Creative Artists of Tennessee
The Magness Potter Community Center-Salvation Army
611 Stockell Street
Nashville TN 37207
Kwanza at Cheekwood
Mission Statement


Creative Artists of Tennessee’s (CATs) mission is to promote an interest in African and African American art while providing support for emerging artists and young people with limited cultural access to the arts.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Lynanne H. Norris
Board Chair Ms. Shirley Sims Saldana
Board Chair Company Affiliation Metro Human Relations Commission
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 1999
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Projected Expenses $32,000.00
Projected Annual Revenue $32,000.00 (2012)


Creative Artists of Tennessee’s (CATs) mission is to promote an interest in African and African American art while providing support for emerging artists and young people with limited cultural access to the arts.


Creative Artists of Tennessee (CATs) was created in April 1999 to enable professional artists to come together with all people, regardless of age, ethnicity or culture, and create an atmosphere of freedom through the arts.
In 2011 CATs narrowed programming to focus onDare to Dream, a youth mentoring program, using art as the tool.
Dare to Dream is designed to assist middle school age children in exploring the arts with mentor artists. 
Creative Artists of Tennessee was impacted by the May 2010 flood.  Our challenge was to find a new location from which to operate our programming.
In November, 2010, our agency became part of the Salvation Army Community Resource as co located partner.
Our program is run from within the center serving who attend the Red Shield afterschool program.
  • CATs wants to give the population of North Nashville, especially its youth aided by the senior population, a strong sense of cultural identity through the use of arts and the study of African American History.
  • CATs wants to create opportunities for its associated professional artists.
  • CATs wants to unite North Nashville with the Greater Nashville community in artistic and cultural enrichment.
Any funds that will help meet our $50,000 budget for 2010-2011
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Cultural & Ethnic Awareness
Secondary Organization Category Youth Development / Adult, Child Matching Programs
Tertiary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Alliances & Advocacy
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Davidson
Northeast Nashville and Greater Nashville
Board Chair Statement
This organization faces a multitude of challenges.  One of which is adequate funding and space from which to operate.  Recently, our office was destroyed by the May 2010 flood.
However, we were able to find a partner organization the Salvation Army, at the Magness Potter Community Center on Stockell Street.  We are part of the Salvation Army's Community Resource Center as a co located partner.
We aniticipate working with the children at that center and touching their in a meaningful way. 
Dorothe Smith, Board Chair, 2011-2012
CEO Statement
This organization is vital to the cultural life of Nashville.  African American youth are challenged each day with choices to make in their lives. 
Creative Artists of Tennessee would like be one of the choices.  Giving direction through mentorship and exposure to the arts.
Lyn Norris Hayes, Executive Director
Description Dare to Dream is a youth mentoring program that engages youth who are in middle school grades 5-8. These youth are at risk because they are too young to work and too old for daycare and therefore are left to their own devices due to environment issues based on economic factors. Parents have to work and children are left alone. Dare to Dream exist in order to help these children make better choices for their lives and assist the parents in the growth of their child’s character.
Budget 10000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Population Served Blacks, African Heritage, Africa, K-12 (5-19 years)
CEO Comments Creative Artists of Tennessee has worked hard to define what it is we actually do. This has been a difficult task because there are many needs in our community. However, we have narrowed our scope and dept of programming: Dare to Dream continues to be the organizations primary focus. Our philosophy is that all children are at risk in this society, however, if there are any negatives such as environment, decreased economic status, lowered expectations the risk increase. It is the goal of CATs to reach these youth who without additional support will succumb to at risk behaviors and lower quality of life. It is our thinking that between art and instruction something will spark an interest in some of this youth and they will make better choices for their lives. The African American History Institute is the underpinning of the Dare to Dream program. Contracted artists will staff the Institute. Artists are particularly important to CATs so it was equally important to find a vehicle through which artists could work and be useful in their work. However, we anticipate that these artists will also become a vital part of the overall life and health of Creative Artists of Tennessee by providing lectures, exhibitions and other teaching opportunities for the greater Nashville Davidson County community.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Shirley Sims Saldana
Company Affiliation Metro Human Relations Commission
Term July 2010 to June 2012
Board Members
Ms. Peggy Alsup Community VolunteerVoting
Ms. Mary Freeman Governor's OfficeVoting
Mr. Nathaniel Harris WoodcutsVoting
Rev. Ronald Powe St. Luke CME ChurchVoting
Ms. Othelia Taylor BellSouth TelecommunicationsVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 8
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? No
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Board CoChair
Board CoChair Ms. Lynanne H. Norris
Term July 2009 to June 2010
Standing Committees
Advisory Board
Development / Fund Raising
Strategic Planning
Additional Board Members
Ms. Jeanne Arrandando Entrepreneur
Mr. Dave Neal Tennessee State University
Ms. Ellen Jones Pryor Public Relations Services
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Lynanne H. Norris
Term Start Apr 1999
Experience Norris has an Associate’s Degree from Grahm Junior College in Boston. After 20 years at BellSouth Telecommunications she went to Fisk University as consultant and project director for a major exhibition. Then she served as Assistant to the Director of Fisk University Galleries until 2002, when she became executive director of Creative Artists of Tennessee. Norris attempts to bridge the gaps among Nashville’s various communities by participating actively in committees and sustaining arts organizations such as Tennesseans for the Arts, Nashville Arts Coalition, Museum Advocates, Aligning Nashville and The Davidson Group. But CATS’ major goal is outreach to the North Nashville community, with art as the vehicle for creating cultural awareness and self-awareness. She considers a major responsibility of the organization paying artists and strengthening the family, for example through the youth intervention program Dare to Dream.
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 2
Volunteers 0
Contractors 1
Retention Rate 100%
CEO Comments Creative Artists of Tennessee has recently moved its offices and programming to the historic Preston Taylor Community Center. This move will create more opportunities for our program Dare to Dream. We have narrowed our program scope by offering Dare to Dream as well as the African American History Institute which will enable us to pair mentor artists with the participants of Dare to Dream as well as create exhibition, lectures and history classes, which will serve the general Nashville Davidson County population.
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2011
Fiscal Year End June 30 2012
Projected Revenue $32,000.00
Projected Expenses $32,000.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Percentage (if selected) 0%
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201020092008
Program Expense$4,799$14,276$25,584
Administration Expense$2,365$4,301$7,642
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.021.021.05
Program Expense/Total Expenses67%77%77%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201020092008
Total Assets$5,329$5,134$4,703
Current Assets$1,628$1,433$1,519
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$5,329$5,134$4,703
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201020092008
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201020092008
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201020092008
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
IRS Letter of Exemption
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
Capital Campaign Goal $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
Organization Comments Creative Artists of Tennessee continues to be run in efficient solvent manner, based on the financial support received as compared to the programming generated. The 2003 strategic plan provided for the development of financial policies and procedures. A consultant was contracted, policies developed and put into place. Financial Comments

For FY 2010-2011, this organization filed a 990-N form with theIRS, which does not provide specific financial information. Most small tax-exempt organizations whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less ($25,000 for tax years ending after December 31, 2007 and before December 31, 2010) are required to electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard, unless they choose to file a complete Form 990 or Form 990-EZ instead. 

Previous years' financial figures taken from 990EZ forms, which were prepared internally by the nonprofit.
Comments provided by Kirsten Joyner 04/2012.
Nonprofit Creative Artists of Tennessee
Address The Magness Potter Community Center-Salvation Army
611 Stockell Street
Nashville, TN 37207
Primary Phone (615) 669 0228
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Lynanne H. Norris
Board Chair Ms. Shirley Sims Saldana
Board Chair Company Affiliation Metro Human Relations Commission
Year of Incorporation 1999

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