NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State Senator Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge), Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston), Representative John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge), Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro) and Representative Kent Calfee (R-Kingston) announced today that six arts grants have been awarded to five organizations in Anderson County from the Tennessee Arts Commission with a combined total of $73,010. The grants are made possible through an appropriation of state funds by the General Assembly, federal dollars from the National Endowment for the Arts and by Tennesseans who buy specialty license plates.
“This is great news for these arts organizations,” said Senator McNally. “I am very pleased these funds will be available to them.”
“The grants recognize Oak Ridge’s long history in support of the arts,” added Senator Yager. “These organizations are important to many citizens in our area.”
The grants include two grants 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 arts are an important part of our cultural heritage,” added Rep. Ragan. “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,” said Representative Powers. “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,” said Rep. Calfee.
“Tennessee is fortunate to have elected leaders who appreciate the importance of our vibrant arts and cultural heritage,” said Ann Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission.
According to Pope, 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.