Program Overview

TourWest is a competitive grant program that provides subsidies to arts and community organizations for the presentation of out-of-state touring performers and literary artists. Funds are available to organizations that sponsor performances within the 13-state WESTAF region. For the 2017-2018 cycle, projects must take place between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018. All projects must have one public performance and one educational outreach activity. TourWest standard performance grants are available in an amount of up to $2,500 or 50% of the artistic fees, whichever is less. Applicants may apply online for up to two standard performance grants. All applications must be submitted online and mailed or emailed applications will not be accepted. All work samples must be uploaded as a digital file on the TourWest application along with the supplemental materials.  TourWest is an NEA funded grant program.


  • Applicants must be a nonprofit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) non profit organization, units of state or local government, institutions of higher education, or Federally-recognized Indian tribal governments are eligible to receive funds sub-granted through an Arts Endowment award.
  • 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, 2017 and August 31, 2018.

  • 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 TourWest must have one.  Your organization can obtain a DUNS Number through the Web or by phone., Monday – Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  



Funding Levels For the 2017-2018 funding season, TourWest offers applicants the ability to apply for two standard performance grants for two separate projects. Under TourWest, each grant is 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. 6) Children's theater or performances in which local children are primary performers. 7) Salaries or contracts for general fundraising activities or events, including those for donors, or 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 unallowable
  • 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 work samples online. No mailed in work samples will be accepted.

  • For TourWest 2017, WESTAF requires that each application must be accompanied with two digital samples submitted online.  We will no longer allow presenters to submit one set of artistic samples to cover a number of applications for other presenters.  Thus, for presenters who are block booked and want to share samples, please send a digital copy of the samples to each presenter in the block book so they can each upload the sample to their applications.  

  • NOTE:  Failure to provide a an artistic worksample will result in the disqualification of your application.

  • 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.
  • Guest Artist are not eligible: 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.

  • 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. 

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. We will no longer allow presenters to submit one set of artistic samples to cover a number of applications.  For presenters who are block booked and want to share samples, please send a digital copy of the samples to each presenter in the block book so they can each upload the sample to their applications.  


NOTE:  Failure to provide a an artistic worksample will result in the disqualification of 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.
  • Artistic fees shall be paid directly to the artist/company (or designated representative) by the presenter as per the artist-presenter contract. .


  • 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 work samples 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.


    • 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 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

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.


  • Cash match - One to One Match: The TourWest grant is a NEA Regional Touring Grant and requires a 1 to 1 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.


  • Cash match - 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 subsidized 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 - as awarded 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.


  • Non Compliance: 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 the 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: "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

  • 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/National Endowment for the Arts regulations and will maintain records and submit reports necessary to determine compliance. The applicant further assures and certifies that all subrecipients of WESTAF/Endowment 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.


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, 2017.
  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 received 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.

 Appendix A:

Assurance and Compliance

National Policy and Other Legal Requirements, Statutes, and Regulations that Govern Your Award

  1. Nondiscrimination Policies. As a condition of receipt of Federal financial assistance, you acknowledge and agree to execute your project (e.g., productions, workshops, programs, etc.) and require any contractors, successors, transferees, and assignees to comply with applicable provisions of national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination, including but not limited to:
    1. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, provides that no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Title VI also extends protection to persons with limited English proficiency (42 USC 2000d et seq.)
    2. As clarified by Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency, national origin discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of limited English proficiency (LEP). To ensure compliance with Title VI, you must take reasonable steps to ensure that LEP persons have meaningful access to your programs. Meaningful access may entail providing language assistance services, including oral and written translation, where necessary. You are encouraged to consider the need for language services for LEP persons in conducting your programs and activities. For assistance and information go to policy-guidance.
    3. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, provides that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance (20 USC 1681 et seq.)
    4. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, provides that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance (29 USC 794).

      Access should be integrated into all facets and activities of an organization, from day to day operations to long range goals and objectives. Access accommodations and services should be given a high priority and funds should be available for these services. All organizations are legally required to provide reasonable and necessary accommodations for staff and visitors with disabilities.

      Section 504 - Self-Evaluation and Additional Resources
      1. A Section 504 self-evaluation must be on file at your organization. To help your organization evaluate its programs, activities, and facilities to ensure full compliance with Section 504 accessibility requirements, the Civil Rights Office has provided you with a "Section 504 Self Evaluation Workbook." The Workbook is located at
      2. You should designate a staff member to serve as a 504 coordinator. The completed workbook or similar compliance and supporting documentation should be kept on file for a period of three (3) years from the date the Federal Financial Report (FFR) is filed, and made available to the public and the NEA upon request. The NEA may request the 504 Workbook or your compliance documents for various potential scenarios including an Inspector General audit and/or civil rights investigation.
      3. "Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator's Handbook" provides guidance on making access an integral part of an organization's staffing, mission, budget, and programs. This Handbook and other resources may be downloaded from the Arts Endowment's Web site at If you have questions, contact the Office of Accessibility at; (202) 682-5532; FAX (202) 682-5715; or TTY (202) 682-5496.
    5. The Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, provides that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of age, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance (42 USC 6101 et seq.)

    6. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment (Title I); State and local government services (Title II); and places of public accommodation and commercial facilities (Title III) (42 USC 12101-12213).
  2. Environmental and Preservation Policies
    1. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, applies to any Federal funds that would support an activity that may have environmental implications. We may ask you to respond to specific questions or provide additional information in accordance with the Act. If there are environmental implications, we will determine whether a categorical exclusion may apply; to undertake an environmental assessment; or to issue a "finding of no significant impact," pursuant to applicable regulations and 42 USC Sec. 4332.
    2. The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, as amended, applies to any Federal funds that would support either the planning or major renovation of any structure eligible for or on the National Register of Historic Places, in accordance with Section 106. This law also applies to project activities, such as new construction, that would affect such properties. We will consult with your State Historic Preservation Officer, as appropriate, to determine the impact of your plan or renovation on the structure or any affected properties. Any change in your design, renovation, or construction plans must be submitted to us for review and approval prior to undertaking any of the proposed changes. You may be asked to provide additional information on your project to ensure compliance with the Act (16 USC 470).

      Other National Policies
  3.  Debarment and Suspension. You must comply with requirements regarding debarment and suspension in Subpart C of 2 CFR 180, as adopted by the Arts Endowment in 2 CFR 32.3254.

    There are circumstances under which we may receive information concerning your fitness to carry out a project and administer Federal funds, such as:
    1. Conviction of, or a civil judgment for, the commission of fraud, embezzlement, theft, forgery, or making false statements;
    2. Any other offense indicating a lack of business integrity or business honesty that seriously and directly affects your present responsibility;
    3. Any other cause of so serious or compelling a nature that it affects an organization's present responsibility.

      In these circumstances, we may need to act quickly to protect the interest of the government by suspending your funding while we undertake an investigation of the specific facts. We may coordinate our suspension actions with other Federal agencies that have an interest in our findings. A suspension may result in your debarment from receiving Federal funding government-wide for up to three (3) years.
  4. The Drug Free Workplace Act requires you to publish a statement about your drug-free workplace program. You must give a copy of this statement to each employee (including consultants and temporary personnel) who will be involved in award-supported activities at any site where these activities will be carried out.

    You must maintain on file the place(s) where work is being performed under this award (i.e., street address, city, state, and zip code). You must notify the Arts Endowment's Grants & Contracts Office of any employee convicted of a violation of a criminal drug statute that occurs in the workplace (41 USC 701 et seq. and 45 CFR 1155).

  5. Lobbying. You may not conduct political lobbying, as defined in the statutes and regulations listed below, within your Federally-supported project. In addition, you may not use Federal funds for lobbying specifically to obtain awards. For definitions and other information on these restrictions, refer to the following:
    1. 5.1  No part of the money appropriated by any enactment of Congress shall, in the absence of express authorization by Congress, be used directly or indirectly to pay for any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device, intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of Congress, a jurisdiction, or an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation, whether before or after the introduction of any bill, measure, or resolution proposing such legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation; but this shall not prevent officers or employees of the United States or of its departments or agencies from communicating to any such Member or official, at his request, or to Congress or such official, through the proper official channels, requests for any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriations which they deem necessary for the efficient conduct of the public business, or from making any communication whose prohibition by this section might, in the opinion of the Attorney General, violate the Constitution or interfere with the conduct of foreign policy, counter- intelligence, intelligence, or national security activities (18 USC 1913).
    2. 5.2  Lobbying (2 CFR 200.450) describes the cost of certain influencing activities associated with obtaining grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, or loans as an un-allowable project cost. The regulation generally defines lobbying as conduct intended to influence the outcome of elections or to influence elected officials regarding pending legislation, either directly or through specific lobbying appeals to the public.
    3. 5.3  Certification Regarding Lobbying to Obtain Awards. Section 319 of Public Law 101-121, codified at 31 USC 1352, prohibits the use of Federal funds in lobbying members and employees of Congress, as well as employees of Federal agencies, with respect to the award or amendment of any Federal grant, cooperative agreement, contract, or loan. While non-Federal funds may be used for such activities, they may not be included in your project budget, and their use must be disclosed to the awarding Federal agency. Disclosure of lobbying activities by long-term employees (employed or expected to be employed for more than 130 days) is, however, not required. In addition, the law exempts from definition of lobbying certain professional and technical services by applicants and awardees.

      We strongly advise you to review these regulations carefully. They are published at 45 CFR 1158, and can be found at

  6. Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA), as amended, requires that each contract over $2,000 to which the United States is a party for the construction, alteration, or repair of public buildings or public works (these activities include, but are not limited to, painting, decorating, altering, remodeling, installing pieces fabricated off-site, and furnishing supplies or equipment for a work-site) must contain a clause setting forth the minimum wages to be paid to laborers and mechanics employed under the contract. Under the provisions of DBRA, contractors or their subcontractors must pay workers who qualify under DBRA no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits paid on projects of a similar character.

    Information about the laborers and projects that fall under DBRA can be found in the Department of Labor’s Compliance Guide at DBRA wage determinations are to be used in accordance with the provisions of Regulations, 29 CFR Part 1, Part 3, and Part 5, and with DOL’s Compliance Guide. The provisions of DBRA apply within the 50 states, territories, protectorates, and Native American nations (if the labor is completed by non-tribal laborers).

  7. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 applies to any organization that controls or possesses Native American human remains and associated funerary objects and receives Federal funding, even for a purpose unrelated to the Act (25 USC 3001 et seq.).

  8. U.S. Constitution Education Program. Educational institutions (including but not limited to "local educational agencies'' and "institutions of higher education") receiving Federal funds from any agency are required to provide an educational program on the U.S. Constitution on September 17 (P.L. 108-447, Division J, Sec. 111(b)). For more information on how to implement this requirement and suggested resources, see and

  9. Prohibition on use of funds to ACORN or its subsidiaries. None of the Federal or matching funds expended for your awarded project may be distributed to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or its subsidiaries (P.L. 111-88 Sec. 427).