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Bonnaroo Works Fund announces $139K in grants

Posted on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 8:32 am


The Bonnaroo Works Fund, the charitable arm of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, announced Tuesday that 20 local and state non-profits were being awarded grants totaling $139,250.

In addition to the grants made this week, Bonnaroo officials have tallied this year’s fundraising totals and report that community organizations earned more than $230,000 in commissions while assisting with festival concession booths this year.

As the festival wraps up its donation year, Bonnaroo officials also announced a revised application process and will now be accepting proposals from 501(c)3 organizations beginning Oct. 1 with another round of funding to be distributed next May.

The largest local recipients of the grants include the Manchester Municipal Arts Commission, which received a $12,500 grant, and Manchester Recreation Center’s Park Partners, which received $10,000.

Other local recipients include the Child Development Center at $5,000, the Coffee County Anti-Drug Coalition at $4,000; the Hands-on Science Center at $5,000; and Homework Hotline at $2,000.

Other Middle Tennessee non-profits to receive funds included the Murfreesboro Center for the Arts, the Governor’s Books from Birth program; the Highlander Research and Education Center, the Joy of Music School, Jr. Achievement of Middle Tennessee, Musicians on Call, Nashville Symphony Association, Notes for Notes, Southern Energy Network, Tennessee Association of Dance, Tennessee Environmental Council and VH1-Save the Music.

According to festival partners, the mission of the Bonnaroo Works Fund is to enhance the quality and availability of arts and education programs and promote environmental sustainability in Tennessee.

“From the beginning, we have been committed to being a positive force in the Coffee County community as well as in the extended communities that support and make up the festival,” said Bonnaroo co-founder Ashley Capps, CEO of Bonnaroo partner AC Entertainment.

“It is an essential part of our mission to support the community through our own giving as well as by creating opportunities and helping to nurture the spirit of philanthropy in others.”

“It’s always been part of our mission to be a part of this statewide and national community and respond to needs as we can,” said Rick Farman, festival partner and owner of Superfly Presents. “As one of the tenets of the Bonnaroovian Code, we encourage festival attendees to “Radiate Positivity,” and one of the ways they do that is by contributing to the Bonnaroo Works Fund and, therefore, participating in these grants.”

In addition to grants from the BWF, each year, festival organizers offer local community organizations the opportunity to participate in the event and raise funds to support their work. Dozens of groups provide volunteers to staff the highly popular concession booths at the festival, and Bonnaroo donates a portion of sales to the participating organizations.

This year, more than 60 local organizations, including the Coffee County Chamber of Commerce, the Lady Raider volleyball team, Coffee County Rescue Squad, the Coffee County Children’s Advocacy Center, and numerous other education, arts and sports groups, raised more than $230,000 to support their activities.


2014 grant


Organizations interested in applying for grants or for other fundraising opportunities during the 2014 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival are asked to submit proposals online at  ( between Oct. 1 and Jan. 15 for funding awards to be distributed in May 2014. Going forward, the BWF will be taking applications in the fall and making grant awards in the spring.

The Bonnaroo Works Fund is generated from several sources. First, $1 from every ticket purchased to the festival is diverted to the fund. In addition, 100 percent of the entry fees ($5 per person) from last year’s inaugural 5K Run went to the BWF as did proceeds from the onsite silent auction and the accompanying online auctions held throughout the year.

Attendees and Bonnaroo supporters also make general donations each year through the website. This year, a supporter made an anonymous $20,000 contribution.

Bonnaroo Works Fund is a component of the East Tennessee Foundation (ETF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that administers the fund. An independent panel of judges selects recipients based on need, mission and the specific use of funding.