Make a Mark Arts Loan

Make A Mark Loan Program SummaryTHF_MaM_c_lg


The Housing Fund’s (THF) involvement in Nashville and Davidson County’s update of the city’s multi-year general plan, NashvilleNext, lead to the identification of the need to create/preserve affordable artist space as well as a coordinated effort to revitalize neighborhoods through focused placemaking driven by the creative community. 

Breakdown of Make A Loan Program:  

  • $200,000 for the pilot loan program (2 years) awarded from Kresge and Surdna Foundations
  • Loan pool investment of $100,000; THF matches the loan pool 4:1 ($400,000)

Uses of Loan Pool:

  • Purchase
  • Purchase/Rehab
  • New Construction of artist live/work or work space in the greater Nashville/Davidson county area.

Users of Loan Pool: 

  • Artists
  • Non-profits who serve the creative community.

The artist will be low to moderate income (LMI)   or the activity will take place in a LMI Census Tract.  LMI is defined as persons with incomes at or below 80% of the area’s median family income adjusted for family size, as defined by Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Artist Advisory Committee to assist with industry specific barriers, needs and desires:

  • Metro Arts Commission
  • Artisans
  • Non-profit cultural organizations
  • Academia
  • Lenders
  • Developers and
  • Local government representatives 

Loan Product: 

  • The loan pool will be a minimum of $500,000 and up to $1,000,000 for the creation of new creative spaces.
  • THF will match the loan pool request by a 4:1 ratio.
  • The terms of the loan and underwriting criteria will be developed by staff and both advisory committees.
  • The creation and test period of the loan will be 24 months. 

THF will track the number of applications, loan approvals, demographics, locations and the impact the loans have on the neighborhood.  Impact measurements include change in population, increase in artistic/cultural activity and an increase in financial investment in the community. 

The intent of this program is to serve as a model for artist driven community revitalization and small business development.


Goals/Objectives of the Program:

  • Develop a loan product that meets the needs of the artist community for the development of work and live/work spaces through community collaboration and understanding
  • Deploy at least $500,000 in loans for the purchase and/or development of commercial live/work or work space in Davidson County.
  • Develop a sustainable loan product for the creative community to ensure their creative spaces remain affordable
  • Involve artists and creative non-profits in neighborhood redevelopment through their investment in the neighborhood
  • Assist the creative community in the establishment of commercial art venues outside of downtown Nashville
  • Expand the market area for the creative spaces loan product to include all Tennessee counties
  • In conjunction with NashvilleNext cause affordable redevelopment in areas of Nashville through private investment, neighborhood integration and the creation of hubs of activity outside the Urban Core.

For more information, contact Jarrod Duncan at 615.515.2200 or by email at

If you are interested in donating or investing in this program, please contact Paul Johnson at (615) 780-7000 or

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