ArtsMemphis is engaged in a multi-year process of realigning our arts investment programs. In keeping with the needs of our community and trends in our field, we continue to develop strategies to better support the variety of arts in Shelby County, to base arts investments on organizations’ current work and progress in addressing the needs of communities, and to establish goals for diversity and inclusion for our staff, board and partners. As we work through this process, we will continue to communicate with and invite input from all artists and arts organizations – those that have previously received funds from ArtsMemphis as well as those that have not – to ensure this process is open and transparent, and the needs and perspectives of the full arts spectrum of Shelby County are integrated into our process. Our guidelines, criteria and funding totals continue to evolve and we will continue to distribute information and host conversations about our programs to ensure all current and potential grant recipients are well informed of our funding opportunities.
For reference, the papers linked below provide information and context on similar work happening across the country, examining arts funding trends and the need for more equitable funds distribution.
Grantmakers in the Arts: Recalculating the Formula for Success
Helicon Collaborative: Not Just Money
Memphis Music Initiative: Disruptive Philanthropy
Providing operating funds to arts organizations has been a cornerstone of ArtsMemphis’ since its founding in 1963. ArtsMemphis recognizes that unrestricted support is necessary to shape a dynamic and sustainable arts community. Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of local individuals, foundations and corporations and the Tennessee Arts Commission, ArtsMemphis will invest nearly $1.24M in arts organizations in FY19 through a competitive operating support grant program.
This unrestricted funding is intended to advance ArtsMemphis’ mission of sustaining Memphis’ world-renowned cultural vitality and strengthening local communities through the arts. These investments should supplement other revenue, both earned and contributed, generated by the organization.
Our eligibility criteria and guidelines have changed and as we continue to evolve this program to ensure greater equity in our arts investments, we anticipate further changes in the years ahead. Evaluation criteria have remained largely the same as last year.
Organizations must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible to apply for funding consideration:
The following entities are not eligible for Operating Support Grants but may be eligible for other funding through ArtsMemphis.
Group 1: Current fiscal year budget less than $100,000 OR less than 3 years of ArtsMemphis grant support in past 5 fiscal years
Group 2: 3-Year Budget average of $100,000-$399,999 AND 3 years of support from ArtsMemphis in past 5 fiscal years
Group 3: 3-Year Budget average* of $400,000-$1,499,999 AND 3 years of support from ArtsMemphis in past 5 fiscal years
Group 4: 3-Year Budget average* of $1,500,000+ AND 3 years of support from ArtsMemphis in past 5 fiscal years
*3-year expense average as reported on Form 990 will determine funding category for Groups 3-4.
Three years of support in past five fiscal years means that an organization received at least one ArtsMemphis grant, from any of our programs including designated gifts, in three different years since July 1, 2013.
Total Operating Support funds available - $1.239M ($1.194M in FY18)
Submit questions to Tracy Lauritzen Wright at [email protected]
2:00pm at Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance, 2670 Union Avenue Extended, Suite 100
6:00pm at ArtsMemphis, 575 S. Mendenhall
10:00am at National Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry Street
All grant application materials must be submitted by 5:00 pm
As scheduled by ArtsMemphis staff
All information sessions have concluded. You can download and view the information session presentation here.
If you have questions please refer to the FAQ document for updated information. Any further questions can be directed to Tracy Lauritzen Wright at [email protected].
IMPORTANT: Please download the document version of the organization profile and application forms before beginning to fill in the requested information so that you may compile your responses. You may then copy and paste your responses into these online forms. It is not possible to save your work mid-way through completion of the online application form, and it must be filled out in one sitting.
You may submit questions about this grant in writing to Tracy Lauritzen Wright at [email protected].
We will begin to provide information in the FAQ document after the June 12 information sessions.
Questions received by July 13, 2018 will be answered and included in the FAQ document.
If you have any questions regarding the FY19 Operating Support Grants please call our office at (901) 578-2787 or contact Tracy Lauritzen Wright at [email protected]