Program Overview
TourWest is a competitive grant program funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The program provides subsidies to presenters for the presentation of out-of-state touring performing and literary artists. TourWest standard performance grants are available in amounts of up to $2,500 or 50% of the artistic fees, whichever is less. The grants are only available to organizations that sponsor performances within the 13-state WESTAF region. For the 2018-2019 cycle, projects must take place between September 1, 2018, and August 31, 2019, and must feature one public performance and one educational outreach activity. Applicants may apply for up to two standard performance grants, each of which is for a distinct project.  Funding Support through TourWest is contingent on available funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

All application materials, including supplemental materials and work samples, must be submitted online. Mailed or emailed applications will not be accepted. Please note that all TourWest payments for awards are contingent on the availability of funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

  • Applicants must be one of the following: a) a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; b) a unit of state or local government; c) a nonprofit institution of higher education; or d) a federally recognized Indian tribal government.
  • Applicants must be incorporated in and currently conducting business in one or more of the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming.
  • Applicants must have successfully presented one performance by a paid professional performing artist or company within the last three years.
  • Organizations applying for TourWest funds are required to have a DUNS Number. This number is a unique nine-digit identification number of the entity applying for funds. DUNS numbers are available free of charge for all businesses required to register with the U.S. federal government for grants.  
  • WESTAF, the manager of the TourWest program, reserves the right to make final decisions regarding eligibility. Questions regarding eligibility should be directed to the TourWest staff, which can be reached at 303.629.1166.

Program Requirements
TourWest support is available to projects that meet the following programmatic requirements:

  • TourWest 2018 projects must take place between September 1, 2018, and August 31, 2019.
  • Applicants may submit up to two TourWest applications for up to two separate projects; however, the applications must be for different artists.
  • The proposed program must involve a paid professional performing artist/company that is based outside of the presenter's home state.
  • The artist or company for which TourWest funds are sought cannot include members of the applicant organization’s staff members or board or be a faculty member of the applicant's organization.
  • Applications must be for the presentation of out-of-state touring performers, musicians, and literary artists. The performers do not need to be based in the 13-state WESTAF region and can be located outside of the United States.
  • Literary projects are acceptable provided they have a performance aspect to them.
  • Projects must include at least one public performance, which is defined as a full-length performance that is marketed to and open to the general public.
  • Projects must include at least one educational outreach activity.  
    • That activity must have an educational component and attract an audience that is different from the audience attending the public performance. Visit this page for more detailed information about educational outreach activities.
  • Each application must be accompanied by two digital samples of the work of the artist(s) the applicant wishes to present. Applicants are not allowed to submit one set of artistic samples to support their own application and the applications of other presenters. Artists engaging in block booking need to send digital samples to each presenter in the block book so they can each upload the sample to their TourWest applications. Failure to provide a sample of artistic work will result in the disqualification of an application.
  • 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 as artists 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 adult performer.
  • TourWest funds can be used to support performances in festivals. The festival organization itself, not individual presenters participating in the festival, may apply for up to two grants to support artists performing in the festival.

Ineligible Projects
The following projects are not eligible for TourWest funding:

  • Performances that receive federal funding such as funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) or NEA funds that flow through programs such as Southern Exposure Roster Artists and NEFA-supported projects in dance and theater.
  • Traditional, seasonal performances such as The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol
  • University conferences
  • Magic, stand-up/improv comedy, and acrobatic performances
  • Guest artist performances such as a guest conductor for a local symphony performance or a guest choreographer who sets a piece on local dancers
  • Performances, including children's theater, in which local children or community members are the primary performers
  • Salaries or contracts for general fundraising activities or events, including those for donors or those that benefit the organization as a whole, are unallowable. Costs associated with fundraising activities such as galas, parties, or other events where alcohol is available are not allowed.

Supplemental Materials and Work Samples
TourWest requires that applicants submit work samples electronically as digital files uploaded to the application. Failure to provide a sample of artistic work will result in the disqualification of your application.
Please note: All work samples must be submitted as a digital file uploaded to the GOSmart(™) system.  WESTAF will not accept mailed or emailed work samples or links.

Required Supplemental Materials

  • A PDF or DOC of the contract or co-signed letter of agreement with the company. The documentation must include: company fee(s), engagement date(s), the location(s) and description(s) of performance(s), and a description of all educational 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. Please note that through the TourWest program, artistic fees are paid to the presenter, who is then responsible for paying the artist/company or designated representative.
  • Proof of nonprofit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) status, or the equivalent, from the applicant's organization, attached in the form of a PDF or DOC.

Work Samples

  • Two work samples are required for each application. The samples are not to exceed 60 seconds in length.
  • When work samples exceed 60 seconds in length, panelists will be instructed to review only the first 60 seconds.  
    • Ideally, work samples should be edited to a length of 60 seconds.
    • Work samples should begin with the actual work sample and without excessive lead-ins.
  • The TourWest program no longer allows presenters to submit one set of artistic samples that are intended to also cover applications for other presenters. This is also the case for block bookings. Each application must be accompanied by its own copy of a work sample.
  • Video representations of an artist's work should be a performance sample rather than a promotional video. Ideally, samples should show the work that will be performed for the applicant's project.
  • Considerations for literary presentations:
    • Applicants are required to submit an audio or video sample of the writer reading/presenting their work as a work sample.  
    • A PDF or DOC of biographical information on the writer/playwright/poet is required.

General Terms and Conditions

  • 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.
  • NEA Fund are subject to compliance with  2 CFR 200.338: If you fail to comply with Federal statutes, regulations, or the terms and conditions of our award, we may impose additional conditions, as described in 2 CFR 200.207. If we determine that noncompliance cannot be remedied by imposing additional conditions, we may take one or more of the following actions, as appropriate in the circumstances: 19.1.a Temporarily withhold cash payments pending correction of the deficiency, or more severe enforcement action. 19.1.b Disallow (that is, deny both use of funds and any applicable matching credit for) all or part of the cost of the activity or action not in compliance. 19.1.c Wholly or partly suspend or terminate the NEA award. 19.1.d Initiate suspension or debarment proceedings as authorized under 2 CFR 180 and our regulations at 2 CFR 32.3254. 19.1.e Withhold further NEA awards. 19.1.f Take other remedies that may be legally available
  • One-to-One Match: The TourWest grant is an NEA Regional Touring Grant and requires a one-to-one cash match. Thus, the grant award will support the artistic fees in amounts of up to $2,500 or 50% of the artistic fee, whichever is less. The remaining artistic fee amount is to be paid by the presenter and is considered the cash match for the grant.
  • No federal funding can be used for the remaining cash match: According to the NEA guidelines, grantees cannot match NEA funds to NEA funds or other federal funds, nor get two different federal grants for the same project costs (overlapping costs). The TourWest grant subsidizes the artistic fees of the project costs; thus, this line item cannot be matched with other federal or NEA funding.
  • Audit is required if your organization is a non-federal entity that expends $750,000 or more during your fiscal year in federal awards. You must have a single or program specific audit conducted that year in accordance to 2 CFR 200.514.
  • Indirect Costs and/or F&A Costs: TourWest funds cannot be used in any portion for institutional overhead or F&A costs or applied to any Indirect Costs. These funds, which are made possible through the NEA's regional touring program, are to be specifically directed to the artistic fee for both the public performance(s) and the accompanying outreach activities.
  • Noncompliance: All grantees must submit a Final Report online within 60 days of the event end date or forfeit the grant award amount and risk eligibility for the next granting cycle.
  • 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.
  • Acknowledgment of WESTAF, NEA, and state arts agencies: 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:
    • "This work was supported in part by WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation), (presenter's state arts agency name), and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)."
    • All printed materials also must include the WESTAF and NEA logos, which are available on the WESTAF website 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.
  • Other federal requirements: By submitting a TourWest application, the applicant assures and certifies that it is in compliance with the statutes outlined in Appendix A and all related WESTAF/NEA regulations and will maintain records and submit reports necessary to determine compliance. The applicant further assures and certifies that all subrecipients of WESTAF/NEA funds are in compliance with these nondiscrimination requirements and that it will obtain assurances of compliance from all subrecipients. WESTAF may conduct a review of the applicant organization to ensure that it is in compliance. If WESTAF determines that a grantee has failed to comply with these statutes, it may suspend, terminate, and/or recover funds awarded. This assurance is subject to judicial enforcement. See Appendix A under “Assurance of Compliance.”