Applying to the Fund

Arts Midwest Touring Fund grant awards are applied for by and made directly to presenting organizations (organizations that book artists to perform in their venues) in Arts Midwest’s nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

What you should know

  • To be eligible, an application must meet four engagement requirements. See below.
  • A letter of intent or unsigned contract is acceptable at the time of the application.
  • No project budget is needed at the time of the application.
  • Applicants are encouraged to feature one or more Star Project components. Read more about how to qualify

Application deadline: April 26, 2016

Applications must be submitted using Arts Midwest’s online form. This form will be available in February 2016. Prepare your application contents prior to accessing the application form and view the selection process

Only one application per organization may be submitted. For most organizations, the application should take an hour or less to complete. The application is streamlined—there is no required budget, there are only two narrative questions, and everything is electronic, eliminating printing and postage time and costs.

Notification will be emailed to applicants by mid-June 2016. If you have any questions, please contact Christy Dickinson at 612.238.8019.


  • Awards will generally be up to 20% of the artist’s contract fee.
    Community Residency Star Project awards will generally be up to 25% of the artist’s fee.
  • Maximum award is generally $4,000

Support from the Arts Midwest Touring Fund must be used to offset the artist’s contracted fee and may not be used for other purposes or costs. These funds derive from Federal funds (CFDA #45.025 Promotion of the Arts_Partnership Agreements) from the National Endowment for the Arts.

If selected, the applicant will enter into a Grant Agreement with Arts Midwest and must comply fully with the terms and conditions, including federal regulations, engagement requirements, underserved audience, proper crediting of the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, and a submission of a Final Report by the specified due date. Insufficient management, including not providing proper crediting, will affect the review of an organization’s application for the 2017-2018 season.

Organization eligibility requirements

Applicants must:

Engagement requirements

In order to fulfill the goals of the Arts Midwest Touring Fund the application must meet the four following requirements and the engagement must occur between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.

Applicants are encouraged to feature one or more Star Project Components. If demand in a state is higher than the available funds, support will be determined by the total number of stars for which an application qualifies. Read more about how to qualify

1. Present a professional performing artist
Present a professional performing artist of artistic excellence and merit specializing in the fine arts of dance, music, theater, and other performing arts forms.

  • The artist may be from anywhere in the world but must reside outside of the applicant’s state.
  • The primary performer must be the touring artist and not local artists, children, and/or students.
  • The artist must have a minimum contracted fee of $2,500.
  • An artist appearing as part of a festival qualifies.
  • Guest artists that are part of the applicant’s own performance, concert, or production do not qualify, such as in the case of orchestras, symphonies, theaters, dance, or opera companies. Artists contracted for a stand-alone engagement may qualify.

2. Program a public performance
Include at least one performance that is open and promoted to the general public.

  • This performance that is open and promoted to the general public.
  • Engagements featuring artists appearing as part of benefits or fundraisers do not qualify.

3. Include a community engagement activity
Include at least one community engagement activity to be conducted by the artist, staff, and/or a qualified expert. These activities should enhance the audience’s understanding of and appreciate for the artists’ work, foster exchanges between artists and communities, engage people in the community, and enrich the audience’s experience.

  • To qualify, each activity must be a minimum of 30 minutes long.
  • Examples of community engagement activities include pre- and post-performance discussions/talkbacks;masterclasses or workshops; lectures or demonstrations; open rehearsals; meet-and-greets or receptions; panel/roundtable discussion; behind-the-scenes tours; or curriculum-based activities.
  • Performances targeted to a primary age group, such as K-12 students (youths age 18 or younger) or adults (age 65 or older) qualify as a community engagement activity.
  • Pre- and post-performance discussions or Q&As must be moderated or directed by staff or a qualified expert and must include one or more of the touring artists.

4. Reach an underserved audience
Ensure the participation of an underserved audience (either through the public performance or a community engagement activity, or both) that is composed of people whose access to the performing arts is limited by one or more of the following factors:

  • Economic conditions
  • Ethnic background
  • Disability
  • Age (youths age 18 or younger OR adults age 65 or older)
  • Geographic location as determined by the U.S. Census data (based on the county of the applicant or the location of at least one planned activity.) Refer to the Geographically Underserved Audience Star Project to determine if your application qualifies.