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Rural Indiana Performance Fund

The Rural Indiana Performance Fund is a partnership between Arts Midwest and the Indiana Arts Commission to engage people in meaningful experiences with the fine arts of dance, music, theater or musical theater, and other performing arts forms. This special opportunity is available to organizations in Indiana, preferably with a population of 25,000 or less, for projects taking place between January 1, 2020, and October 31, 2020. A project must engage a performing artist/ensemble in a public performance and community activity, and reach an audience with limited access to the performing arts with the goal of fostering exchange between the artist and community.

How to apply

Guidelines are now available to support performing artists/ensembles touring in Indiana between January 1, 2020, and October 31, 2020.

  1. Read the guidelines below.
  2. Prepare your application.
  3. Complete and submit the application form by Thursday, October 31, 2019.

The deadline has passed and we are no longer accepting applications.

Program Guidelines

Organization Eligibility Requirements

Organizations receiving support from the Indiana Arts Commission or Arts Midwest are ineligible to apply.

  • Applicant must be a nonprofit 501c(3) organization, a unit of state or local government, or a federally recognized tribal community or tribe.

  • Applicant must be located in Indiana. Preference will be given to applicants from rural communities with a population of 25,000 or less.

  • Applicant must hold the contract with the performing artist/ensemble.

  • Applicant must not be a current grantee of the Indiana Arts Commission or Arts Midwest.

  • Applicant must compensate all performers and related supporting personnel.

  • Applicant must have a DUNS (Dun and Bradstreet) number, which is free to obtain. Look up your DUNS number .

  • Applicant must be able to comply with Assurance of Compliance.
  • Engagement Requirements

    The Rural Indiana Performance Fund supports engagements that occur between January 1, 2020, and October 31, 2020. Applicants must meet the following four requirements to be considered for potential support. Application review will be based on artistic excellence and merit.

    1. Present a professional performing artist/ensemble of artistic excellence and merit in the fine arts of dance, music, theater, or musical theater and other performing art forms. For the purposes of this program, the artist/ensemble must have live performance experience and have a record of performance and readiness with local, regional, national, or international performance experience.
    2. • The primary performer and focus of the public performance must be the professional artist/ensemble and not local artists, children, and/or students, should the applicant choose to include them in the performance.
      • While an application for an artist/ensemble performing at a festival qualifies, an application encompassing more than one artist at a festival does not qualify.
      • Out-of-state artists/ensembles that are part of a camp’s faculty must have a separate contract for a stand-alone public performance and community activities may include activities with students attending the camp.
      • Guest artists/ensembles who are part of the applicant’s own performance, concert, or production do not qualify, such as a guest conductor for an orchestra/symphony; guest choreographer who sets a piece with local dancers; or a guest singer appearing with the local opera company.

    3. Program a public performance
    4. The engagement must include at least one performance that is open and promoted to the general public. Engagements featuring artists/ensembles appearing as part of benefits or fundraisers do not qualify.

    5. Include a community activity
    6. The engagement must include at least one community activity to be conducted by the artist, staff, and/or a qualified expert. Activities should enhance the audience’s understanding of and appreciation for the artists’ work, foster exchanges between artists and communities, and enrich the audience’s experience.

      • To qualify, each activity must be a minimum of 30 minutes long.
      • Examples of community activities include pre- and post-performance discussions/talkbacks; masterclasses or workshops; lectures or demonstrations; open rehearsals; meet-and-greets or receptions; panel/roundtable discussions; 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 activity.
      • Pre- and post-performance discussions or Q&As must be moderated or directed by staff or a qualified expert or include one or more of the touring artists.

      Looking for a resource to support an authentic and effective engagement with a broad and diverse constituency? Check out the Creating Connection Engagement Guide.

    7. Reach an audience with limited access to the arts
    8. This is defined as people lacking access to arts programs, services, or resources due to isolated geographic location, low income, age, race/ethnicity, cultural differences, disability, or other circumstances. If you are inviting, marketing to, or providing discounted or complimentary tickets, you must explain how you ensure the participation of people with limited access based on one or more of the above factors.

      All applicants must adhere to the American Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and have a Section 504 Self-Evaluation on file. Being compliant does not equate to the participation of people with disabilities.

    Grant Awards

  • At least 25% of the grant award must be used to pay the contracted fee of the artist.

  • Awards are dependent upon available funds and demand.

  • The maximum award is $3,000 with a minimum of $1,000.

  • There is no match requirement for this grant award.

  • Organizations receiving support from the Indiana Arts Commission or Arts Midwest are ineligible to apply.
  • Eligible Project Expenses

    • Artist fees (At least 25% of grant award must be used to offset this fee.)
    • Salaries
    • Administrative fees
    • Venue/Space and equipment rental
    • Promotional costs
    • Production costs
    • Supplies

    Ineligible Project Expenses

    • Cash reserves or deficit reduction or deficit elimination
    • Fundraising
    • Events in private dwellings or other locations not open to the general public
    • Consumable supplies and materials not directly related to the project
    • Cost of food or beverages
    • Capital acquisitions (purchase of artwork, etc.), capital expenditures, equipment, restoration, or new construction of buildings
    • Travel outside of the United States
    • Indirect costs or underwriting for ongoing residences or curricular programs in degree-granting college of universities
    • Projects to be delivered outside of the state of Indiana
    • Project expenses outside of the funding period
    • Activities that are solely for the purpose of fundraising
    • Private functions, religious services, lobbying activities, or any non-public activity


    Christy Dickinson, senior program director, 612.238.8019
    Ellen DeYoung, program associate, 612.238.8028

    Arts Midwest provides, upon request and with a reasonable timeframe, alternative formats, auxiliary aids, and services necessary for all individuals to participate in all programs and services provided by our organization. For more information, contact Christy Dickinson.

    This program is generously supported by the Indiana Arts Commission in partnership with Arts Midwest.