Home Programs Touringfund Guidelines


Applications are no longer being accepted for the Arts Midwest Touring Fund. Visit the GIG Fund website to learn about the upcoming grant opportunity.

  1. Read the following guidelines.
  2. Secure or renew your organization’s SAM.gov registration prior to the application deadline. “Pending” SAM.gov registrations will be accepted at the time of application.
  3. Prepare your application.
  4. Complete and submit the application form by Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Only one application will be accepted per organization.

Organization Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant must comply with federal eligibility requirements. “Pending” SAM.gov registrations will be accepted at the time of application.
  • Applicant must be located in the Midwest region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, or Wisconsin and the Native nations that share that geography.
  • Applicant must hold the contract with the professional performing artist/ensemble. If you do not yet have a fully executed contract, we will accept an unsigned contract or a Letter of Intent.

Eligible applicants may include performing arts centers located on university or high school campuses, an arts council who contracts with touring artists for an engagement in a community venue, a traditional theater located in the heart of a community, parks and recreation departments, or many other types of organizations.

Arts Midwest’s values are guiding principles of our programming for the Midwest region. We approach our partners, communities, and each other with trust and accountability. We count on applicants to uphold these values in their own communities.

Engagement Requirements

The Touring Fund supports engagements that occur between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021. 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 or marginalized people: This may include IPOC (Indigenous and People of Color, including Black/African/African American, Afro Latinx, Caribbean, Chicanx/Mexican, Central American, South American, Middle Eastern/North African, Southeast Asian/Asian/Pacific Islander); immigrants and/or refugees, people with disabilities or LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) people. This may be achieved through partnerships and the inclusion of participants.

    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, the definition of a geographic location that lacks access is a city with a population of 50,000 or less. To qualify the organization may reside in a city as defined or conduct a performance and/or community activity in a city of 50,000 or less.

    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.

    As stated in the federal eligibility requirements, all applicants must adhere to the American Disabilities Act 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

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 Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Native American, and other Indigenous artists from the Territories).

To qualify the artist/ensemble must identify as an Indigenous artist according to Western Arts Alliance’s definition of Indigenous: U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is 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. All Indigenous artists must be living in the United States or its Territories in order to be eligible.

An application that meets the engagement requirements and features an Indigenous artist may be eligible for additional funds from WAA. Arts Midwest will request that WAA match the support from the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, but it will be dependent upon available funds for the region. Selected applicants may need to complete additional reporting requirements for WAA and participating artists may be asked to complete a survey. WAA will make the final determination of funding for eligible applications.

Review Process

  • Allocations will be determined on a state-by-state basis and dependent upon demand and availability of funds for each state.
  • Program staff will review applications for eligibility and completeness.
  • You will receive an email confirmation within a week of April 29 indicating the details of the engagement or any questions we have before it proceeds to be reviewed for potential support. It is important to contact us if you don’t’ receive this confirmation.
  • Geographic diversity may be considered.

Notification, Grant Agreement, and Reporting

All applicants will receive an email notification of award decisions in June 2020 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 and engagement and crediting requirements. Poor grants management, including insufficient or improper crediting, may affect the review of an organization’s future applications to the Arts Midwest Touring Fund. Grantees will be required to submit a final report within 30 days of their final activity.

Contact Us

Ellen DeYoung, grants specialist, 612.238.8028
John Kaiser, grants specialist, 612.238.8024

[email protected]