Stax Music Academy
at the Levitt Shell

ArtsFirst Grants

ArtsFirstWhat 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee Foundation representatives, who make all funding decisions.

The First Tennessee 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


Please Note:The FY19 ArtsFirst Application is now closed. 



2018 ArtsFirst Grantees

2018 ArtsFirst Grantees

Angel Street | Operational Support
Ballet Memphis | Peter Pan
Circuit Playhouse | Theatre Outreach Programming Support
Collage Dance Collective | Turning Pointe Outreach Program
Company d | LOCAL: Impressions
Creative Aging | Fall Fundraiser-Sponsorship
Crosstown Arts  | Lifeworks Collaborative Project
Dixon Gallery and Gardens | El Taller de Grafica Popular Exhibition
GPAC | Capital Campaign
Hattiloo Theatre | Strengthening our Core
Memphis Brooks Museum | 2018 Wine + Food Series
Metal Museum  | Exhibition Support for Alchemy4 and FORGE
New Ballet Ensemble | Scholarships
Opera Memphis | McCleave Project, Phase 2
Orpheum Theatre | Story Pirates
Playback Memphis | Be the Peace in Frayser
RiverArtsFest | Art in the Making, Arts Education
Soulsville Foundation | Stax Spring Concert: Tribute to 1968
Tennessee Shakespeare Company | Operational Support
Theatre Memphis | Presenting sponsorship
Urban Art Commission | Revisiting: Projects and events sited around existing public art

2017 ArtsFirst Grantees

2017 ArtsFirst Grantees

Ballet Memphis | Ballet Memphis Midtown Campaign
Carpenter Art Garden | Arts Engagement in the Binghampton Community
Circuit Playhouse, Inc. | Theatre Education and Outreach Super Sponsorship
Collage Dance Collective | Collage Ballet Conservatory
Creative Aging Memphis | Arts Programs for Underserved Seniors
Crosstown Arts | 2017 Exhibition Series
Dixon Gallery and Gardens | Isabelle de Borchgrave: A Retrospective
Hatiloo Theatre | Hattiloo at the Library
Levitt Shell | Stars at the Shell Benefit
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art | 2017 Memphis Wine + Food Series
Memphis College of Art | First Tennessee Foundation Scholars
Memphis Museums, Inc (Pink Palace) | Preserving and Protecting Two Memphis Treasures:  Burton Callicott Mural and Vertis Hayes Painting at the Pink Palace Museum
National Ornamental Metal Museum | South Memphis Youth Initiative
On Location: Memphis and Clayborn Reborn LLC | On Location: Memphis' Clayborn Reborn Film Series
Opera Memphis | Friends of Madame McCleave
Orpheum Theatre Group | Rhythmic Circus Student Matinee and Family Series
RiverArtsFest, Inc. | Art in the Making
Soulsville Foundation | "Stax at 60 Concert Series"
Tennessee Shakespeare Company | The Comedy of Errors
Theatre Memphis | Season Sponsorship
UrbanArt Commission | UAC 20th Anniversary
The Withers Collection | Martin's Last March

2016 ArtsFirst Grantees

2016 ArtsFirst Grantees

Africa In April Cultural Awareness Festival | 30th Anniversary Celebration
Ballet Memphis | Audience Building: Carnival of the Animals
Blues City Cultural Center | This Is Orange Mound
Carpenter Art Garden  | Arts engagement - Binghampton community
Circuit Playhouse, Inc. | Unrestricted support
Company d | Presenting Sponsorship, LOCAL
Creative Aging Memphis | Arts for Underserved Seniors
Crosstown Arts | Artist-led Digital Media Workshops
Dixon Gallery and Gardens | Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art
Hattiloo Theatre | Holiday Jamboree
Indie Memphis | Community Engagement Series
Levitt Shell | Stars at the Shell Benefit Concert/Preservation Campaign
Memphis BoyChoir, Inc. | Winter Music Program
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art | Presenting Sponsor - Centennial Exhibition, Red Grooms: Traveling Correspondent; Memphis Wine + Food Series
Memphis College of Art | Scholars Program
Memphis Symphony Orchestra | Holiday Concert
National Ornamental Metal Museum | Visible Storage Project
New Ballet Ensemble and School | Binghampton Residency/Summer Program
Orpheum | Eric Carle's Brown Bear
Playback Memphis | Memphis Matters/Community Matters Performances
RiverArtsFest, Inc. | Art in the Making
Soulsville Foundation | Live in Studio A at Stax Museum with Stax Music Academy Alumni Band
Tennessee Shakespeare Company | Henry V
Theatre Memphis | Presenting Season Sponsorship
Visible Music College | Madison Avenue Overlook

One Gift Helps 80 Arts Groups and Artists

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