STS FY2020 Application Guidelines

The Student Ticket Subsidy Grant Application is closed for the 2018-2019 school year. The Fiscal Year 2020 STS application will open for all counties again on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. Central Time for projects occurring between September 12, 2019-May 25, 2020.


The program provides funds for artist fees, ticket costs, and transportation fees in order for students from Tennessee public schools to experience a broad variety of cultural opportunities, arts disciplines, and artists during the school day.

Allowable activities include Program Types listed on the Teaching Artist Roster as:

  • Arts Appreciation – Exposes students to a broad variety of cultural experiences, arts disciplines and artists and increases their appreciation for the art form. While students are primarily observers watching, listening, and/or reacting to professional artists performing, creating, and/or discussing their art forms, a hands-on component might be included.
  • Arts Curriculum – Deepens student understanding and participation in a specific art form through lesson(s) based on national and/or state curriculum standards in the arts. Instruction is experiential and hands-on, with an emphasis on artistic skills, techniques, and vocabulary. Student assessment is included.
  • Arts Integration – Provides interdisciplinary lessons that connect arts and non-arts national and/or state curriculum standards. Instruction is experiential and hands-on, with an emphasis on exploring a non-arts concept through the teaching of artistic skills, techniques, vocabulary, and/or social and historical context. Student assessment is included.

Allowable activities include exposure-based arts performances, exhibits, or field trips (Arts Appreciation). Activities also may include artist residencies of more than one day that allow students hands-on participation in an art form (Arts Curriculum/Arts Integration). Arts Curriculum and Arts Integration activities could also include a supplemental activity like a field trip, school-wide assembly, or showcase to ensure that many students have access to high quality professional arts and cultural experiences.


Payment will be made in the form of a check by the Tennessee Arts Commission directly to the school and will be sent to the mailing address provided in the STS Application and STS Evaluation. You will be asked to verify the correct mailing address in your award letter by submitting this version of the W9 form.

A school awarded a Student Ticket Subsidy (STS) grant is required to submit the STS Evaluation before receiving the grant funds. The STS Evaluation must include:

  • actual date(s) the project occurred
  • actual amount(s) of ticket and/or travel funds charged by the artist/arts group and/or transportation provider
  • supporting documentation showing actual charges which includes an invoice from the artist/arts group and/or a receipt from the transportation provider. The artist should use this STUDENT TICKET SUBSIDY ARTIST INVOICE FORM

The STS Evaluation can be found in the Reports Due section in the Online Grants System under the same account that was used to create the awarded STS application and must be received in completion within 30 days after the project has taken place or by June 1, 2020, whichever comes first. No grant funds will be disbursed until an acceptable STS Evaluation is received through the Online Grants System. Failure to complete the STS Evaluation by June 1, 2020 may result in the school not receiving the STS grant funds. 


Please read the following information carefully:

  • STS applications must be submitted online through the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Online Grants SystemFaxed, mailed or hand-delivered applications will NOT be accepted. Applications will be available beginning at 8:00 am Central Time on August 13, 2019 in the Online Grants System.
  • Artists must be selected from the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster.
  • A school may apply for a maximum of $3,000 in STS funds per school year.
  • STS events or projects must occur during school hours.
  • A school should submit ONE application for all students and teachers participating in ONE event or project. For additional events or projects, multiple applications WILL BE considered for funding up to the $3,000 maximum for all combined applications. Teachers from the same school should make every effort to coordinate the projects together. (Example: One application for Artist A. requesting $1,000 for artist fees for an in-school project. A second application to see Artist B. requesting $2,000 for tickets and transportation fees for a field trip. Two applications = $3,000 maximum from a school.)
  • An event or project with multiple dates is considered ONE event/project if the SAME artist or arts group is used over the course of multiple dates. Projects with multiple days do NOT have to be scheduled over consecutive days. Applicants should indicated estimated project beginning and end dates in the STS Application and actual project beginning and end dates in the STS Evaluation.
  • A school should only manage one school applicant profile in the Online Grants System; however, multiple individuals at the school are allowed to register for their own login and password to manage grant applications for the school.
  • No later than thirty (30) days after the completion of the STS activity, or by June 1, 2020, whichever comes first, the organizing teacher must complete the STS Evaluation in the Online Grants System. Failure to complete the Evaluation may result in the school not receiving the STS grant funds. For more information, see the STS Evaluation Instructions.
  • All applicants are required to have a DUNS number. Information and application instructions can be found here.



Schools and artists should direct questions to one of the following TAC staff members. Please do not direct the same question to multiple staff, as this will slow down the response time. Please reference the Application ID found in your Online Grants System account or award letter when communicating about a submitted grant application or evaluation.

Meredith Callis, Arts Education Special Projects Coordinator, at or 615-532-5934

Ann Brown, Director of Arts Education, at or 615-532-5939 


Funding for STS is allocated by county according to school age population and by demand. STS applicants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are expended. Applications must be received a minimum of 30 days prior to the start of the project. For example, if the STS activity begins December 12, your STS application must be submitted online by November 12.

The STS application will be available in the Online Grants System beginning August 13, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. Central Time for projects beginning no earlier than September 12, 2019. Please note that you will not see the application in the Online Grants System and will not be able to begin completing the application until the application opens on August 13, 2019.

Projects must occur between September 12, 2019 through May 25, 2020.


  • If organizing teachers are notified that their STS application has been awarded funding, they should notify the artist/arts group. Then, notify the school accountant to expect that a check will be mailed to the address indicated in the W9 form/STS Evaluation after proper submission of the STS Evaluation in the Online Grants System. The Tennessee Arts Commission will make payment directly to the school approximately 30 days after the STS Evaluation has been properly completed and submitted in the Online Grants System.
  • Schools may not take a percentage of grant funds for administration fees. The full grant award must be applied toward the STS activity. Organizing teachers are responsible for maintaining communication with artists and school bookkeepers.
  • Artists and arts groups presenting STS-funded activities must provide student preparatory materials to teachers at least ten days prior to the event.
  • It is suggested that artists and arts groups not charge admission for teachers, principals, parent chaperones, and other school staff accompanying students (maximum of one free chaperone per ten students).
  • The organizing teacher must reserve tickets or book the arts event with the chosen artist or arts organizations. The teacher will note the Reservation/Confirmation Number provided by the artist or arts organization in the STS Application.
  • If awarded STS funds, the school is responsible for paying the artist or arts organization the agreed upon fee that is associated with the Reservation/Confirmation Number. If the final amount for the artist or arts organization is less than what was awarded in the application, the school should request in the STS Evaluation the lesser amount charged as indicated in the artist’s or arts group’s invoice.
  • While the school is required to contact the artist or arts group to notify of funding approval or denial, the Tennessee Arts Commission will also email each artist/arts group a list of schools that are awarded and denied funding to work with that artist/arts group during each round of funding. It is the responsibility of the school and the artist/arts group to work out the details of the project or event funding through Student Ticket Subsidy.
  • Artists and arts groups should use this STUDENT TICKET SUBSIDY ARTIST INVOICE FORM to bill the schools for the STS project on or following the date of the event.
  • If a funded event is cancelled due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances, the organizing teacher or school principal should notify the Tennessee Arts Commission within ten (10) working days from the date of cancellation to change the date, reschedule, or cancel the event. Every effort should be made to reschedule the project during the current school year.

The maximum amount of compensation STS artists may receive in any fiscal year from all STS activities is $16,000 for individual artists or $30,000 for arts groups. In the event a school has selected an artist or arts group that has reached the maximum amount, schools will be given the opportunity to select an alternate artist or arts group.



Follow these steps to locate and select approved artists:

  1. Approved artists may be found on the Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster
  2. Under Program Type, select Arts Appreciation, Arts Curriculum, and/or Arts Integration depending upon the program type(s) you would like to carry out. Use the remaining boxes to narrow your search by Artistic Discipline, Travel Regions, and Populations/Areas of Interest. As many artists work statewide, teachers may want to use broad search criteria. Click the “Search” button.
  3. Click on the name of an artist/arts group to view that profile and sample programs. While each sample program will only include one of the Arts Appreciation, Arts Curriculum, or Arts Integration indicators, the artist/arts group may be able to offer a multi-faceted program for your school that incorporates more than one Program Type.
  4. Contact the artist/arts group to arrange the activity.


The online grant application will become available at 8:00 am CT on August 13, 2019. Below is a list of information that schools will need in order to complete the application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to register and complete the Organization and People Profiles ahead of time so that when the application becomes available, it can be completed in a short amount of time. Please use the checklist in Step 4 below as a worksheet to gather information before the application opens.

Step 1: Register in Online Grants System

All principals should be the main contact for STS grants to public schools. Principals planning to apply for the STS grant MUST register first if they are not already in the Online Grant System. Once you have submitted your registration, you will receive an email from Lee Baird, Grants Analyst, which will contain your username and information on how to retrieve your password. For information on how to register, click here. For issues in registering, contact Lee Baird at 615-532-0493 or or Mike Chambers at 615-532-9800 or

NOTE: All principals applying for the STS grant MUST register first. If teachers wish to submit the STS application, they should register in the system also. Either way, principals need to be registered in the system.

Step 2: Complete Your Organization Profile


NOTE: Before you apply for the STS grant, it is essential that you complete your Organization and People profiles. Completed Organizations and People profiles will pre-populate in grant applications which will make the process for applying for STS quicker! Completing your Organizations and People profiles can be done at any time of the year.

How to complete your Organization Profile: 

  1. Log into the new Online Grants System here
  2. Click the “Organizations” tab on the left-side navigation
  3. Select your Organization Profile from the list view that displays on the right when you click the Organizations tab
  4. Click the “Edit” button
  5. Make updates to your Organization Profile
  6. Click the “Save” button


IMPORTANT: As a public school, you only have to complete information in the Organization profile that is listed below. 

Contact Details

  • Legal Name (This is the name of the school not school district.)
  • Is your organization a Public School that serves any grades between PK-12?
  • Street Address
  • City
  • TN County
  • Country
  • State
  • 9-digit Zip (If you do not know your 9-digit zip code, contact your local post office or obtain it from

Input legislative district information based on the physical street address above. Visit any of the following to find your legislative districts: County Election Commission,  (Search Votesmart by entering your nine-digit zip code for your physical street address in the text box on the bottom of the page next to the word “Submit”), the Tennessee General Assembly’s Find My Legislator, or the United States House of Representatives’ Find Your Representative.

Enter legislative district numbers based on your organization’s physical address into the required fields.

  • US Congressional District
  • TN Senate District
  • TN House District
  • Organization Phone

School Information

  • Principal Name
  • Principal Email
  • Principal Phone
  • School District
  • Superintendent Email
  • School Bookkeeper Name
  • School Bookkeeper Email

Organization Information

Fiscal Year End Date

  • Month
  • Day

Accessibility Coordinator Information

  • Name
  • Title
  • Email

MAILING ADDRESS FOR PAYMENTS – Must match W9 form on file with State of TN

  • Is your mailing address the same as your street address?

Step 3: Complete Your People Profile


How to complete your People Profile:

  1. If you’re not already logged in, log into the new Online Grants System here.
  2. Click the “People” tab on the left-side navigation
  3. Select your People Profile from the list view that displays on the right when you click the People tab
  4. Click the “Edit” button
  5. Make updates to your People Profile
  6. Click the “Save” button

People Profile

IMPORTANT: As a public school, you only have to complete information in the People profile that is listed below. 

People Profile

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email
  • Work Phone
  • Work Phone Extension


  • I am (may be) applying for funding as an individual (in the future)

Choose from the drop down list

  • I identify my race/ethnicity primarily with the following population

Choose from the drop down list

Personal Contact Information

  • Street Address
  • City
  • TN County
  • County
  • State
  • 9-digit Zip (If you do not know your 9-digit zip code, contact your local post office or obtain it from
  • Mobile Phone
  • Is your mailing address the same as your street address?

Step 4: Submit STS application on or after August 13, 2019


  1. If you’re not already logged in, log into the new Online Grants System here.
  2. Click the “Apply for Grants” tab on the left-side navigation
  3. Scroll down to the STS Grants section and click “Apply for Student Ticket Subsidy”
  4. Complete sections below


Remember to click the Save button before navigating away–the form will not auto-save.

  • Fiscal Year
  • Is this your first time applying for Commission Funds? Yes or no
  • Organization Name School Name
  • Location School-headquarters
  • Primary Contact Principal Name
  • Primary Signatory Principal Name

The primary signatory, above, is the person who has the legal authority to bind the applicant or applicant organization to this grant application. If  the name of your Primary Signatory is not showing in the drop down box, click “Add New” and fill in the Title, First Name, Last Name, and Email, at a minimum. Click Save.


  • Project/Event Title (Enter the name of the event or project.)
  • Please select if yes or no for Title I School
  • Program Type (Select Arts Appreciation, Arts Curriculum, and/or Arts Integration. If you are carrying out a project that meets the definition for more than one Program Type based on the definitions on page 1, make sure to select all that apply.)
  • Name of Artist/Arts Group Name select from the list (Select the name of Artist or Arts Group as it appears on the Teaching Artist Roster from the drop-down menu.)
  • Project/Event Type (Select In-school or Field Trip based on if the project will occur in school or on a field trip.)
  • Artists/Arts Group Contact Person (Provide the name of the contact person for the artist or arts group.)
  • Artists/Arts Group Email (Provide the email address of the contact person for the artist or arts group.)
  • Reservation/Confirmation Number (The Artist or Arts Group should provide a Reservation/Confirmation Number that indicates an agreement between the school and artist or arts group to hold the STS event. It is the responsibility of the school and artist or arts group to carry through with the proposed project.)
  • Estimated Project/Event Start Date (The event/project cannot begin before September 12, 2019. The online grant application must be submitted at least 30 days before the STS project. Please note that a project with multiple days must be scheduled on consecutive dates. An Event/Project with multiple dates is considered ONE Event/Project if the SAME artist or arts group is used over the course of two or more consecutive dates.)
  • Estimated Project/Event End Date (The event/project must end by no later than May 25, 2020.)
  • Number of Participating Students (You will be asked to provide the actual number of participating students after the STS event.)
  • Artist Fee/Ticket Funding Request (Complete this only if you are requesting funds to pay the Artist or Arts Group.)
  • Travel Funding Request (Complete this only if you are requesting funds for gas or buses to transport students on a field trip to the STS event. It is not for in-school events or for the artist or arts group to travel to your school.)
  • Total Amount Requested for Project/Event (This is cannot exceed $3,000.)
  • Number of Artists Participating Number of artists participating in providing artistic services specifically identified with the award. Include living artists whose work is represented in an exhibition regardless of whether the work was provided by the artist or by an institution. If no artists were directly involved in providing artistic services, enter 0. Note that if no artists are involved in this project, the project is ineligible for funding under Student Ticket Subsidy.
  • Project Discipline Descriptions and drop down list
  • Type of Activity  Choose from drop down list
  • Arts Education (Choose the percentage that best represents how much of the project is targeted toward a certain age group such as K-12 or preschool. If the project does not involve arts education, select “None of the project involves arts education.” Note: Applicants who select “None of the project involves arts education” should NOT APPLY for Student Ticket Subsidy funds.)


As part of the application submission process, you should have completed your Organization Profile as well as your People Profile. Review the Organization and Contact Information to ensure that it is complete and correct. If any information is incorrect, please modify your Organization and People Profiles. See above.


Individual or Project Director for School must certify here:

  • Enter Name and Title (if applicable)
  • Click *I certify
  • Save
  • Submit

NOTE: Once submitted, the application will move from the Draft Applications to Submitted Applications, if it is still in Draft Applications then the application was not submitted. Please verify the you clicked the Submit button properly and the application was received by checking the Submitted Applications tab in your Online Grants Account. No hard copy of the application should be submitted to the Tennessee Arts Commission for Student Ticket Subsidy grant requests.

Note the Application ID of your STS Grant Number. All communications with Commission staff should include this number as a point of reference. 


Submitting an online grant application does not automatically assure STS funding. The Contact Person will receive notification of the status of the grant award by email approximately 30 days after properly submitting the application. If you do not receive email notification about the status of your application after 30 days, please contact TN Arts Commission staff to determine the status of your application.

If a funded event is cancelled for any reason, the Contact Person or Principal must inform the Tennessee Arts Commission within ten working days from the date of cancellation. The Project Director or Principal may propose to the Commission a different event/project presented by approved artists or arts organizations in order to use the allocated funds. Failure to reschedule a funded activity may jeopardize future funding.