“Metro Arts” is the office of Arts & Culture for the city of Nashville and Davidson County. We believe that arts drive a more vibrant and equitable community. We strive to ensure that all Nashvillians have access to a creative life through community investments, artist and organizational training, public art and creative placemaking coordination and direct programs that involve residents in all forms of arts and culture.

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.

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. These panels review submissions for public art projects 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 at least six (6) months prior to the anticipated donation acceptance date. 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."

THRIVE is a funding program designed to build, strengthen, and cultivate communities in Nashville and Davidson County by supporting artist led projects that encourage artistic and cultural experiences, community investment, and neighborhood transformation.
Note: Applications may be saved and edited. Staff will not be able to read your applications until submitted. Staff can re-open applications for editing. If you would like for staff to review an edited application for funding, it is the applicant's responsibility to email lauren.fitzgerald@nashville.gov to make this request known.

Questions or requests for accommodations? Please contact lauren.fitzgerald@nashville.gov.
Applicants must read the full = FY20 Funding Guidelines before submitting an application for a project.

THRIVE funding deadlines
•             Friday, May 31, 2019 11:59pm
•             Friday, August 30, 2019 11:59pm
•             Friday November 29, 2019 11:59 pm
•             Friday February 28, 2019 11:59pm

THRIVE Proposal Application Requirements:
·         In-person, phone, or webinar consultation with staff
·         Completed Online Application
Required Attachments
·         Artist resume or curriculum vitae demonstrating artistic experience of at least two years of exhibition, performance or professional history.
·         Artwork or artistic samples
·         Two Letters of recommendation: One letter must be from a community partner in support of  your project. Letters should not come from individuals proposing to be paid from the THRIVE funds.
·         If requesting funds in the category of Public Art and Placemaking, a completed Public Artwork Information Form is also required.

Funding Categories:       

Artistic Excellence (Maximum of 25 points): Quality and excellence of artist merit, skill, and practice. The applicant clearly explains their artistic practice and methods for creation and demonstrates in application experience in those practices and/or demonstrates a practice of working with partners in the community toward quality artistic outcomes. The artist’s work samples will also be a contributing factor in determining Artistic Excellence.  

Neighborhood Placemaking (Maximum of 25 points): The project responsibly activates a neighborhood, connects neighborhoods, and/or the larger Nashville community. The project reimagines a space or activates it artistically. Project demonstrates an awareness of the cultural heritage of the neighborhood and demonstrates how the project will support and celebrate the history of the area as well as its current residents. The project addresses a community-defined cultural, social, or economic need. The artist(s) has innovative ideas for working in the public realm. Project elevates issues in the community, engages citizens in a dialogue, and creates a social impact. 

Community Engagement/Participation* (Maximum of 25 points): The applicant clearly defines community in the proposal (i.e. a neighborhood, a street, users of a community center, all of Nashville, etc.). The project is inclusive of citizens whose opportunities might be limited because of geography, economics, ability, age, race or cultural background. The project welcomes the community into the art form. The community and artist are engaged in a creative exchange, as the community informs the art making and decision making process. The art making activities or performances are accessible to the public. Project elevates issues in the community, engages citizens in a dialogue, and creates a social impact. Successful proposals will highlight how their project exemplifies an equitable and anti-racist practice in the community while engaging citizens in social and civic discourse.

•                     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.
•                     Organizations that receive funding from any grant administered by Metro Arts in the same fiscal year are not eligible to apply for THRIVE funds.
•                     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.
•                     For the purposes of the THRIVE program, artists are defined as individuals who practice in the unique creation and public display or performance of visual arts, craft, sound and performance art, film and television (including production), theatre, dance, music or literary arts and can demonstrate at least two years of exhibition, performance or professional history.

The Restorative Justice + the Arts program is a contract based funding tool by Metro Arts (Nashville’s Office of Arts and Culture) in collaboration with the Metro Nashville Davidson County Juvenile Court. The purpose of Restorative Justice + the Arts is to enable artists and arts organizations to provide dynamic program opportunities for youth and families who have interacted with the juvenile justice system.   

Metro Arts is seeking proposals from artists and cultural partners who have successfully completed the Restorative Justice & the Arts training program and have a continued vested interest in working with youth affected by the criminal justice system.   

Funding Categories:  

The Restorative Justice + Arts program supports projects in two categories:   

Cultural Learning projects will engage with participants in cultural and artistic learning that is deeply informed by clear pedagogy, positive youth development principles, trauma-informed care, community building, and clear learning goals.   

Youth-Led Residency projects will teach and empower a group of already identified youth to lead and shape community conversations about youth resiliency, lead and shape public facing arts project while teaching restorative practice. One specific outcome of this project will be to guide youth in serving in an advisory role to give input into the decisions about the Restorative Justice + the Arts program’s design, programming, policies and practices.   

Program Timeline:  

• Project proposals are due Apri 23, 2019 at 11:59 AM 

• Award announcements will be made by May 6, 2019 . 

• If selected, projects may begin anytime after May 7, 2019  

• All projects must be completed by June 29 2019.  

• All closeout reports are due by June 29, 2019, whichever comes first.  

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 by an invoice. The remaining 20% will be paid upon project completion, accompanied by a closeout report.   

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


All applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria: 

• Be at least 18 years old 

• Be an artist or arts non-profit, with experience teaching children and youth 

• Have completed the Restorative Justice and the Arts training program 

• 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 

• Eligible organizations must  be based in Metro Nashville-Davidson County. 

• Projects must be conducted in Metro Nashville Davidson County • Projects must serve youth who have been affected by the Davidson County juvenile court system.  

Artist Qualifications: 

For the purposes of the Restorative Justice + the Arts Program, 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, theatre, dance, music or literary arts and can demonstrate at least two years of exhibition, performance or professional artistic history.    

General Project Restrictions: 

Restorative Justice + the Arts funding cannot be used for the following:  

• Durable goods, including the purchase of equipment or capital improvements. Examples of durable goods include: appliances, furniture, musical instruments, electronic equipment, 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. 

How to Submit an Application: 

Metro Arts uses the Submittable online system to accept applications for this funding program. Applicants may save and edit their application before submitting the final application. Applicants may only submit one (1)  application. All applications must be submitted online. No emailed, faxed, or mailed applications will be considered for funding. Applications and additional support materials must be submitted by 11:59 AM, Monday April 23, 2019. Incomplete applications will NOT be accepted for review.  

Restorative Justice and Arts Proposal Checklist: 

o Completed Online Application  

o Link to artist’s website, online presence (social media or other digital formats are accepted), or online work sample.   

o Resume (2 pages max) demonstrating artistic experience of at least two years of exhibition, performance or professional history.   

o Completed Budget Form (NOTE: matching funds are not required) o Sample lesson/session  

Project Coaching: 

Project Coaching can be made available until the close of business on April 22nd. Make your request to Cecilia Olusola Tribble at cecilia.tribble@nashville.gov or Rebecca Kinslow at rebecca.kinslow@nashville.gov with subject line: Restorative Justice Project Coaching request. 

Project Review Process  

Scoring Criteria: 

Each project proposal will be scored according to the following criteria:   

Artistic Excellence (25 points): The lead artist(s) has a demonstrated arts work history with youth, is experienced in leading youth in creative outcomes, and the art has cultural relevance and significance. 

Community Building (25 points): The project has a plan for community involvement, promotes authentic relationships among the participants, and demonstrates community investment (potential) in the project. 

Positive Values (25 points): The project must clearly connect the arts activity with positive youth development principles, developmental assets, and restorative practices. 

Logistics and Feasibility (25 points): The details, time, place, age range, timeline, transportation, and caretaker communications are well thought out. The budget is scaled appropriately in relation to the work plan proposed. The activities are well-planned and achievable.   

Application Review, Panel Scores and Comments: 

Metro Arts staff will review each application to determine eligibility. Ineligible and incomplete applications will NOT be reviewed or scored.    

Each application deemed eligible will be reviewed and scored by a panel. The adjudication panel will consist of Metro Arts staff, staff from Juvenile Court, community members, and may be reviewed by a youth council. The panelists will score each application based on the scoring criteria listed above.  Each panelists will have expertise in arts programming for youth, youth development, trauma-informed programs, and are deeply invested in the Nashville community.   

Higher scores mean that the proposed project meets many or all of the scoring criteria. Lower scores mean that the proposed project only partially meet the scoring criteria. The scores of each section are added together to create an overall application score of up to 100 points. The panel will make funding recommendations based on the application score. Scoresheets containing the panelists’ notes are kept on file at Metro Arts. You may contact Cecilia Olusola Tribble at  ceciliaolusola.tribble@nashville.gov if you would like to discuss the scores received.    

Funding Recommendations: The score and recommendation from the panel is used to determine funding. The funding amount is dependent on the number of applications in the pool and amount of funds that are available. Because this award would be considered a contract and NOT a grant, final funding decisions are made by Metro Arts staff.   

Managing an Awarded Contract  

Award notification will be emailed to the contact person provided in the application. If awarded a Restorative Justice + Arts contract, it is expected that the organization/artist will maintain financial reports, gather participant/caretaker demographic information and document project outcomes throughout the course of the project. Metro Arts reserves the right to monitor the awardee for project progress and contract compliance at any time. We understand that projects can change. If the scope of work, dates, or budget must be adjusted in any way, contact Metro Arts immediately. Project changes must be approved by Metro Arts before implemented.  

Once you are notified of your award, it is expected that the artist/organization submit a revised budget (if necessary), updated project information to share with the Juvenile Court, and an invoice for 80% of the awarded amount.  

Pre-Evaluation forms for the project participants will be given along with your award notification. Those forms are due as soon as the project begins. Post- evaluations are expected upon completion of the project.

When your project is complete, you are required to submit a final report of expenses, closeout report, and an invoice for the remaining 20% of your award. All closeout reports are due one month after the project is completed or by June 29, 2019, whichever comes first.   

Liability and Indemnification   

Metro’s liability is limited to the amount funded.  Applicant agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Metro, officers, agents, and employees from:   

A. Any claims, damages, or costs and attorney fees for injuries or damages arising, in part or in whole, from the negligent or intentional acts or omissions of Applicant, its officers, employees, and/or agents, in connection with the project, and      

B. Any claims, damages, penalties, costs, and attorney fees arising from any failure of Applicant, its officers, employees, and/or agents to observe applicable laws, including, but not limited to, labor laws and minimum wage laws.      

C. Metro will not indemnify, defend, or hold harmless in any fashion the Applicant from any claims arising from any failure, regardless of any language in any attachment or other document that the Applicant may provide.       

D. Applicant shall pay Metro any expenses incurred as a result of applicant’s failure to fulfill any obligation in a professional and timely manner.    

Any final products from the project are the sole responsibility of the applicant. Metro is not responsible for installation, maintenance or removal of a project.      

Metro Arts Logo Usage and Credit Policy

 All awarded projects must adhere to the Metro Arts credit policy. The policy, logo standards and files can be found on the Resources and Toolkits page of the Metro Arts website. Failure to adhere to this policy may result in the cancellation of the awarded contract.https://www.nashville.gov/Arts-Commission/Resources-and-Toolkits.aspx.

Metro Arts