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June 17, 2007

CULTURAL TOURISM GRANTS NOW AVAILABLE

Cultural Crossroads grant category assist communities in promoting unique artistic and heritage resources

 NASHVILLE - - The Community Arts Development Program of the Tennessee Arts Commission has announced the availability of grants for new cultural tourism projects. The Cultural Crossroads grant category is designed to help Tennessee communities identify and promote their unique artistic and heritage resources through cultural tourism projects. Successful applicants in this category will demonstrate the development of innovative partnerships among arts-focused organizations and tourism and economic development entities. Grant awards will range from $500 to $8,000.

Tennessee-based nonprofit organizations and government entities are eligible to apply for these grants. All funded projects must be arts-focused, and at least one primary partner in the project must be an arts-focused organization. Applications must be postmarked by Monday, August 20, 2007.

Cultural tourism is the fastest-growing segment of the tourism market, according to Leigh Patton, director of community arts development for the Commission. “There is a direct connection between the promotion of a community’s unique cultural characteristics and its economic condition,” says Patton. “These grants will provide financial support for projects that create new partnerships between the arts and tourism while identifying and promoting unique cultural events and programs in Tennessee.”

The Cultural Crossroads grant category was first introduced at the inaugural Cultural Crossroads conference held in Jonesborough, Tenn., in 2002. A second conference held in Jonesborough in 2006 provided an opportunity to celebrate the success of early grantees, gather feedback on the existing grant guidelines, and provide Tennessee arts and tourism entities with technical assistance for developing cultural tourism projects.

The new Cultural Crossroads guidelines reflect feedback received by the Commission since the category began in 2002. The category has a stronger focus on innovative partnerships among the arts, non-arts, tourism and economic development fields. If the lead applicant is a non-arts organization, a strong primary partnership with an arts-focused organization is required, and all projects must have an arts focus.

“We have opened up the program so that more tourism and economic development agencies can participate; but, because our mission is arts-focused, we require that all projects involve an arts partnership and be arts-focused,” Patton said.

The Cultural Crossroads grants are made possible through a partnership between the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, Challenge America Program.

Guidelines and applications are available on the Commission’s Web site: www.arts.state.tn.us/grant_categories.htm. For more information contact Leigh Green Patton at (615) 532-9796 or e-mail: leigh.green@state.tn.us.

 

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