Tennessee Arts Commission

The Tennessee Arts Commission was created in 1967 by the Tennessee General Assembly with the special mandate to stimulate and encourage the presentation of the visual, literary, music and performing arts and to encourage public interest in the cultural heritage of Tennessee.

The mission of the Tennessee Arts Commission is to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities.

Through a variety of investments, the Commission encourages excellence in artistic expression through the state’s artists, arts organizations, and arts activities. That commitment has expanded through the years to increase access and opportunities for all citizens to participate in the arts.

Creative Aging TN is committed to enhancing and transforming the lives of older adults through the arts. Through expansion of its current grant funding processes, partnerships, and the development of new initiatives, our goal is to ensure that every Tennessean, including older adults, has access to the arts and fully participates in creative opportunities for a lifetime.

In 2017, the Tennessee Arts Commission is positioned to expand its current work and to launch new initiatives to increase older adult participation in the arts. Currently, the Commission funds music and theater programming for older adults through its annual grants funding process, but in fiscal year 2018, funds will be available to encourage additional grant applications from organizations that can provide arts programming for older adults especially in underserved areas. To further its planning, the Commission will also promote partnerships with state, local, and community organizations to develop new initiatives to increase access into older adult communities.

Tennessee State Plan on Aging 2014-2018
The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (TCAD) developed this study to provide a framework for a comprehensive and coordinated system to address programs and services that will be required by older adults in Tennessee.


The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2010 in Tennessee, 13.4% of the total population was age 65 years or older with an estimate of 15.4% in 2015.   By year 2020, the average percent of the population age 65 and over is expected to be around 16 percent. Out of 95 counties, the majority of these counties – almost three-quarters- will have greater than 16 percent of their population older than 65 years of age.

Creative Aging Point Person

Kim Johnson

Kim Johnson jointed the Tennessee Arts Commission in September 2015 as Director of Arts Access. In that position, she is responsible for ensuring access to the arts for underserved communities, diverse ethnic groups, people with disabilities, and people age 65 years and older. Ms. Johnson has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, program development, and community relationship building.