NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two professors from Tennessee State University had the opportunity recently to have a voice in statewide arts programming and planning when they took part in the Tennessee Arts Commission’s 2014 Citizen Advisory Panel.
Dr. Robert Elliott, professor and Chair of the Department of Music, along with Dr. Patricia Reeves, associate professor and coordinator of Music Education, offered advice on program planning and reviewed grant applications, as well as served as advocates for the arts in their communities.
“Working with music professors and professionals in reviewing Tennessee Arts Commission grant applications from across the state provided a unique opportunity to take the pulse of arts and music integration in communities throughout Tennessee,” said Elliott. “This experience will aid in helping to assure that students at Tennessee State University are provided appropriate instruction and preparation for careers in our state and across the country.”
Reeves agrees, stating that arts education is, without question, valuable and important in helping to shape and enhance the lives of children and adults.
“I am honored to have been asked to serve as a grants panelist for the Tennessee Arts Commission, both this year and last year,” Reeves said. “I am pleased to be able to help promote the wonderful work of our arts educators and the organizations that support them throughout the state of Tennessee.”
The annual meetings were held in Nashville throughout the month of April. Panels are divided into different categories including: Arts Education, Arts Access, Community Arts, Folk Arts, Literary Arts, Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Theater, Inter-Arts, Funds for At-Risk Youth, and Rural Arts. Panel members are appointed to two-year terms, and generally consist of professional artists, arts administrators, patrons, sponsors, educators, and community leaders.
“Our citizen panels consist of dedicated, informed and impartial individuals from across the state who provide an invaluable service to the arts in Tennessee,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. “The caliber of individuals serving on the panels is impressive, and their nomination for the panel is a testament to their expertise in arts-related fields. We are so appreciative of their time and effort—they are critical to making arts investments in every Tennessee community.”
In 2013, $6.3 million in arts grants was invested in every region of the state. The Tennessee Arts Commission, a state agency that cultivates the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities, made grants to more than 600 non-profit organizations, over half of which were schools.
The panel process is open, fair and based on independent peer reviews who are nominated. In order to be selected, panelists are required to include a statement of their individual qualifications to serve on the advisory panel. Nominees are contacted to confirm their interest and commitment to attend specific meetings and their willingness to serve as arts advocates in their areas. Panelists are expected to make a commitment to participate in an area orientation and to attend the grant applications review meeting.
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