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POWER Youth Funding

Summer Employment Program Projects

Arts + Non-Arts Organizations & Businesses

Funding Available: Up to $20,000

POWER Youth is a youth work initiative program of the Metropolitan Action Commission (MAC), a division of the Mayor’s Office. As part of its mission to strengthen the creative workforce and deepen artistic participation in Nashville, Metro Arts partners with MAC to provide project-based work experiences in the arts through the POWER Youth Summer Employment Program for young people ages 14-15 during the summer.

The POWER Youth Summer Employment Program is seeking project proposals from Site Partners to engage youth (ages 14-15) in seven-week projects beginning June 6, 2022 and concluding July 22, 2022. Projects should emphasize arts learning, work readiness training, and community development as well as incorporate some form of art/artistic practice (visual, craft, media, music, theater, dance, folk, and/or literary). Additionally, the project should culminate in a showcase or final project that demonstrates outcomes of participation in the program.

Up to $20,000 in funding will be available. Partners will be required to state the approximate amount of youth they intend to serve with their programming. Suggested amounts are below:

Number of Youth Suggested Funding Request

7-10   -   $7,000 - $10,000

11-15   -  $10,000 - $15,000

16+    -   $15,000 - $20,000

Failure to serve estimated range of youth workers may result in adjusted final award at closeout and final invoice.

Site Partner Expectations

POWER Youth Site Partners will:

  • Develop and implement age-appropriate projects for youth workers ages 14-15
  • Provide a work experience for four hours daily Monday-Friday (20 hours weekly) from June 6, 2022 through July 22, 2022
  • Engage professional Teaching Artist(s)/Mentor(s) with demonstrated teaching or youth development experience to successfully facilitate youth arts work experiences
  • Provide publicly accessible space(s) for in-person work experiences planned
  • Actively recruit youth applicants from within your organization’s network
  • Create job descriptions using the MAC template provided in application
  • Review resumes and conduct interviews with teen applicants
  • Coordinate with Metro Action Commission to hire student workers and facilitate work experience placement
  • Collect all required documents and signatures regarding youth employee documentation, including but not limited to wage payment, parent participation release, medical needs, and photo releases
  • Coordinate student worker and peer leader (if present) timesheet completion and reporting
  • Provide supplies and equipment necessary to conduct all programming whether in-person or virtual
  • Adhere to any required health and safety guidelines set by the Metro Public Health Department
  • Provide evidence of TBI Background Checks for ALL organizational personnel that will directly engage with POWER Youth Summer Employment Program projects; background checks must have been performed within five years or less. Proof of Background Checks must be provided to Metro Arts prior to first invoice submission.
  • Collect and maintain all required student and staff documentation in a physical binder or electronic folder that is easily accessible during site visits and/or audits
  • Facilitate program assessments to be completed by student workers, if required by Metro Action Commission or Metro Arts
  • Work cooperatively with the POWER Youth staff and attend ALL required trainings and required workshops
  • Incorporate soft skills into the fiber of the program to ensure that youth workers will be “work-ready” for future employment
  • Ensure that every youth worker can deliver a 1-2 minute “elevator speech” summary of summer work experience, as well as an excerpt of their job and duties that can be included on a resume
  • Produce resources and materials relevant to your artistic field, especially those useful to a future job seeker, such as bios and headshots
  • Complete a 1-page summary review (could be youth produced or staff produced) of programming by July 22, 2022. Template will be provided.
  • Complete the Metro Arts Closeout Report by August 30, 2022 with Expense Report included. Final invoice will not be processed until the Closeout Report is received.
  • Host an end of program “showcase” or display a final project the last week of the work experience
  • Utilize Submittable (online submission platform) to complete all necessary forms, budget revisions, and administrative requirements from Metro Arts

Important Dates

Pre-Program Schedule:

Application for Site Hosts Opens: November 19, 2021

Project Coaching for Site Hosts: November 29-December 7, 2021    

Application Deadline for Site Hosts: December 19, 2021 at 12:00 PM (CST)

Staff Review: December 20-21, 2021

Application Review Panel: December 22/23, 2021

Revisions due for “Conditionally Accepted” proposals: January 4, 2022  
(If conditions have not been met by this date the proposal will not move forward to the Grants and Funding Committee)

Grants and Funding Committee Review: January 2022

Arts Commission Review and Approval of Selected Site Hosts: January 20, 2022

Site Host Partner Selection Announcements: January 21, 2022

POWER Youth Job and Project Descriptions Preview Posted to TALEO: January 21, 2022

POWER Youth Applications Close: April 9, 2022

MAC Onboarding Meeting: May 2022

Site Partners Conduct Interviews: Monday, April 13-May 20, 2022

Program Dates

Peer Leader On-Site Training:       TBA by MAC

Work Experience Projects:       June 14-July 23, 2022

Final Showcase Week:        July 19-22, 2022

Closeout Report Due:        August 30, 2022

Eligibility and Application Process


All applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a business or nonprofit organization based in Davidson County
  • Have previous history of artistic or creative work in the community
  • Have minimum two-year history of producing, presenting or directly supporting artistic programming for youth.
  • A professional artist must lead (or co-lead) the project
  • Be able to meet non-discriminatory employment and personnel practices

General Restrictions

Metro Arts/POWER Youth funding will not support:

  • Durable goods, including the purchase of equipment or capital improvements. Examples of durable goods include: appliances, furniture, musical instruments, electronic equipment, computers, televisions, printmaking machines, and sporting goods. If you have a question about what constitutes as a durable good, please contact the Metro Arts Youth Program Specialist.
  • Activities or programs with religious content, study, or practice. Metro Arts funds must be used for secular arts activities only.

Matching Funds

POWER Youth funding does not require matching funds by the organization.  

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 Sunday, December 19, 2021 at 12:00 PM CST. Incomplete applications will NOT be accepted for review.

Project Coaching: Request for coaching can be made by November 29, 2021 for appointments taking place November 29-December 7, 2021. Make your request to nichole.robinson@nashville.gov with the subject line: POWER Youth Project Coaching.

Proposal Review & Funding Decisions

Application Review

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 an adjudication panel. The panel will consist of MAC and Metro Arts staff. Each application will be reviewed based on the stated scoring criteria and the scores will be added together to create an overall application score of up to 25 total points.  Scoresheets containing the panelists’ notes are kept on file at Metro Arts. You may contact the Youth Program Specialist if you would like to discuss the scores received.

Funding Criteria & Scoring

Application reviewers will use a Scoring Guide to evaluate each application. This guide includes a list of criteria divided in to five main areas: Organizational Capacity/Feasibility, Artistic Merit, Positive Values Alignment, Career Development, and Commitment to Equity. These areas match the sections of the application. A proposal can receive a score of up to 5 points in each area. Successful proposals will demonstrate the following standards:

Organizational Capacity/Feasibility (5 points)
The organization has a minimum two-year history of working with youth and can meet the expectations of a POWER Youth Partner Site Host.  The project demonstrates well planned, clearly described and achievable activities. Program outcomes are clear, realistic and measurable. Qualified staff will oversee delivery of the project and provide adequate support to accommodate the number of participants the project seeks to serve. The budget is detailed, clear, and scaled appropriately in relation to the work plan proposed.

Artistic Merit (5 Points)
The project articulates clear, artistic objectives/outcomes and cultural relevance. The project engages professional Artist Teacher(s)/Mentor(s) with a demonstrated arts work history with youth; evidence of strong creative practice and vision; activities planned demonstrate ability to expand on the artistic and/or cultural knowledge of participants

Positive Youth Development Alignment (5 points)
The project implements developmentally appropriate activities that connect youth to arts and work readiness experiences. The project promotes positive youth agency and leadership and fosters an environment that values strategic arts engagement, team building, and confidence.

Career Development (5 points)
Youth job descriptions clearly articulate expectations and align with the project’s artistic outcomes. Participants will learn life and career skills, with an intentional focus on soft skills, that are both arts specific and translatable to being successful in the workplace.

Commitment to Equity (5 Points)
Project exhibits commitment to people who have been historically underrepresented in mainstream arts funding, discourse, leadership and resource allocation; including, but not limited to, people of color, people of all ages, differently abled people, LGBTQ people, women, and the socio-economically disadvantaged.

Project components address the unequal nature of voice, resource allocation and visibility that exist in the arts and cultural ecosystem.

(Applications are subject to a deduction of 2 points if applicant is not in good standing based on previous funding cycles)

Funding Recommendations & Approval  

The panelists’ scores will inform funding recommendations. The funding amount will also be based on the number of proposals received and the amount of funds available. Final funding recommendations will be made by Metro Arts and Metro Action Committee staff and will be approved by Metro Arts’ Board of Commissioners. Metro Nashville Arts Commission meetings are open to the public. To find information about upcoming meetings, visit the Public Meetings section of our website.

Accepting an Award

Award notifications will be sent via the Submittable system to the contact person provided on the application with next step instructions. In some cases, projects may be funded at less than the full request amount.  In these cases, applicants will submit a revised budget or have the option to decline the award. Awardees will accept or decline award through a form sent via Submittable.

Managing an Award

If you accept a POWER Youth Summer Employment Program Site Partner award, it is expected that the recipient will maintain financial records, gather participant demographic information, and document project outcomes.

Invoice Process

Percentage of Award amount

Invoice will be submitted

Invoice 1: 60% of award

After attendance at the mandatory MAC onboarding meeting in May

(Proof of background checks and all necessary budget revisions completed PRIOR to Invoice 1)

Invoice 2: 40% of award

After the project closeout form is complete and approved before the due date of August 30, 2022

Site Partners agree to the following terms:

  • Site Partner will fulfil the Site Partner Expectations (pg. 3-4).
  • Site Partner will use funds to pay for artist fees, project coordination and/or non-durable supplies and materials that support the project as described in the proposal.
  • Field trip transportation must be done through a licensed chartered bus, or van, company to ensure that all necessary safety requirements are met. Use of personal vehicles is not permitted for the transportation of any youth in the program.
  • Should there be POWER Youth project amendments, the POWER Youth Site Partner must submit changes to and receive approval from Metro Arts staff PRIOR to project implementation. Request a “Program/Budget Revision” form with an e-mail or Submittable message with the subject line: “POWER Youth Amendment Request” to the Youth Program Specialist. The form will be sent via Submittable, so the awardee can make necessary revisions.
  • Prior to program start, background checks should be current, and “Summer Program Info Sheet” completed via Submittable.
  • Site Partner will give a report of total program hours for June and July if requested via Submittable form.
  • Site Partner will comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Site Partner will obtain all permits, licenses, and permissions necessary for the project.
  • Site Partner will collect and report project data as detailed in Project Closeout Form.
  • In all publicity, promotions and/or printed materials related to the project, the site partner will credit Metro Arts according to the Credit and Logo Usage Guidelines.
  • If project amendments are not approved, the project fails to occur, or after monitoring the applicant is found to be out of compliance, the site partner will forfeit the remainder of their award and funding will be reallocated.


Metro Arts will conduct monitoring visits for all funded POWER Youth Summer Employment Program projects. The bulleted items below will be required to be “onsite” (whether “in-person” or “virtual”). A written report of the monitoring visit will be provided to the organization after the review is complete. Unresolved or recurring negative findings may affect an applicant’s ability to apply for future funding. Items monitored include but are not limited to:

  • Proof of Insurance – documentation showing proof of liability insurance of $1 million or more
  • Emergency Medical Forms – (proof that forms are kept on site with current emergency contact info and are accessible to the Peer Leaders and Site Supervisors)
  • Workman’s Comp Claim forms – (proof they are on site and available should any incidents occur)
  • Background Checks – proof they have been completed for artist mentors/site supervisors
  • Health and Safety Checks – confirm that youth workers and Peer Leaders are working in a safe environment, no illegal equipment is being used, health and safety guidelines are being followed, and that youth know who to contact on-site in case of emergency or other concerns
  • OSHA and Title VI Standards –OSHA and EEO/Title VI standards are accessible, displayed on-site and that a process for how to file a complaint is in place
  • Youth workers are observed actively engaged in work experience

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 proposals 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.Page Break

PUBLIC NOTICE: Nondiscrimination Policies, ADA Compliance & Accessibility

The Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, creed, or ability in admission to, access to, or operations of its programs, services, or activities. Discrimination against any person in recruitment, examination, appointment, training, promotion, retention, discipline, or any other employment practices because of non-merit factors shall be prohibited.

Questions, concerns, complaints, requests for accommodation, or requests for additional information regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act may be forwarded to Metro Arts’ ADA Compliance Coordinator: Ian Myers, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, P.O. Box 196300, Nashville, TN 37219-6300 Ian.Myers@nashville.gov, (615) 862-6730, TTY Relay Service 800-848-0298

Individuals who have a hearing impairment and require auxiliary aids and services for effective communication in the programs, services, or activities of the Metro Nashville Arts Commission are invited to make their needs and preferences known to the ADA Compliance Coordinator. This notice can be made available in alternative formats through the office of the ADA Compliance Coordinator, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

INTERPRETATION SERVICES: Should an individual need language interpretation, Metro Arts will secure assistance using a Metro approved over-the-phone or in-person interpretation service

En caso de que una interpretación individual idioma necesidad, Metro Artes garantizará la asistencia usando un servicio de traducción Metro aprobado over-the-teléfono o en persona

إذا كان الفرد بحاجة إلى الترجمة اللغوية، سوف الفنون مترو تأمين المساعدة باستخدام المترو المعتمدة عبر الهاتف أو شخصيا خدمة الترجمة الشفوية

Divê ku kesek hewceyê hewceyê zimanî, Metro Arts dê bi karûbarê şirovekirina Metro li ser-an-an-an-şirovekirina şexsî

Forward inquiries concerning nondiscrimination policies, other than ADA compliance, to: Metro Human Relations Commission, 404 James Robertson Pkwy, Suite 130, P.O. Box 196300, Nashville, TN  37219-6300

For further assistance, please contact:  
Nichole Robinson, Youth Program Specialist  

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.