Grants Available for Tennessee’s Digital Media Community

Posted on: Wednesday - May 1, 2019

Tennessee’s digital media community is getting a boost thanks to a new grant offered by the Tennessee Entertainment Commission (TEC). 

The grant, which is a competitive 50%-50% matching grant, is available for non-profits, local government organizations, educational institutions and private entities working to advance identified strategic areas of the emerging interactive digital media and creative technology industry in the state

TEC anticipates funding grants in the $15,000 to $30,000 range, with the total project cost, including the grant award plus required matching funds, equaling at least $30,000 to $60,000, respectively.

Applications will be accepted from May 1 through May 29, 2019. Before submitting your application, please send an email giving a brief description of the project, geographic area(s) involved and estimated budget to

Apply or read more information about TEC’s Digital Media Community Grant.

What is Interactive Digital Media / Creative Technology?
All grant awards must demonstrate anticipated outcomes accelerating growth, increasing industry activity or yielding job creation or interactive digital media or creative technology industry expansion or relocation for one or more of the following target industry sub-sectors: Music or Audio Technology; Digital or Streaming Content Distribution; Animation & VFX; Video Game Development or Gamified Platforms; Education Technology or Digital Learning Applications; Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) or Mixed Reality (MR); E-sports.

Who can apply for funding?
Non-profits, local governments, educational institutions and private business entities. Applications from private individuals will not be considered.

What are eligible purposes or activities?
Entities providing resources or programming to advance the Interactive Digital Media or Creative Technology industry sector in a community, region or statewide in Tennessee are encouraged to apply. Grant award support may include but not be limited to:

  • Interactive digital media content creation equipment and software purchases, licenses, installation and support;
  • New or expanded interactive digital media or creative technology incubation or acceleration programs;
  • Programs or activities providing skills development training for roles or occupations relevant to current interactive digital media workforce needs;
  • Facilities or venue space accessible by the public which is dedicated in significant part or in whole to interactive digital media or creative technology industry advancement through education or workforce training, acceleration or incubation space, equipment resources, industry-related events or more; 
  • Prominent regional, statewide or national interactive digital media or creative technology events of note;
  • Matching-portions for secured relevant local, federal or philanthropic grants supporting interactive digital media or creative technology sector resources, programs, activities or talent development;
  • Digital creative class talent development, coding/software development cluster growth or skills acceleration

How Do I Apply? 
Before submitting your application, please send an email with your idea including the geographic area(s) to be covered, a brief paragraph describing the project, estimated budget and your contact information. Please email with “Digital Media Community Grant Intent to Apply” in the subject line.

The application receipt deadline is Wednesday, May 29, 2019. All awards must be committed and contracted no later than June 28, 2019

After you submit your application, it is recommended to complete the pre-grant document here; the Supplier Direct Deposit requires a hard copy to be physically mailed and is a step that can cause delay.

What is the contract period?
The contract period will be 12 – 24 months depending on the nature of the project; an initial portion of the contract timeline will be for project implementation, with a second portion for reporting and observation. (Note: these portions may overlap at certain periods.)

Additional Considerations: 

  • The grant application must be submitted and administered by the sponsoring nonprofit organization, local government, educational entity or private business entity.
  • Partnerships, collaborative work and leveraging funds are encouraged.
  • The TEC Digital Media Grant is a reimbursable grant program. That means you spend the money as agreed upon for eligible activities; submit respective receipts and other documentations then you will receive a reimbursement.
  • Participating organizations will be required to submit proper documentation of all grant expenditures. Failure to follow specified uses or accounting requirements may result in loss of program participation and/or dollars.
  • All expenditures must take place within the timeframe of the grant period as designated by the grant contract.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to align as a formal Mission Partner of the Tennessee Entertainment Commission, where relevant.  Information on that process may be accessed here:
  • All applicants are required to register an organizational profile on the Tennessee Entertainment Commission’s statewide Create_Here creative technology resource directory, where relevant, accessible at:

Questions: Please email us at with “Digital Media Community Grant” in the subject line.


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