New Ballet Ensemble & School
photo: Patricia Possel

Press Release: ArtsMemphis to Steward First Tennessee Foundation Arts Funding

For immediate release

ArtsFirst grant panel will allocate more than $350,000 to arts groups

MEMPHIS (January 11, 2012) – First Tennessee Foundation has reinforced its significant investment in the arts in Memphis through a unique new funding model. The foundation will partner with ArtsMemphis to steward a grants program called ArtsFirst. In 2012 First Tennessee Foundation will allocate more than $350,000 through ArtsFirst to Memphis area arts organizations to promote excellence and enrichment in the arts.

First Tennessee has been a longtime, significant investor in the cultural arts community through many channels, including the Innovation for the Arts competition, a major gift to the ArtsMemphis general grants fund and direct foundation and bank contributions. ArtsFirst will replace all these grant programs.

“A vibrant cultural arts community is part of any great city, and Memphians have long celebrated and embraced the arts in a unique way.  First Tennessee Foundation is proud to partner with ArtsMemphis to ensure our investments continue to help our arts community thrive,” said Charles Burkett, chair of First Tennessee Foundation.

“First Tennessee Foundation sets the bar for local corporations in its generosity and commitment to the arts,” said Susan Schadt, ArtsMemphis President & CEO. “We are proud that its leadership selected ArtsMemphis as a partner based on our grant-making history and knowledge.”

All requests for First Tennessee Foundation ArtsFirst grants will be made through ArtsMemphis. Grant decisions will be made by a grant panel composed of representatives from First Tennessee Foundation and ArtsMemphis. Eligible organizations, which include museums, performing arts and visual arts organizations, must be located in Shelby County and have a history of presenting quality arts projects. More information can be found at

About ArtsMemphis
Since 1963, ArtsMemphis has raised funds to ensure excellence in the arts and build a vibrant cultural community for everyone. In FY11, ArtsMemphis allocated more than 95 percent of its annual campaign, in addition to enhancement funds from the historic Memphis for the Arts endowment campaign, to award $2.8 million to the Memphis arts community through 280 grants in nine grant categories. For more information, visit
Share |

One Gift Helps 80 Arts Groups and Artists

Donate Today