Tennessee lawmakers announced this month that six arts grants worth a total of $73,010 have been awarded to five organizations in Anderson County.
The grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission include two awards with a combined total of $18,600 for the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge in the categories of Arts Education-Community Learning and Partnership Support.
Other grants include $23,110 to the Oak Ridge Community Playhouse in the category of Partnership Support, $16,900 to the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association in the category of Partnership Support, $11,620 to the Oak Ridge Community Art Center in the category of Partnership Support, and $2,780 to the Tennessee Mountain Writers in the category of Art Project Support.
The grants were announced by Tennessee Senator Randy McNally, an Oak Ridge Republican; Senator Ken Yager, a Kingston Republican; Representative John Ragan, an Oak Ridge Republican; Representative Dennis Powers, a Jacksboro Republican; and Representative Kent Calfee, a Kingston Republican.
The grants are made possible through an appropriation of state funds by the Tennessee General Assembly, federal dollars from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by Tennesseans who buy specialty license plates, a press release said.
Ann Pope, executive director of the Tennessee Arts Commission, said the Arts Commission will award approximately 1,000 community grants in both urban and rural areas through the 2017 fiscal year, totaling $5.5 million. The allocation process involves a review by citizen advisory panels made up of Tennesseans with expertise in appropriate disciplines and a final review by the full 15-member commission.
“Tennessee is fortunate to have elected leaders who appreciate the importance of our vibrant arts and cultural heritage,” Pope said.
Here are comments from the legislators, as quoted in the press release:
“This is great news for these arts organizations,” McNally said. “I am very pleased these funds will be available to them.”
“The grants recognize Oak Ridge’s long history in support of the arts,” Yager said. “These organizations are important to many citizens in our area.”
“The arts are an important part of our cultural heritage,” Ragan said. “I hope these funds will help them in providing their services to area citizens during the coming year.”
“These grants will strengthen our community by helping fund projects that encourage artists to flourish,” Powers said. “We have a wonderful artistic community in Anderson County, and this grant will assist those artists and organizations who live here in growing, improving, and displaying their artistic skills for all to enjoy.”
“The arts do have a positive impact on our community and the effects certainly trickle down: the creative thinking skills of students are improved, our local culture is communicated through various mediums and the community’s beauty is enhanced for our residents and visitors,” Calfee said.
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