Home Programs Arts Midwest Touring Fund Guidelines


The deadline for the 2019-2020 grant application has passed and we are no longer accepting applications.

  1. Read the following guidelines.
  2. Secure or renew your organization’s SAM.gov registration prior to the application deadline.
  3. Prepare your application.
  4. Complete and submit the application form by Wednesday, April 24, 2019. Only one application will be accepted per organization.

Organization Eligibility Requirements

  • 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 Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, or Wisconsin.

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

  • Applicant must compensate all professional performers and related or supporting professional personnel at no less than the prevailing minimum compensation. (This requirement is in accordance with the regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor in part 505 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Part 505 does not provide information on specific compensation levels.)

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

  • All applicants and potential sub-recipients of Federal funds must have and maintain an “active” registration in SAM.gov (System for Award Management) until the application process is complete, and if selected, throughout the life of the award.*

  • Registration is free but will take time to complete. Secure or renew your registration at least two weeks before the application deadline. You will need to opt-in to have it viewable in the public search. You may need to update your organization’s registration if you completed it for the Arts Midwest Touring Fund application in previous years. If you have issues completing your registration, please contact us at [email protected].

    If you need to renew your SAM.gov registration, sign-in and select “Register/Update Entity” in the left sidebar. Please remember to opt into the public search when updating your registration. Entities renewing or update their registration will be required to submit an original, signed notarized letter confirming the authorized Entity Administrator associated with the DUNS number before the registration is activated. As of June 29, 2018, when you log in you will be asked to create a Login.gov account. Your current SAM.gov username and password will no longer work.

  • Applicant must be able to comply with the Federal policies and legal requirements, statutes, and regulations as stated in the Assurance of Compliance.
  • Engagement Requirements

    The Touring Fund supports engagements that occur between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020. Applicants must meet the following four requirements to be considered for potential support. Application review will be based on artistic excellence and artistic 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. Arts Midwest Touring Fund generally does not support “commercial” acts.
    2. • The artist/ensemble may be from anywhere in the world but must reside outside of the applicant’s state. An artist/ensemble’s state of residence is the state in which they conduct their business, not where the manager/agent is located. The state of residence for an ensemble composed of artists from more than one state is defined as the state in which they conduct their business.
      • For the purposes of this program, a professional artist/ensemble must receive a significant portion of their annual income from artistic activities and have a record of tour readiness with regional, national, or international touring experience.
      • The primary performer and focus of the public performance must be the professional, touring artist and not local artists, children, and/or students.
      • 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.

      Engagements featuring an artist/ensemble from a country listed on the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Sanctions Countries are not eligible. This includes Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Somalia and may be subject to change.

    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. The applicant ensures the participation of people with limited access to the performing arts, in the performance and/or community activity, due to one or more of the following factors.

      Historically underrepresented cultural groups: This may include tribal, people of color, or immigrant communities (i.e. Hispanic/Latino, Somali, Hmong, Arab).

      Youths (18 or under): This may include a partnership with local K-12 schools or organizations serving youths (i.e. Boys & Girls Club).

      Older adults (65 or older): This may include partnerships with senior living facilities or care centers.

      Veterans and active service members: This may include a partnership with the local Veterans Administration or active-service members from a nearby military base.

      Disability: This may include a partnership with a local organization serving people with vision impairment, deaf or hard of hearing, mental health conditions, intellectual disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, physical disability, etc.

      Adults and youths in the justice system: This may include partnerships with organizations or facilities (i.e. prison, detention, residential, or treatment centers) that serve this population.

      Economically disadvantaged: This may include partnering with a local organization who serves low-income populations and offering free or subsidized tickets.

      Geographic location: For the purpose of this program, an applicant that is located or will conduct at least one performance and//or community activity in a County that is not a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) according to U.S. Census data qualifies. Counties on this list do not qualify for geographic location.

    • A community’s limited access to an art form or general demographics do not fulfill this requirement.
    • 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.

    Additional Considerations

    If demand in a state is higher than the availability of funds, priority will be given to applications that feature one or more of the following components.

    • Present a performing artist/ensemble from the Midwest who resides in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, or Wisconsin and outside of the state of where the applicant is located.
    • Deepen participation with a community residency that includes five or more community activities, plus the public performance and occurs within two or more days. It is understood that the specific date(s) and/or location(s) may not be confirmed at the time application, but a month and description of the activity must be included.

    Community residencies may be eligible for up to 25% of the artist/ensemble’s fee in support.

    Grant Awards

    • Awards are dependent upon available funds and demand within a state and will generally be up to 20% of the artist’s contract fee.
    • Applications that qualify as a community residency may be eligible for up to 25% of the artist’s contract fee.
    • The maximum award is generally $4,000 with a minimum award of $500.

    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.

    Additional Funds for Indigenous Artists

    This year, we are glad to partner with Western Arts Alliance (WAA) on their Advancing Indigenous Performance Program that promotes the touring and engagement of Indigenous artists from the United States or its Territories (inclusive of Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Native American, and other Indigenous artists from the Territories).

    To qualify the artist/ensemble must identify as a Indigenous performing artist according to Western Arts Alliance’s definition of Indigenous: A member or descendant of a Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian nation or community, including Native/First Peoples of Canada, and U.S. Territories of American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This includes individuals without official tribal status who are members of Native communities, and tribal members or descendants not living in their homelands or home community.

    An application that meets the engagement requirements and features an Indigenous artist may be eligible for a matching grant from WAA dependent upon available funds. For example, an artist’s contracted fee of $20,000 may receive up to $4,000 from the Arts Midwest Touring Fund and up to an additional $4,000 from Western Arts Alliance. Selected applicants may need to complete additional reporting requirements for WAA and participating artists may be asked to complete a survey. All eligible applications will be forwarded to WAA for final determination of qualification for match.

    Contact Us

    Guidance for contents of application
    Christy Dickinson, senior program director, 612.238.8019

    Technical questions
    Ellen DeYoung, program associate, 612.238.8028

    [email protected]