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How to Apply

Presenting organizations (organizations that book artists to perform in their venues) in Arts Midwest’s region are invited to apply to the Arts Midwest Touring Fund. Only one application per organization may be submitted.

What you should know

  • The Touring Fund supports engagements between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018
  • To be eligible, an application must meet four engagement requirements. See below.
  • A letter of intent or draft contract between the presenting organization and the artist/ensemble 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 25, 2017

Before completing the application, please read the program guidelines below and prepare all information and documents for the application contents. You must use Arts Midwest online form available in application contents.

Grant Awards

  • Awards will generally be up to 20% of the artist’s contract fee.
    Community Residency Star Project awards may 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.

Organization eligibility requirements

Applicants must:

Engagement requirements

The Touring Fund supports engagements that occur between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. Applicants must meet the following four requirements. In addition, applicants are encouraged to feature one or more Star Project Components. Application review will be based on artistic excellence and artistic merit. If demand in a state is higher than the available funds, support will be prioritized by the total number of stars for which an application qualifies. Read more about how to qualify

1. Present a professional performing artist/ensemble of artistic excellence and merit
Present a professional touring artist/ensemble in the fine arts of dance, music, theater, or musical and other performing arts forms. Arts Midwest Touring Fund generally does not support “commercial” acts. For the purposes of this program, a professional artist/ensemble receives a significant portion of their annual income from artistic activities and has a record of tour readiness as evidence in regional, national, or international experience.

  • The artist/ensemble may be from anywhere in the world but must reside outside of the applicant’s state.
  • The primary performer and focus of the public performance must be the professional, touring artist and not local artists, children, and/or students.
  • The artist/ensemble must have a minimum contracted fee of $2,500.
  • While an application for an artist/ensemble performing at a festival qualifies, an application encompassing many separate artists at a festival does not qualify.
  • Guest artists/ensembles that are part of the applicant’s own performance, concert, or production do not qualify, such as in the case of guest conductor for an orchestras/symphony; guest choreographer who set a piece with local dancers; or a guest singer appearing with a local opera company, etc.
  • Out-of-state artists/ensembles who are part of a camp faculty must have a separate contract for a stand-alone public performance and community engagement activities; those may include activities with students attending the camp.

2. Program a public performance
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.

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. 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 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 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.

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.
    Note: Lack of access to an art form and general demographics does not fulfill this requirement. If you are inviting, marketing to, or offering a discount or complimentary tickets, your application should explain how you will ensure this audience’s participation.

Review process

  • All applications received by April 25th deadline will be reviewed by program staff in accordance with the organization eligibility and engagement requirements, including Star Project components, if applicable.
    No applications will be reviewed or funds allocated until after April 25, 2017.
  • Applications are reviewed by state in the order of the total number of stars for which an application qualifies (e.g. an application with three stars will be considered before an application with two).
  • Geographic diversity may be considered.
  • Allocations will be determined on a state-by-state basis until available funds for each state are depleted.
  • Following the review, we will email a confirmation notice with details on approved underserved audience and Star Project components. It is important to look this over to ensure you understand what your application qualified for.
    If we have any questions, we’ll follow up to resolve any issues before you receive your official confirmation email.

Notification, Grant Agreement, and Reporting

All applicants will receive email notification of award decisions in June 2017 following approval from Arts Midwest’s Board of Directors.

If selected, the applicant will enter into a Grant Agreement with Arts Midwest. The Grant Agreement will outline the terms and conditions, including federal regulations, engagement requirements, and crediting requirements, of the Arts Midwest Touring Fund grant. Poor grant management, including insufficient or improper crediting, will affect the review of an organization’s application for the 2018-2019 season.

Grantees will be required to submit a final report within 30 days of their final activity with event attendance statistics, budget, proof of proper crediting, and responses to short narrative questions about their programming.