- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Arts Commission says it has awarded 345 grants for fiscal year 2017 totaling more than $4.4 million to help fund arts and cultural activities for organizations, schools, local governments, nonprofits and artists.

The commission says the annual grants provide funds that support well-established arts organizations and arts projects in urban and rural counties. It also provides funds for professional development for teachers, arts education, and programming for children in pre-K through 12th grade.

The commission says these are the first of a series of grants. The commission expects to award over 1,000 grants during fiscal year 2017, totaling more than $5.5 million.

Of the $5.5 million that will be granted, $4.4 million comes from specialty license plate fees earmarked to benefit the arts.

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