black Artists in America: 1929-1954
GPAC | Capital Campaign
Hattiloo Theatre l Sensory Friendly Shows
New Ballet Ensemble l Springloaded Gala 2021 
Opera Memphis l Company Artists Sponsorship
Orpheum Theatre | Annual Auction
Overton Park Shell (formerly Levitt Shell) | Operating Support
Soulsville Foundation |Stax Music Academy’s Music Career Fair and Spring Showcase
Tennessee Shakespeare Company | Season Sponsorship
Theater Memphis | Season Sponsorship and Capital Campaign 
Tone (formerly The CLTV) | Juneteenth Gala
UrbanArt Commission l Revisiting and Responding Project

Contact Us

If you have questions, please contact our Grants and Initiatives Department:
Tracy Lauritzen Wright, Chief Operating Officer [email protected]
Bryce Goodloe, Programs & Operations Manager [email protected]
ArtsMemphis (901) 578-2787

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ArtsMemphis is a registered Non-Profit Public Charity.

One gift supports 68 arts organizations and 145 artists

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