Metro Public Art recently released its vision for the future of Public Art in Nashville. Recommendations in the Community Investment Plan call for many different ways to activate artists and support transformational change in our community. One of the many approaches we are taking is asking artists to be a part of the visioning process for various civic projects in partnership with Metro departments and agencies including Parks, Libraries, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Authority and many more. 

If you are an artist with a social or civic practice, an active listening process, a history of community-engaged projects, this opportunity may be for you. We are specifically looking for artists who are interested in being PAID to attend community/public input meetings, as well as lead and conduct community visioning and art activities as it relates to civic projects (i.e. the redevelopment/redesign of a park, an affordable housing development or transportation infrastructure and streetscapes).

Budget, Scope and Commitment:
The budgets below are general estimates. For any work an artist does beyond the following scope, an additional fee will be negotiated.
  • To attend meetings and participate in visioning conversations: approximately $250 per meeting (no more than 2 hours)
  • To facilitate art activities, feedback processes or envisioning exercises: $500 to $1,000 per workshop (no more than 2-4 hours active time with community members, planning time is also to be included in this fee.

NOTE: By applying, you are not committing to any specific projects, meetings or dates at this time. If selected, artist’s name will be added to Metro Arts’ Artists in Community Visioning roster. Metro Arts will share opportunities as they arise. Metro Arts, nor its partners, are obligated to hire artists. Each project will be evaluated on a case by case basis.


Individual professional artists or artist teams that maintain a primary residence or studio in Davidson County are eligible to apply

Professional artist
: An artist of at least 18 years of age with the following qualifications:
  • At least two years or visual art exhibition history OR
  •  At least two tears of commissioned visual or public art. 
Artist team:
  • Two or more professional artists working collaboratively on a project OR
  • A collaborative team led by a professional artist.

Application Requirements: 
  • Artist Contact Information
  • Completed Online Application (via Metro Arts’ Submittable website)
  • Artist CV or Resume (2-3 pages Max) demonstrating artistic experience of at least two years of exhibition, performance or professional history.
  • Artist’s Supporting Materials
    • Visual Arts: Up to 6 digital images
    • Performing Arts: Up to 3 minutes of video or audio material. If your videos can be found online via direct link (i.e. YouTube, Vimeo), please add links to a word document and upload the document to the application.
    • Literary Arts: Up to 6 pages of material
  • Three Professional References: List three people with whom you have worked on a community-based project (preferably an organizational partner) who can discuss their experience working with you.
  • Application Questions
    • Please express your interests in working as an artist involved in the visioning process of various Metro-led civic projects (up to two paragraphs).
    • Are you open to being paired with an artist of a different discipline if a particular project calls for a multi-dimensional approach?
    • Are there specific geographic areas or neighborhoods you are interested in working?
Selection Process: Artist qualifications will be reviewed by Metro Arts staff, who will make recommendations for the artist roster to the Public Art Committee for review and approval. 

Metro Nashville is interested in supporting artistic and cultural activation throughout the city.

Metro allows artists or organizations who are working with a professional artist(s) to install artworks in the Metro Right of Way. Artworks, with prior approval and appropriate agreement, may include signal box covers, sidewalks, retaining walls, or other locations deemed appropriate by Metro.

An agreement, appropriate permits and final artwork design must be approved in writing before installation begins. Metro shall also have the final determination on where artwork can be located.

Artwork Criteria

Artworks in right-of-way will not be approved, if the artwork design violates any of the following:

  • Artwork is not allowed to contain inappropriate or offensive images or words.
  • Artworks that convey messages appearing to advertise or promote a commercial entity (corporation or for-profit business) will not be accepted.
  • If the artwork promotes an organization or non-profit entity, a sign permit may be required.
  • Images that create a driver distraction or could be confused with traffic control devices will not be accepted.

In addition to the Artwork in the right-of-way agreement, applicants will be required to obtain a permit for any activity occurring in the right-of-way. This may include temporary sidewalk or traffic lane closures.

Physical structures (sculptures or objects) planned to be located in the right-of-way will require an encroachment permit. Encroachment permits must be approved by the Metropolitan Council. An artwork with a below ground foundation also requires an excavation permit.

Details and requirements related to permits. (General Liability insurance is a requirement of the ROW permit)

Applicant must notify, in writing, any abutting property owners (street, road, alley or right-of-way or fee owner of easement) and the district member of council representing the area of such artwork before Metro approval and agreement may be executed. Documentation of such communications may be required.

Installation, Safety and Maintenance Requirements

  • By approval of an Artwork in the Right of Way, Metro does not accept ownership of said artwork nor any responsibility for future maintenance. Any on-site liability of the artwork or installation of artwork is assumed by the applicant/artist.
  • No artwork can obstruct or cause American with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations in the right-of-way.
  • Any art placed on a sidewalk must be made of an anti-skid resistant material. The material must comply with the American with Disabilities Act.
  • All artwork materials used should be designed for use on the particular surface to be painted (or adhered to). Metro reserves the right to review and approve any materials.
  • The applicant shall clean and prime surfaces prior to the application of materials unless this requirement is waived in the agreement.
  • Paint and other materials shall be applied according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Vinyl wraps must be professionally installed.
  • Ventilation channels on utility boxes shall not be covered with paint or other materials.
  • Anti-graffiti coatings are encouraged. Removal of graffiti often results in the removal of the anti-graffiti coating as well so it may need to be reapplied.
  • If artwork is tagged with graffiti or damaged within the time period approved in the Artwork in Right of Way agreement, Metro will contact the applicant to repair. The applicant has 3 days from notification to abate graffiti and 30 days from notification to repair any other damage. If graffiti is not removed within 3 days, Metro reserves the right to paint over the portion of the artwork where the graffiti is located.
  • Metro reserves the right to remove or cover any artwork if it is determined to be a safety hazard, is too large, interferes with the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, creates a maintenance problem, interferes with public service or other activities in adjacent areas or is otherwise inappropriate for the space.
  • If the Metro-owned property including utility boxes, retaining walls, sidewalk, etc. needs to be repaired or replaced -in part or whole – while the artwork is in place, there is no obligation on the part of Metro to replace, repair or reinstall the artwork. However, the applicant will be given notice so that the artwork can be removed or relocated – should that be possible.


  1. Applicant/artist submits application form, plus attachments to Metro Arts.
  2. Metro Arts reviews in collaboration with Metro Public Works.
  3. Both teams make a joint recommendation for approval or disapproval.
  4. If approved, applicant/artist to install artwork must submit signed agreement form and obtain any other required permits.

The Metro Arts Commission is teaming up with the Juvenile Justice Center to identify possible arts interventions for youth in crisis. Thus far, we have recognized a need to map the arts happenings and programming within our already existing network of artists and arts organizations. Metro Arts and Juvenile Court needs to map the arts programming for two reasons: 1. To build a referral list of currently available programming in various neighborhoods that may divert youth and children toward a restorative path. 2. To identify gaps in programming so that Metro Arts, Oasis, JJC, artists and arts organizations can help to create additional tools for children and families in crisis.

Grant Review Panelist: Metro Arts seeks volunteers to serve as grant application reviewers. No experience required. We provide sufficient orientation so all panelists may serve confidently. Panelists review all submitted application materials online, attend required orientation and review meetings, and score each grant application. Scores are averaged and used to help Metro Arts determine grant awards.

Public Art Selection Panelist: A public art Selection Panel is comprised of artists, community and business representatives, architects, landscape architects and other design professionals and Metro representatives. This panel reviews submissions for a public art project and makes recommendations to the Public Art Committee.

Metro Arts strives to form selection panels that are diverse and appropriate to the specific project or program. Though voluntary, the demographic data and resume upload included in this form will assist Metro Arts in accomplishing this goal.

Metro Arts looks for individuals who are thoughtful, willing to listen to others' opinions and are able to represent a specific viewpoint that is relevant to the public art project. Self nominations are welcome.

Panelist Eligibility Criteria:

Every Metro Arts panelist must work or live in Davidson County, have a keen interest in the arts (as an artist, participant, audience member, donor, educator, etc.), and must not be an employee of Metro government (including Metro Nashville Public Schools) or any applicant organization. All panelists must declare real or perceived conflicts of interests in advance.

When Metro Arts assembles a review panel, we:

1.    seek to achieve diversity among panelists in age, race/cultural identity, council district residency, physical abilities, personal and professional interests, expertise, etc.;

2.    trust all panelists to honestly declare all applicant-related real or perceived conflicts as soon as they become aware that a conflict exists;

3.    expect all panelists to take the review process seriously and honor their commitment to serve as instructed;

4.    recruit panel members who truly care about the arts in our community, as non-artists or artists.

Please understand that not all recommendations will be used.

Thank you!

Metro recently adopted an ordinance and guidelines for the purpose of evaluating potential donated artworks. This policy plans for the fact that there are limited suitable sites on public property for placement of donated artworks and limited public funds for maintenance and conservation of donated artworks. Each artwork will be evaluated by the Public Art Committee and the Metro Arts Commission in addition to the Metro Department accepting the donation.

In order for Metro to evaluate donations, donors are required to provide information about the artwork donation via Submittable. You may also download the donor checklist/worksheet to assist in the process of gathering information about your artwork.

***PLEASE NOTE** Donations of artwork that require the city to pay for costs such as installation, transportation, site preparation or repair are not encouraged. Artwork requiring high or excessive maintenance may be declined.

Ordinance No. BL2015-1277 "D. Unless the metropolitan council has appropriated funding specifically for the installation and maintenance costs for the donated artwork, a donor’s proposal shall include funding adequate to cover all costs for the design, fabrication, insurance, transportation, storage, installation, and maintenance of the proposed artwork for a period of ten years from the date of acceptance, plus contingency funds for reasonable unforeseen circumstances."

The Restorative Justice & the Arts program is a partnership with Metro Arts, the Juvenile Justice Center (JJC) and the Oasis Center to create a framework for art interventions within the restorative justice system in Nashville.

Metro Arts is seeking proposals from artists and cultural partners who participated in the FY17 Restorative Justice & the Arts project and have a continued interested in working with JJC to incorporate the arts into restorative justice practice for youth. Participants will be offered booster training opportunities that build upon the training begun in FY17. 

Program Timeline:

  • Project proposals will be accepted through August 31, 2017
  • Award announcements will be made by September 8, 2017 .
  • Booster training dates will be announced at a later date.
  • If selected, projects may begin anytime after September 15, 2017
  • All projects must be completed by June 29, 2018.

Successful proposals will offer a sustainable project for at-risk and incarcerated youth, while considering best practices for Positive Youth Development and Trauma-Informed Care.

Applicants may be eligible for up to $9,999 in funding to support their projects.

Approved projects may request up to 80% of the approved funding allocation up front via a signed invoice. The remaining 20% will be paid upon project completion, accompanied by a final report.

Note: Funding approval may be subject to a background check.

Eligibility: Individual artists, businesses and organizations that reside or conduct programming in Davidson County are eligible to apply. Individuals requesting or receiving funds must be at least 18 years of age.

Applicants (and immediate family members) cannot serve as a member of the Metro Arts Board of Commissioners, nor can they be employed by the Metro Nashville Davidson County Government or Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Artist Qualifications: For the purposes of the Restorative Justice Arts Project, artists are defined as individuals or a group who practice in the unique creation and public display or performance of visual arts, craft, sound and performance art, film and television (including production), theater, dance, music or literary arts and can demonstrate at least two years of exhibition, performance or professional history.

General Project Restrictions - Restorative Justice & the Arts funding will not support the following:

  • Durable goods, including equipment or capital improvements. Other examples of durable goods 
include: appliances, furniture, musical instruments, consumer electronics and sporting goods. 

  • Projects already completed, exhibited or performed. 

  • Activities or programs with religious content, study, or practice. Metro Arts funds must be used for secular arts activities only.