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Top Reasons Your Individual Membership Matters

Updated: Jun 30, 2022

Tennesseans for the Arts is Tennessee's statewide advocacy organization for the arts. We are a membership organization made up of arts advocates moved by our deep conviction of the civic and personal value of the arts. TFTA works to support, defend and expand public funding for the arts. Our work is directed toward educating our members and allies on effective advocacy practice, supporting the work of our state's legislative arts caucus, and defending the specialty license plate program which provides 80% of the funds granted to nonprofit organizations by the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Our members, sponsors, donors and friends are vital to keeping the Arts protected in Tennessee. From Individual Membership to Corporate Membership, each piece of support is a step closer to successful advocacy. Read below to find out the top reasons why your individual membership matters.

Top Reasons Your Individual Membership Matters


1. Making Your Commitment Visible

TFTA brings people and organizations together who believe in the power of the arts and want to support its growth. In joining TFTA you make visible your personal commitment to supporting the future of the Arts in TN. Seeing the impact of the arts in your life makes you the most incredible advocate! Sharing your stories and joining our unified voice by becoming a member shows everyone that you support those grass-roots community centers all the way to the major TN cultural institutions that benefit from the grants provided in part by the funds that come from the TN License Plate Program that we aim to protect.

2. Strengthens Your Community

In Tennessee, a portion of funds from the purchase of certain Specialty License Plates supports the arts. Your membership helps TFTA to promote and defend the Specialty License plate program and works to ensure these funds are protected and available to support arts organizations and projects in all of Tennessee's 95 counties. On Average 80% of Tennessee Arts Grants are funded by the purchase of the state Specialty License Plate Program and awarded by the Tennessee Arts Commission. Learn how to get your specialty license plate by clicking the link below.

3. Voice at the Table

TFTA's strength and effectiveness is tied directly to its membership. Membership dues not only sustain the function of the organization, but large membership numbers translate to an impactful army of advocates with greater influence. Joining TFTA shows our elected officials just how important we believe the grant dollars provided by the Specialty License Plates really are. As we know, the greater the numbers, the stronger the voice.

Speaking for the arts with one, unified and strategic voice has enabled TFTA to protect and grow our funding for over two decades. And in order to keep that voice working for us in the most effective way, we must communicate well and we must know the audiences we need to reach. TFTA has several audiences…among those are our members, the general public who we’d hope to cultivate as future members, advocates and supporters, and policy makers. With our audiences in mind, and the rule of “seven C’s” in effective communication that messaging must be: clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete and courteous.

The most convincing advocate can effectively communicate how the arts change people's lives and vitalize Tennessee Communities. Whether you advocate by inviting your representatives to participate in local Arts & Culture events, email or send handwritten letters, create awareness through social media, buy a specialty license plate or by simple word of mouth, we will provide you with the proper steps and resources you need to make your voice heard.

4. To See The Impact

TFTA shares with members through multiple outlets the Impact of the Arts on our state. Becoming a member gives you access to Arts Advocacy Day, Newsletters, special events, free Statewide Arts Calendar, information on the Specialty License Plate program outcomes along with the statewide arts revenue. Your membership has a direct impact on protecting the Arts Grants provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission.

5. Show and Tell

TFTA members are our greatest source of content. We often share highlights and advocacy stories as examples of how to be a leaders in our TN Arts Community. We want to know what members are doing, the amazing things related to the mission of protecting the Specialty License Plate program. Make a video, write a blog, use social media, fill out our surveys where we ask members their thoughts. It makes a difference. We use those success stories and opportunities to share out with our audiences.

6. Keeps You Committed

We know that committing to anything new can be a struggle. Signing up for individual membership can help you stay committed! We provide our advocates with all the right tools to be successful. We want you be a part of something important and to stick around for a long time.

7. Engage in Opportunities

Sharing opportunities for our members is top priority. From the only statewide Arts Calendar where you can find free arts events in your area to participating in our advocacy events there is something for everybody. We share opportunities with our members through Newsletters and Social Media so be sure to follow us... Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, & Youtube

8. It's Good For You!

Giving to something you believe in is good for you. Trust us, there is science behind it. Did you know that giving is contagious? Have you ever been in line for coffee and had someone in front of you jet off before the cashier says that they bought your morning pick-me-up? Which, in turn, makes you pay it forward and buy the person standing behind you their order. Just think, if you could create a ripple effect of generosity through your community, would you do it? Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton performed a study in 2008 that confirmed giving money to someone else lifted participants’ happiness more that spending it on themselves. Not to mention research has linked different forms of generosity to better health. Especially if you really believe in the cause. Let's all work together to protect all the Arts & Culture organizations across the state, in counties big and small, so that everyone can experience the joy, healing, laughter, growth, impact and so much more that access to arts can bring.

If your membership has lapsed, please click here.... to renew your membership in TFTA and reengage with us once again! If you are a member, we invite you to share our information with all the Art Lovers you know.


If you have any questions please email


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