Frequently Asked Questions

TourWest FAQ
  • What is the “equivalent” of a 501(c)(3)?
    Only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, units of state or local government, institutions of higher education, or federally-recognized Indian tribal governments are eligible to receive funds subgranted through an Arts Endowment award.
  • Can a non-501(c)(3) organization apply through a fiscal sponsor?
  • Does a festival qualify for TourWest funds?
    Only if they are an incorporated nonprofit per the definition above.
    Refer to the Program Requirements on the Guidelines tab for additional information on festival.
  • What is an “underserved” audience/community?
    For the purposes of these guidelines, an underserved community is one in which individuals lack access to arts programs due to geography, economic conditions, ethnic background, or disability. Within this broad definition, applicants are asked to specify their own underserved constituencies.
  • Do you have a preview of the application questions?
    Yes, please click here.
  • Do you have an example of a successful Grant Narrative?
    Yes, please click here.
What Qualfies as Educational Outreach Activities?
Core characteristics of an acceptable Educational Outreach activity are:
  • The audience is substantially different from the audience in attendance at the public performance supported with TourWest funds.
  • The activity has an educational dimension and is not simply a stand-alone performance.
  • Educational outreach activities must be directed to individuals outside of the applicant institution. For example, if the applicant is a nonprofit dance school that is also a presenter, an educational outreach activity must be provided for individuals outside of students at the dance school
Acceptable educational outreach activities are:
  • Lecture-demonstrations
  • Master classes
  • In-school educational activities that involve students with an artist
Activities that do not qualify as outreach are:
  • A lecture or demonstration that directly precedes or follows a public performance
  • A performance for students that does not include an educational component about the art form
  • A guest artist residency at an institution of higher education
  • Activities at an institution of higher education for which the majority of the audience are the students and/or faculty of that institution
  • Tickets to the public performance offered on a complimentary basis
  • Radio broadcasts or audio/video podcasts
  • Outreach at an institution that targets the institution members. I.e., a music camp that targets its outreach to campers or a university that directs its outreach efforts to faculty and students only. Outreach efforts need to target a new audience
  • I am the grant writer for more than one organization, do I have to register more than once?
    Yes. Profiles are based upon each unique organization and its EIN number, NOT the primary contact or grant writer an organization shares. Each organization should have its own profile.
  • Can I use the same password for multiple user accounts?
    Yes. Usernames have to be unique but password can be the same.  
  • Can I save my work and come back to it later?
    Yes. At the bottom of each application page is a Save button. If you click on the Save button as you work on the application, your data will be saved.
  • Can I print a copy of my application?
    Yes, under Current Programs and Applications, you will see your application listed by ID number. There you will find a View PDF link. if you click on that link, you can download a PDF file of your application for printing. The application also offers a “Print to PDF” option.
  • What is the application period?
    Mid-January through April 1, 2018 for projects occurring between September 1, 2018 to August 30, 2019.
  • Do you have technical support available?
    Only during office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time.
  • Do you provide one-on-one assistance?
    Only by appointment.
  • Will you review my grant application?
    You can request a draft review up to two weeks prior to the application deadline.
  • Do you include TourWest awards in Project Cash Income?
    Please do not include your award. Your budget can show a deficit or surplus.
  • Do I include in-kind contributions in Total Project Expenses?
    No, please keep in-kind as a separate line item. There is a separate field for this on GO Smart.
  • Is the current budget a projection of our current year's budget?
    Operational Budget is last year actual, current year actual, and proposed year. Project budget is the budget for the performance WESTAF is funding so it will be proposed, not actual. You will confirm actual numbers in the final report.
  • Should Operating Budget include in-kind contributions?
  • If my organization is a subsidiary of a larger organization (i.e., a University department), should I use my subsidiary’s operational budget or the larger organization’s budget?
    Please use your department/subsidiary budget for the operational budget. However, project budgets should be based on the full project cost.
  • Should Project Budget show the “lack” of a TourWest grant (indicating that there is a financial need for this grant)?
    This is not required. We know that there is a need for these funds. You can have a balanced budget without the TourWest funds and still be eligible for funding.  
  • Do panelists measure engagement by the number of people reached by the engagement/outreach efforts?
    No, they assess the engagement based upon the potential impact of the outreach. The outreach can be in-depth, or reach a broad audience. Either will work, as long as it connects to the program goals of expanding new audiences and engaging the community. For example, you can have a master class for a few students, or bus in a large group of students for a performance and workshop. A successful outreach effort must have an educational component--a school matinee does NOT count on its own. It must be separate from the actual public performance--a reception before or a talk-back after a performance do not count as outreach because they are not expanding your audience. You should look at outreach as an opportunity to engage your community and garner strong community participation. Many of the panelists look at the quality of your community participation as an aspect of outreach.
  • Can I receive funding for a guest artist/conductor/choreographer?
    Guest artists, conductors, and choreographers are not eligible to receive funding. TourWest is an NEA regional touring program and can only fund Touring performances, thus the artist must be from out of state from the presenter who is booking the artist. The grant funds cannot  be used for a performance of a local artist or performance of local artists with non local artists.  
  • Can I offer an outreach program that focuses on an age range other than youth?
    Yes. TourWest has funded outreach programs for senior citizens, service men and women, and others. The outreach effort must include an educational component or a workshop that addresses the needs of the group selected.
  • Are veterans, elders, people with disabilities, or economically disadvantaged groups considered underserved?
    Yes. You need to make the argument for why the group you have selected is underserved.  
  • Does educational outreach have to include school programs?
    No. Outreach efforts can target any group or demographic, but they have to have an educational component.
  • Should I list all of the cities/towns that are being served by the project/organization?
  • There are two public performances/outreach efforts at two different locations. Should I list both?
    Yes, but be clear which one is considered for the public performance and which one is the outreach. The public performance has to be open to the public, not just the outreach audience.
Work Samples and Supplemental Materials
  • How do I upload a media file?
  1. After you log in, click on the Manage Work Samples tab on the top navigation.
  2. Click on Video or Audio (please note we only accept these two types of work samples). Video is preferred.
  3. Click on Add Video Samples. This will launch the Video Sample form.
  4. Leave the Sample Type as Digital Media
  5. Click on the Choose File button. This will open a window that allows you to select the media file. Note, you must have a video file created and saved on your computer prior to uploading.
  6. Once you have selected your file from your computer, click Open. The window to your computer will close and you need to complete the form.
  7. Enter the Title of your sample. Please title each sample as your Org Name_Artist name_Sample Number.
  8. You do not need to complete the rest of the form. Only Title is required.
  9. Click Save.
  • How do I attach my uploaded Media file to my application?
  1. Once you have uploaded the work sample(s) to your bank, click on the Current Programs & Applications tab on the top navigation.
  2. Within your application you will see page titled Work Sample Selection Page. On this page you will need to select the samples from your sample media banks. You will also indicate the order in which you would like the panelists to review your samples.
  3. Digital Sample Requirements
  4. Video Sample Format Requirements
  5. File Types Accepted: .3gp, .wmv, .avi, .mov, .asf, .mpg, .mp4, .m2t, .mkv, and .m2ts
  6. Resolution: As large as 1920x1080 and as small as 640x480
  7. Aspect Ratio: 4:3 or 16:9
  8. Bit Rate: above 240Kbps works best.
  9. Frame Rate: Recommended: 30 fps. Minimum: 12 fps. The frame rate of the original video should be maintained without re-sampling. Pulldown and other frame rate re-sampling techniques are strongly discouraged.
  10. Codec: H.264, H.263, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Windows Media Video, and motion JPEG MPEG-1 Muxed, Apple Lossless
  11. Container: .3gp, .asf, .avi, .mov, .MPEG, .MPEG-2, .MP4, .ogg
  12. File Size: Your samples cannot be more than 100 mbs large.
  13. Please note your video file will be converted in order for this to play back on the GOSmart media player.
  • Can I use a sample another applicant uploaded to their application?
    You can share samples, however, you need to have the same sample uploaded to your application. Please ask the other applicant to send you the media files so that you can upload it to your account.
  • Can I add more than one minute of each audio/video sample?
    Yes, but it is not guaranteed that the panels will review it. You must submit two one-minute clips. Panelists are only mandated to watch the first minute of each clip, and may not review more.
  • Do the panelists make decisions based on quality of the media samples?
    Media files are an extremely important part of the application. It is your opportunity to put the best foot forward for your artists’ work. If the sample has terrible sound, is jumpy, or is a montage, the panelists will have a difficult time in judging the artistic merit of your artist. Panelists must try to make decisions on artistic merit based upon the work samples you send, so please work with your artist or artist management to get a strong work sample.
    Strong work samples should have good audio, be a part of full performance--not a montage, should not be a promo, and should show the artist actually performing.  
  • Video says “Not Available,” even though it seemed it uploaded correctly. What happened?
    During the upload, the media is put into a queue to be converted so that it can play back. Often this conversion is quick and unnoticeable, however, many applicants wait until the last day to submit their files and applications. This can cause a longer wait in the queue.
  • If your media file does not convert within 10 minutes, please try it again.
    Note: It is your responsibility to ensure that the media file plays back. We recommend that you work on application far in advance to make sure your samples work.
  • Will you accept an email for a letter of intent/agreement?
    Yes. See below.
  • What information needs to be included in the letter of intent/agreement?
    Date of engagement, who the artist is, where artist is based/comes from, and negotiated artistic fee.
  • Can you offer a deadline extension for extenuating circumstances?
    No. TourWest applicants have more than 10 weeks to submit an application.  Over 300 applicants have been able to get their application in on time.
  • When do you make your funding decisions? 
    It takes about 7-10 days for WESTAF to process the applications for eligibility.  Then, we will send the materials to the panelists for review. They have 4-5 weeks to review the applications. The panelists will then discuss the grants as a group and make final funding recommendations by mid- to late-May. Once the panel has made its recommendations, they are approved by the WESTAF Executive Committee. Most grant notifications will be sent out by the first week of June.
  1. Read through the guidelines and eligibility and determine suitability for funding.
  2. Identify block booking opportunities with your presenters’ network.
  3. Email the WESTAF Staff at or call the WESTAF office at (303) 629-1166 if you would like to receive guidance from a TourWest staff person.
  4. Contact the artist/company to reach an agreement. Complete an agreement/intent or contract co-signed by the presenter and company. Plan the outreach efforts with community partners--community engagement and participation are key components of a successful TourWest grant application.
  5. The presenting organization completes and submits the TourWest online application and sends in supporting materials by the deadline date.
  1. A WESTAF-organized panel reviews all applications and recommends applications for funding.
  2. The WESTAF Executive Committee reviews the recommendations, makes adjustments, and determines the final award amounts.
  3. Applicants receive notice of their applications’ status.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Grant Agreement/Reporting and Payment
  • Within 30 day of the receipt, a signed copy of the grant agreement must be mailed back to WESTAF.
  • When is the final artist contract due?
  • If you sent an LOA or memo of understand--not a copy of a final executed contract, you will need to send a copy to WESTAF three weeks prior to your performance.
  • 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.
  • The presenter is paid on a reimbursement basis.
  • 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 have been 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.
    Payments/Support through TourWest is contingent upon available funds from the National Endowment for the Arts
Final Reporting
  • When is my final report due?
    60 days after your event is over
  • Who do I need to acknowledge in collateral?
    WESTAF, the National Endowment for the Arts, and your state arts agency.  Please be sure get the proper logo for each of these organizations.
  • What must I include in my final report? 
    The final report is similar to the application. We need you to confirm the actual numbers of people served and your final actual budget. The narrative is very similar to the application questions, however, you will be describing the actual events, performance, community engagements, and the results of your project.
  • Where do I locate the final report?
    On the system. You will log back in with your application log in. If you are funded, you will see a link to the final report.
Contact WESTAF
Mailing Address: 1888 N. Sherman Street, Suite 357, Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-629-1166