The Arts Build Communities (ABC) grant program through the Tennessee Arts Commission is designed to provide support for arts projects that broaden access to arts experiences, address community quality of life issues through the arts, or enhance the sustainability of asset-based cultural enterprises.

For fiscal year 2017, the Upper Cumberland Development District received $18,650 from the Tennessee Arts Commission to fund projects across the region. Eleven arts projects were completed in seven counties with over 200 artists involved. Three hundred ninety-eight volunteers provided 6,600 hours of service to conduct these projects. Over 9,024 people benefited from these programs.

A total of $15,500 was regranted by the UCDD to the following nonprofits, schools or entities of government:

  1. The Algood Senior Center added 16 new quilt squares to barns and buildings as a part of the Upper Cumberland Quilt Trail. The trail includes over 316 quilt patterns in 13 counties.
  2. Art Round Tennessee provided six workshops for 37 participants in Cookeville.
  3. The Fentress County Board of Education conducted a Fine Arts Camp for 118 students in 3rd-8th grade for five days. Classes included music, art, theater and dance.
  4. The Pickett County Good Neighbors Theatre paid fees for artistic directors. Pickett County, population 5,000 and the smallest county in Tennessee, boasted over 1,358 attendees to the plays funded.
  5. Granville Museum’s Scarecrow Festival created 50 new scarecrows using selected school children from Jackson and Smith counties. Two hundred and seven volunteers worked on the project benefiting 6,937 individuals. Granville has become our own Upper Cumberland “Mayberry” attracting some 30,000 visitors annually.
  6. The Jr. Auxiliary of McMinnville hosted a chamber orchestra with their grant which was free to the public at Park Theater.
  7. Macon County Arts Council hosted The Fisk Jubilee Singers for an audience of over 350.
  8. Main Street McMinnville was able to add a large Quilt Square to the downtown area to encourage interest in the history and heritage of the area.
  9. Monterey High School produced “Grease” with more than 500 individuals benefiting as performers or as part of the audience.
  10. Smith County was able to pay local musicians to perform at their William Walton Festival and the Hometown Christmas.
  11. Warren County Senior Center conducted a Visiting Author Series which attracted several new “Baby Boomers” to the center to hear 3 different authors discuss their writing careers.


Judy Roberson, ABC Grant Coordinator

P: 931-476-4168   E: