Review Criteria and Grant Tips
Assurance of Compliance
Tips on Using the System
Preview of Grant Questions


All| Eligibility | Guidelines | Required Materials | Grants Process

  • Applicants must be a nonprofit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization or the equivalent.
  • Applicants must be incorporated in and currently conducting business in one or more of the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming.
  • Applicants must have presented one performance by a paid professional company within the last three years.
  • Projects must include at least one public performance--a performance that is marketed to and open to the general public.
  • Projects must include at least one outreach activity--lecture-demonstrations, master classes, in-school educational activities involving students with the artist, etc.
  • Projects must take place between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017.
  • Applications must be for the presentation of out-of-state touring performers and literary artists. The performers do not need to be based in the WESTAF region. Any performer or literary artist from outside of your state, including international artists, is eligible.
  • Grantees are required to have a DUNS Number:  This is a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business.  DUNS numbers are FREE for all businesses required to register with the U.S. federal government for contact and grants.  All organizations applying to the TourWestmust have one.  Your organization can obtain a DUNS Number through the Web or by phone. or 1%u2010866%u2010705%u20105711, Monday – Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  

Funding Levels For the 2016-2017 funding season, TourWest offers applicants the ability to apply for two standard performance grants for two sepearate projects. Under TourWest, two grants per organization are available to presenters to support artistic fees in amounts of up to $2,500 or 50% of the artistic fee, whichever is less.

Program Rules When selecting and designing projects for which you will be applying for TourWest funding, please adhere to the following program rules:
  • Presenters may submit up to two TourWest standard performance applications per annual TourWest grant round for two separate projects (one artist/company per application).
  • The proposed program must involve a paid professional performing artist/company that is based outside of the presenter's state and is not a member of the applicant's presenting organization as staff, board, and/or faculty.
  • Events supported by TourWest grants must include at least one public performance. A public performance is a full-length performance that has been marketed to the general public and is not a performance that has as its primary audience students in a school or college setting.
  • The following projects are excluded from receiving TourWest funding: 1) traditional, seasonal performances such as The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol; 2) university conferences; 3) magic and stand-up/improv comedy, acrobatic performances; and 4) festivals submitted as a whole, as opposed to singular performances/readings that take place within a festival; 5) Guest artist performance.
  • NEA funds and the matching funds included in the project budget, may not be used to support unallowable expenses as defined in Cost Principles 2 CFR 225 (OMB Circular A-87), including fundraising, receptions, lobbying, servicing debt, and alcohol.
  • Projects supported by TourWest grants must include at least one outreach activity; for example: lecture-demonstrations, master classes, in-school educational activities involving students with the artist, etc. For applications submitted on behalf of an institution, the outreach activity must be directed to individuals outside of the institution. For example, applicants that are a dance school and also a presenter, an outreach activity must be provided for individuals outside of students at the dance school.
  • The following items are not considered to be qualifying outreach activities: 1) a performance for students that does not include an educational component about the art form; 2) a guest artist's residency at an institution of higher education; 3) activities at an institution of higher education for which the majority of the audience are students and/or faculty; 4) tickets to the public performance offered on a complimentary basis; 5) radio broadcasts or audio/video podcasts; and 6) a lecture or demonstration that directly precedes or follows the public performance. A good measure for determining the eligibility for a proposed outreach activity is whether the audience is different than the public performance, though some overlap is to be expected.
  • All projects submitted for consideration must be accompanied by digital work samples from the artist/company. Worksample selections must be detailed in the application. Applicants will be required to upload their digital worksamples online. No mailed in worksamples will be accepted.
  • Presenters of children's theatre are encouraged to speak with their state arts council or the TourWest staff regarding the applicability of their specific project to the TourWest program. In relation to TourWest, children's performances are defined as theatre projects in which local children are the primary performers.
A note about projects with community members participating in the public performance: The TourWest grant program provides fee support for touring performing artists; however, guest artists are not eligible. A guest artist is an artist such as a guest conductor for a local symphony performance or a guest choreographer who sets a piece on local dancers.

In general, if the touring artist is part of a company, the full troupe must perform on stage during the public performance.

Projects that involve local artists or school children participating in a portion of the performance are eligible, however, applicants must make clear that the primary focus of the public performance is the out-of-state performer.

The TourWest review panel reserves the right to make final decisions regarding eligibility. If you are considering applying for a project that may fall outside of the guidelines for eligibility, please call WESTAF at 303.629.1166

A note regarding the eligibility for festivals. For festivals that are organized as a consortium of multiple discrete presenting organizations--rather than a single entity presenting numerous artists as part of a festival--the following rules apply:
  • Each festival presenter is eligible to apply for a TourWest grant if the presenter is the entity responsible for the paperwork and budget for the project for which TourWest funding is sought. For example, eligible presenters must contract with and pay the artistic fees directly to the artist or artist's management rather than through the festival organizer.
  • Projected earned revenues that are detailed in the TourWest project budget form must be collected and maintained within the applicant's presenting organization.
Equitable Distribution WESTAF reserves the right to limit or cap the amount of TourWest grants received by any state in the region should the distribution of funds not follow established demographic patterns or advantage any state in an unfair manner.

Required Credits In order to receive TourWest funding, presenters are required to credit TourWest's support in all promotional/printed materials and electronic media related to any TourWest-funded engagement using the following phrase: "These activities are supported, in part, with funds provided by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), the (presenter's state arts agency name), and the National Endowment for the Arts." All printed materials also must include the WESTAF and NEA logos, which are available on the WESTAF web site and/or by the calling the WESTAF office at (303) 629-1166.

Professional Standards WESTAF encourages presenters, artists, companies, managers, and all others receiving support through WESTAF's Performing Arts programs and services to strive for professional standards of behavior that embody a commitment to honesty, integrity, fulfillment of verbal and written commitments, and the avoidance of conflicts of interest.

Required Materials

Supplemental Materials and Worksample Requirements
Please note, the items listed below must be submitted to the WESTAF office in support of your TourWest application. TourWest now requires that you to submit these items electronically as digital files uploaded to your application.

  • 1 copy of the contract or co-signed letter of agreement with the company, including company fee(s), engagement date(s), the location(s) and description(s) of performance(s), and all outreach activities planned. If an agreement or contract is not available at the time of the application deadline, a letter of intent from the artist or artist's management will suffice. This can be uploaded as an electronic document (PDF or DOC format) within the application.
  • 1 copy of proof of nonprofit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) status, or the equivalent, from the applicant's organization. This can be uploaded as an electronic document (PDF or DOC format) within the application.
  • An artistic work sample that represents the artist/company's work. Samples must be submitted as a Digital File uploaded to the application.  
  • You are required to submit two worksamples for each application and each sample must be one minute long.  If you elect to submit a worksample that is longer than 1 minute the panelists will be instructed to  review only the FIRST minute.
    • When submitting video representations of the artist's work, please make every attempt to provide a performance sample rather than a promotional video. Further, samples should ideally show the piece of work that will be performed as part of the applicant's project.
    • Presenters may submit one artistic sample to cover a number of applications for the same artist.  For presenters who are submitting a sample to cover more than one application, please list all other applicants also using the sample for their application on the Digital Sample Upload Page. Further, presenters who are not submitting the artistic sample must note the submitting presenter's name and application number (i.e. TW2010001) on the Digital Sample Upload Page. Failure to provide an artistic work sample will result in the disqualification of your application.
    • For literary presentations we now require that you submit an audio or video sample of the writer reading/presenting their work. Samples must be submitted as a digital file uploaded to the application.
  • For literary presentations please note that traditional book reading/signing events are not eligible.
  • For literary presentations 1 copy of biographical information on the writer/playwright/poet.

The TourWest application process consists of the following steps:
  1. Representatives of the presenting organization review the TourWest guidelines thoroughly and consider whether the organization is eligible to apply and whether it will compete favorably in the review process.
  2. New applicants and previous applicants with questions or new approaches to their applications call the WESTAF office at (303) 629-1166 to receive guidance from a TourWest staff person.
  3. Contacts are made with other presenters to identify block booking opportunities; these are opportunities that may save the presenter money and facilitate a more efficient touring schedule.
  4. An artist/company is contacted and an agreement reached regarding the terms of work and the fees that will be paid. A written and signed agreement or contract cosigned by the presenter and company must be submitted with the application. If an agreement or contract is not available at the time of the application deadline, a letter of intent from the artist or artist's management will suffice.
  5. Discussions take place with community partners regarding the nature and extent of both the outreach and audience development activities. Community development and participation is a key component of a successful TourWest grant application.
  6. The presenting organization completes and submits the TourWest online application and sends in supporting materials by April 1, 2016.
  7. A WESTAF-organized panel reviews all applications and recommends applications for funding.
  8. The WESTAF Executive Committee reviews the recommendations, makes adjustments, and determines the final award amounts.
  9. Applicants receive notice of their application's status.
  10. Within 30 days of the notification of their awards, successful awardees return their signed TourWest contract to WESTAF. Failure to do so will result in the reallocation of funds to another presenting project.
  11. Awardees submit a fully executed artist/company contract to WESTAF at least three weeks prior to the performance, if the contract was not submitted with the application. The contract must be cosigned by both the presenter and company, and include company fee(s), engagement date(s), the location(s) and description(s) of performance(s), and all outreach activities planned.
  12. If unforeseen circumstances have altered the ability of awardees to present the companies for which they were awarded TourWest funds, applicants must secure the approval of WESTAF for a change in their engagements. WESTAF reserves the right to withdraw funding for any replacement performances.
  13. Within 60 days of completion of the project, a final report (including an evaluation form and narrative) is submitted to WESTAF along with promotional materials that show proof of crediting. Final reports must be filed online to be deemed complete.
  14. The presenter is paid on a reimbursement basis.
  15. Final Payments will be processed 30 to 60 days after approval of the final report.  Once the report is recieved we will review that the grant agreement stipulations are met and request a payment from the NEA.  Once the NEA funds have been received by WESTAF a check will be sent to the address listed in your profile.
  16. Payments/Support through TourWest is contingent on available funds.