Federal support of the arts is critical.

The NEA provided about $1.45 Million to Tennessee organizations including support for the Tennessee Arts Commission which flows into Shelby County to help educate children, employ artists, and generate economic activity.

Details Here

On Wednesday, May 31, The Commercial Appeal will run the ad above highlighting the importance of the NEA grants in Tennessee.  We hope you will share this ad with your friends, colleagues, and U.S. Senators to spread the word about how the NEA supports your local community in Tennessee.  In addition to sharing this ad in Tennessee, you can also take action by sending a customizable message to your congressional delegation to support the NEA.  


May 23, 2017, the White House released the official details of its proposed FY2018 "skinny budget" that President Trump proposed back in March.

In this latest version, the president doubles down on his recommendation to eliminate the nation’s key federal cultural agencies for the arts, humanities, museums, libraries, and public broadcasting by allocating the minimal amount “for expenses necessary to carry out their closure.” The budget proposal also eliminates important arts education and afterschool grant programs.

  • Congress is now our only firewall to prevent the President’s extreme proposals from being enacted. Please contact your Members of Congress to urge them to #SAVEtheNEA and these other cultural agencies.  Be sure to look up and include your own stories of how NEA grants have impacted the arts in Tennessee and our Congressional district.
  • Send a customizable tweet to your Members of Congress. Click the Twitter logo on that page to pull up the customizable message that will automatically be sent to your specific Congressional delegation. 
  • Contribute to the Arts Action Fund to support the #SAVEtheNEA campaign.

President Trump's FY 2018 Budget Proposal

May 23, 2017

Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2017

By Randy I. Cohen, Feb 14, 2017, Americans for the Arts

This year’s changes include the following:

  • #1 and #2 highlight new research about the public’s belief that the arts improve personal well-being and unify our communities.
  • #4 updates the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account, showing a $26 billion rise in the arts contribution to the economy.
  • #10 calls out the importance of the arts in helping our returning military service members to heal and reintegrate back into their families and communities.

Read More>>

Get Poster>>


In the News

Below are links to recent news articles about the potential funding cuts to the arts. Please take a moment to learn the facts, contact legislators, and spread the word so others may do the same.

#ArtMatters | Memphis postcard campaign to protect arts funding

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Want to advocate for the arts but don't know where to start?

Americans for the Arts - Arts Action Fund

The Arts Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit membership organization affiliated with Americans for the Arts. They are the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. Launched in 2004, the Arts Action Fund seeks to engage citizens in education and advocacy in support of the arts and arts education. The Arts Action Fund's goals are to:

Enlist and mobilize 1 million citizen activists who will help ensure that public and private resources are maximized and that arts-friendly public policies are adopted at the federal, state, and local levels.

Join this organization for free today, click here.

Tennesseans for the Arts (TFTA)

Bringing the community together. Promoting education. Delighting our children. Tennesseans for the Arts (TFTA) knows that the arts foster vibrant communities, while making good economic sense. They inspire our children, while they tell us who we are. We believe there’s no better way to enrich the quality of life for all of us.

Tennessee Arts Advocacy Day

Arts Advocacy Day was held in Nashville at the Public Library on March 1, 2017.

TFTA and your fellow advocates from across Tennessee spent the morning in informative programming and then met with lawmakers from our region to let them know that the arts are valued in our community.

Arts Advocacy Day 2017

Each year, arts supporters from across the state gather in Nashville to visit with their lawmakers.  Organized and presented by Tennesseans for the Arts, Arts Advocacy Day offers the opportunity for all segments of Tennessee's extraordinary arts and cultural community to come together to 1) Network and make new friends, 2) Receive advocacy and policy information about arts funding in Tennessee, and 3) Speak with our state legislators about the importance of the arts in our state.  

On March 1, 2017, 50 delegates from Memphis had the opportunity to speak with:

  • Representative Raumesh Akbari | District 91
  • Representative G.A. Hardaway Sr. | District 93
  • Senator Brian Kelsey | District 31
  • Representative Ron Lollar | District 99
  • Representative Larry J. Miller | District 88
Group With Rep Akbari Marquis Archuleta Rep GA Hardaway 1 Group With Sen Kelsey Group With Rep Miller Group With Rep Lollar Group With Rep GA Hardaway Speaking Group With Rep GA Hardaway 1 Group With Rep Akbari Speaking

Buy an Arts License Plate or Gift-A-Tag

70% of state arts funding comes from the sale of arts and collegiate license plates

  • Now you can buy a GIFT-A-TAG voucher for the purchase of any of Tennessee's Specialty License Plates. There are over 100 to choose from. To purchase a voucher, click here!

  • GIFT-A-TAG vouchers are $35 and you can buy as many as you want—for your family, friends or treat yourself. Each GIFT-A-TAG is good for the purchase of a Specialty License Plate or the personalization of any license plate. 

If you already have a Tennessee arts license plate, stop by our office (575 South Mendenhall) or email a picture to info [at] artsmemphis [dot] org to receive a FREE ArtsCard, offering discounts to the arts across the city!

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