The Upper Cumberland Development District is pleased to announce the Arts Build Communities grants for 2018. This year a total of $15,852 was awarded to ten applicants from six counties. A panel of five members reviewed the applications on line, met briefly with the applicants to ask questions and submitted their scores. These scores were averaged and awards were made by a funding formula approved by the Tennessee Arts Commission.
For several years, the Algood Senior Center has coordinated the Upper Cumberland Quilt Trail using ABC funds matched by consumer funding to create quilt squares on over 300 plus barns and buildings in 13 counties. This year, they are asking to hire a computer savvy individual to update, compile and assemble a data base and to produce a flier for patterns in Putnam County. This data base will be available to all counties to use to develop brochures focusing the traveling public’s attention on the painted patterns taking them down secondary roads not normally used by the traveling public to increase tourism. Their award will be $1,725.
The Cookeville Museum will receive $1,580 for the one day “Storyfest in the Park” event to hire renown storyteller Tim Lovwory from South Carolina as the featured Story Teller. This is the fifth year of the one-day event and the only one of its kind in the Upper Cumberland. This event attracts over 500 adults and children and this is the first time ABC funds have been requested to expand the event which includes 20 plus visual artists and other story tellers.
The Fentress County Summer Fine Arts Camp will receive $1,596 to be matched by the school board who first voted in 2014 to fund the 3-day camp for 120 students from grades 3-8. Seven 45-minute Fine Arts classes will be conducted by music, art and dance teachers who will utilize TN Promise scholarship students as assistants. This program is especially important because students have only one music class per week in a school system where 89% are on free or reduced lunch.
Pickett County, the smallest county in the state, has been able to establish its own theatre. The Good Neighbors Theatre, first charted in 2003, has grown from a few plays in churches to producing four plays, a community show, two seasonal theatrical productions and an art exhibit engaging over 2500 people from Pickett and surrounding counties in Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. This hard-working group of volunteers will receive $1,975 to contract for a part time professional, to improve the quality of the productions.
Granville Museum utilizes its small-town appeal by creating events throughout the year like the month long “Scarecrow Festival” in October. The board is asking for funds to expand the number of scarecrows made by selected art students in Jackson and Smith counties. The $1,725 requested will be used for supplies to create the scarecrows and for marketing the festival in Middle Tennessee which attracted over 33,900 people last year.
Granville Senior Center will receive $500 to be able to offer two four-week drawing and painting workshops to 25 student’s grades 5-8, senior citizens and other community members. ABC funds will be used to pay two artists and a coordinator at the senior center for the workshops. The value of the workshop is that it exposes school age children and older adults in this remote area to encourage expression of thought, beliefs and emotions.
The Macon County Arts Council has invited The Young Americans, a student outreach group from the Young Americans College of Performing Arts in California, to conduct a 3-day workshop culminating in a 2-hour performance on Saturday. An estimated 200 students, grades 3-12, will be able to register for one half the fee using ABC funds to have classes in voice, dance, stage presence, and all aspects of musical production. The $2,023 ABC award will be used to contract with the 45-member group of young people from countries around the world exposing our children to cultures and training our children would routinely not have available.
Monterey High School, with 70% of the students on free or reduced lunch and 25% minority, will receive $1,975 to provide its rural residents access to community arts education. Funding will be used to pay costume design and backstage coordinators, script acquisition and other supplies for the classroom and production. This theater production which will involve 110 individuals hopes to have 4,000 attendees at the 7 productions.
The Smith County Education Foundation has been awarded to pay local musicians and artists to perform publicly at William Walton Days Harvest Festival to promote local artists in the downtown area. They hope to engage at least 20 artists and at least 1,500 individuals integrating education, culture, and arts into our rural community providing a platform for these artists to perform publicly when otherwise they might not be noticed. This one-day event targets residents in a 50-mile radius as well as tourists.
The Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council –WCTE will receive $1,173 to pay mural artist Erica Swenson to paint a mural on a building in downtown Cookeville to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the station. The artist will be filmed as she works and posted on line so viewers can see the development of this public art project. The design hopes to depict 40 years’ worth of quality programming and services and reflect on the arts and value of art in the community.
About UCDD: The Upper Cumberland Development District provides regional planning and assistance to the 14-county Upper Cumberland region to promote economic growth and community enhancement. Find UCDD on the web at and at