JAC Grant Guidelines


FY 2022 JAC Grant
Grant Program Guidelines

A program funded by the City of Jackson and Jackson Arts Council donors and administered by the Jackson Arts Council.


The mission of the Jackson Arts Council is to “Connect and Strengthen the Arts.”  The Council is committed to strengthening and expanding arts organizations in our community and to developing financial means to support arts organizations and the arts in our community.

The Jackson Arts Council JAC Grants provide funds for a variety of quality arts projects.  Funds awarded to a single organization whose mission statement is solely arts focused range from $500 to $5,000.  Applications must contain a clear, single-project focus.  Grant funds in this category must be matched dollar-for-dollar.  Only one grant application may be submitted per applicant.  Other nonprofit organizations may request $500 to $2,500 for support of an arts project.


Applications must be submitted online by 4:00 P.M., April 28, 2021.  Funded projects may begin on July 1, 2021, and must be completed by June 1, 2022.


Individuals are not eligible to apply for funding assistance for projects.  An organization is eligible to apply for project specific funding support of its arts activities if:

  • The organization is a nonprofit organization legally chartered in Madison County and in possession of a determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service declaring the organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Colleges and universities are eligible only for activities that clearly serve the needs of surrounding communities and are designed to involve a broad audience (Credit-producing or student-oriented activities are not eligible).
  • The organization is not a government entity.
  • The organization must have an elected or appointed governing board that is representative of the community served.


The following are examples of single-project focused activities and expenditures that are consistent with the funding philosophy for JAC Grants:

  • Projects that involve and promote local artists.
  • Visiting artists conducting master classes.
  • Specific aspects of workshops, festivals, and conferences.
  • Public performances, production, and exhibitions produced by the applicant.
  • Exhibitions of art by local artists and artists from outside Madison County.
  • Promotion, publicity, and newsletters.
  • Administrative and artistic staff support.
  • Research and documentation as part of a project or program development.
  • Consultancies and residencies for administrative and artistic activities.
  • Touring projects that bring professional performers to Madison County.
  • Improved program accessibility for underserved constituencies, (e.g., children, people living in rural communities or isolated settings, people with disabilities, people of color, and senior citizens).
  • Extensions of literary projects, journals with continuing publication, or juried anthologies.
  • Computer software/training.
  • Technical/production support.
  • Technical assistance projects.


The following are examples of activities and expenditures not fundable through JAC Grants:

  • Insurance premiums.
  • Endowments.
  • Office space rental.
  • Janitorial service and general physical plant maintenance.
  • Food and hospitality.
  • Permanent equipment purchases.
  • Scholarships.
  • Payment of accumulated deficits.
  • Capital improvements.
  • Vanity publications.
  • Out-of-state travel.
  • Scholarly arts-related research and writing.
  • Cash awards.
  • Purchase of local public art.
  • Legal fees.
  • Planned fundraising activities.
  • Events to which the general public is not invited.
  • Payments to members of the organization’s board.


The JAC Grant requires at least a one-to-one dollar match, meaning the applicant must cover at least half of the cost of the project.  In-kind contributions cannot be used for the match requirement.


All Jackson Arts Council programs, services, and facilities are fully accessible to all Jackson/Madison County artists and citizens.

No person on the grounds of race, color, national origin, disability, age, religion or sex shall be excluded from participation in, or be denied benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination of services, programs, and employment provided by the Jackson Arts Council and its contracting agencies.

All JAC Grantees must showcase collective impact through community partnerships.


Your JAC Grant application will be reviewed by a Grants Review Panel.  While not required, your attendance at the panel review meeting is strongly encouraged.  Panelists may wish to direct specific questions to you regarding your project.

The advisory panel reviewing JAC Grant applications use the following criteria on a 100-point scale:

  • Evidence that the organization understands and is responsive to the diverse interests and needs of Jackson/Madison County through community partnerships(15 points)
  • Evidence that the proposed project demonstrates artistic, cultural, and/or educational value to Jackson/Madison County (15 points)
  • Evidence that the proposed project advances the organization’s mission to Jackson/Madison County (10 points)
  • Evidence that the proposed project supports the work of artists through payment of fees, services, or other appropriate benefits (10 points)
  • Evidence that the organization understands and will act as an advocate for the public value of the arts in Jackson/Madison County (10 points)
  • Evidence that the organization understands the role of marketing to maximize participation in their project (10 points)
  • Evidence of diverse sources of financial support for the organization (10 points)
  • Evidence that the organization’s application is well-planned, addresses all questions, is correct, and is complete in information materials submitted and that planning procedures are comprehensive, inclusive, and communicated (10 points)
  • Evidence that the Board has job descriptions (5 points)
  • Evidence that the Board has an effective rotation policy to which it adheres (5 points).


  1. Good grantsmanship influences the review of applications.  Incomplete or inaccurate proposals will result in a negative review.
  2. Before submitting your application, have someone outside your organization or unfamiliar with your project to review the application. A second set of eyes is always helpful.
  3. Proofread the application for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.
  4. If selected for a grant award, your organization will need to be represented at Arts Coalition Events in FY22. Grantees also agree to use Jackson Arts Council’s name and/or logo on all publicity, including advertisements, associated with the project.

Complete the Online JAC Grant Application Form

A link to the Application Form is available on the JAC website: jacksonartscouncil.tn.org/grant-programs.

All fields are required. When completing each field refer to the scoring rubrics listed above. Your answers to the questions contained in the application are your opportunity to communicate to the reviewers why your project should be funded, so be complete and be specific in your answers.

Project Budget

Please, download the spreadsheet (JAC Grant  Project Budget Form FY22). Enter your complete project budget for both total expenses and total income. The Applicant Cash Match column MUST be equal to or greater than the JAC Grant Funds column. When you have completed the form, save it and upload it to the Project Budget section of the application.

Following the Project Budget field is a text box for specific and detailed explanations for each line item of the budget.

Required Documents

The final section allows you to upload pdf files of certain required documents. The following documents are required: 1) One-paragraph bio of key staff, including the project director, 2) List of Board of Directors, 3) Job Descriptions for Board Members, 4) Letter of Support, 5) Your organization’s Budget for the year in which the proposed project will take place (Income and Expense), 6) Audit Report or IRS Form 990 from most recent fiscal year, and 7) Documentation of advocacy efforts.

Arts advocacy is not arts programming.  Advocacy is not marketing or P.R.  Advocacy is actively pleading the value of public arts to elected officials.  This documentation may include photos of elected officials at your events, thank you notes to elected officials for funding provided, evidence that your organization and/or board members are members of Tennesseans for the Arts, evidence that your organization promotes the sale of specialty license plates, photos of your group attending Arts Advocacy Day, or evidence that your board members attended City Council or County Commission meetings when JAC was scheduled to be on the agenda.

Your Online Grant Application May Be Edited

When you have completed the online form, click on the "Submit" button. You will see a message indicating that your response has been recorded and a link to "Edit your response." Right-click on the link and click on "Save link as..." This will allow you to save the link to your form to your computer's hard-drive. To return to your application form for editing, simply click on that saved link. Once you have made your revisions, you must click the "Submit" button again. SAVE THE LINK AGAIN. The original link will take you back to the unedited version. You should receive an email at the email address you submitted in the application. The email will contain a copy of your application responses as well as a link to edit those responses.

Logo & Marketing

If selected for a grant award, your organization will be requested to be represented at Arts Coalition Events in FY22. This includes attendance and marketing support. Grantees also agree to use Jackson Arts Council’s name and/or logo on all publicity associated with the funded project including all advertising, billboards, yard signs, posters, online posts, and program booklets.

Additional Required Documents

If you are a first-time applicant, JAC is required to have on-file a copy of 1) Your organization’s Charter of Incorporation, 2) IRS Letter of Determination stating that your organization is a 501(c)(3) organization, and 3) Constitution and By-Laws. We will notify you, and the required documents may be submitted via email.

Stay in the know! Sign up for the newsletter: