Indigenous Performance Matching Funds

WAA Advancing Indigenous Performance – Touring Fund

Guidelines for Presenters
The Western Arts Alliance’s (WAA) Advancing Indigenous Performance (AIP) Touring Fund matches any Regional Arts Organization (RAO) (WESTAF) touring grant awarded to a presenter engaging an Indigenous performing artist for touring within the RAO’s region. The AIP Touring fund offers fee support, not to exceed 50% of the artist fee, subject to availability, for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. Funds are available through any of the six Regional Arts Organizations: NEFA, Mid-Atlantic Arts, South Arts, Arts Midwest, Mid-America Arts Alliance, or WESTAF for touring beginning July 1, 2019.

No additional application is necessary beyond your application to TourWest. The AIP Touring Fund works with each RAO’s existing grants application process and guidelines. All that is required is that the applicant presenter identify the proposed artist or ensemble as Indigenous in the application. The RAOs allow for this designation on their application forms and will forward application information from awarded projects to WAA for determination of qualification for Touring Fund match.

Approved WAA funds are distributed through a contract with the presenter, on a timeline matching the awarding RAO’s existing distribution policies for percentage and timing. RAOs will share data collected through presenters’ final reports to help WAA and its funders assess the success of the Touring Fund.

Awards are considered for individual or ensemble artists who self-identify as Indigenous. Otherwise, award eligibility follows the requirements established by each RAO’s guidelines. Presenters seeking AIP Touring Fund support in addition to a TourWest funding will be asked to confirm eligibility in the TourWest application.

Indigenous (WAA definition) – Member or descendant of a Native American, Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian nation or community, including U.S.-based Native/First Peoples of Canada, Mexico, 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. Must be a US citizen or permanent resident.

Fee Support– The WAA Touring Fund matches funds awarded to presenters of Indigenous artists/ensembles for artist fee support up to 50% of the artist fee and not to exceed 100% of artist fee combined with RAO fee support. For projects which are not Indigenous artist led or created, WAA reserves the right to fund only the lead Indigenous artist’s or Indigenous ensemble members’ expenses.

Regional Arts Organizations (RAOs) - Arts Midwest (, Mid-America Arts Alliance (, Mid-Atlantic Arts (, New England Foundation for the Arts (, South Arts ( or Western States Arts Federation (

Additional Information
WAA welcomes the opportunity to discuss your projects with you before you submit, to review questions of identity and eligibility, or answer any other questions. Please contact AIP program manager Ed Bourgeois at or (503) 925-6774.


What do you consider an Indigenous project?
  • The intention of the Touring Fund is to support the work of Indigenous artists, not work by non-Native artists on an Indigenous subject. We will fund projects with Indigenous creators and lead artists.
Is there a limit to the number of awards?
  • WAA follows each RAO’s application guidelines. If the program you are applying to allows multiple awards, so do we.
Is there a limit to the number of matching awards that can be received by an artist or ensemble on a given tour?
  • Again, WAA follows each RAO’s application guidelines. If the program you are applying to allows multiple awards for engagements at different venues, so do we.
Is there an “available funds” cap?
  • Yes. When annual available funds are expended, we will announce suspension of the matching subsidy for the year. When annual funds are unexpended, they roll over to the next grant cycle.
What is the eligible grant period?
  • WAA follows each RAO’s application guidelines, which establishes grant period for each award.
What are eligible Touring Fund expenses?
  • WAA matches all expenses eligible within the RAO’s application guidelines, which are associated with the Indigenous artist(s) participating in the tour.
What is the artist’s or presenter’s reporting requirement to WAA?
  • For evaluation and assessment, WAA uses data already collected by the RAO in its final report from the presenter. No additional report is required of the artist by WAA, with the exception of an online survey.
How is Indigenous identity confirmed?
  • This is a critical element in WAA’s approval process for matching awards. Presenters should solicit self-identity statements from the artists they propose to engage, rather than crafting one on their own. Please provide artists’ websites and contact information; in cases where there are questions, WAA staff will communicate directly with the artist(s) for clarification.