Program Description

The 2024-25 TourWest application is now closed. 

WESTAF’s TourWest Grant provides flexible funding for presenters/presenting organizations within the WESTAF region to support their regional touring program. WESTAF also encourages the inclusion of community/educational outreach as part of an organization’s presentation of touring artists. 

TourWest is a competitive grant program funded by the National Endowment for the Arts to provide subsidies to arts and community organizations in the 13-state WESTAF region and jurisdictions, including Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa for the presentation of touring performers and literary artists. 

Through TourWest, WESTAF and the National Endowment for the Arts aim to encourage the presentation of performing arts programming to culturally diverse audiences and those that do not typically enjoy ready access to the performing arts. In order to understand local needs and interests, WESTAF advocates working directly with individuals and groups from the communities that your organization seeks to serve. Community engagement and participation are key components of a successful TourWest grant application. 

WESTAF defines regional touring as programming that presents out-of-state touring artists and/or in-state touring artists traveling at least 50 miles to your venue. Presenters/presenting organizations are defined as organizations that present or host guest artists for engagements in their communities. Presenters can include but are not limited to community cultural organizations, community centers, churches, schools/colleges/universities, libraries, museums, film festivals/series, and performing arts centers. Typically, producing organizations or performing arts groups are not considered presenters, and are encouraged to contact WESTAF to discuss eligibility.

TourWest seeks to support the engagement of new audiences as well as collaboration between the presenters, artists, agents, and communities. In addition to working collaboratively with the artist(s) and/or community partners in planning the project, WESTAF encourages presenters to take advantage of opportunities such as block booking, presenter networks, and booking conferences to reduce costs and make artistic opportunities available to a broader audience. Partnerships and collaborative efforts between presenters are considered in the panel’s evaluation of an application and project.

NEW FOR 2024: Priority will be given to organizations with annual operating budgets of under 1 million dollars and organizations located in rural areas (populations under 50,000). 

Period of Performance: All funded project activities must occur between September 1, 2024 and August 31, 2025


Applying organizations must:

  • Have one of the following designations: 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
  • Be incorporated in and currently conducting business in one or more of the following states or jurisdictions: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, or American Samoa.
  • Have and provide a valid Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Have and provide a valid UEI: Effective April 4, 2022, the federal government phased out the use of DUNS numbers and moved to a 12-character unique entity identifier (UEI) created in SAM.gov. As a current or potential sub-awardee receiving federal funds through the WESTAF’s Partnership Agreement with the NEA, you must obtain a UEI prior to award.
  • Have successfully presented one performance by a paid professional performing artist or company within the last three years.
  • Be in good standing with WESTAF, with no overdue reports and/or documentation.

WESTAF reserves the right to make final decisions regarding eligibility. Questions regarding eligibility should be directed to tourwest@westaf.org.

Grant Amount: Up to $5,000 (1:1 cash match required) 

TourWest funds are federal funds and must be matched on a one-to-one basis in cash by the presenting organization. Grantees cannot match federal funds with other federal funds.

Eligible expenses include: Artist fees, administration costs directly related to the regional touring program (including contractor fees), facility rental, accessibility accommodations, marketing/promotion, and artist travel.

Grant funds will be disbursed as an advance payment upon receipt of the signed Grant Agreement. Documentation of the use of grant funds and matching funds must be provided in the Final Report and must match the proposed expenses.

Unallowable Expenses

The activities and costs listed below are not allowable and should not be included as part of your project or budget:

  • General operating support
  • Indirect costs
  • Social activities such as receptions, parties, galas
  • Construction, purchase, or renovation of facilities
  • Subgranting or regranting
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Awards to individuals or organizations to honor or recognize achievement
  • Commercial (for-profit) enterprises or activities, including concessions, food, T-shirts, artwork, or other items for resale. This includes online or virtual sales/shops.
  • Lobbying, including activities intended to influence the outcome of elections or influence government officials regarding pending legislation, either directly or through specific lobbying appeals to the public
  • Voter registration drives and related activities
  • Cash reserves and endowments.
  • Costs for the creation of new organizations
  • Costs to bring a project into compliance with federal grant requirements
  • Expenditures related to compensation to foreign nationals and/or travel to or from foreign countries when those expenditures are not in compliance with regulations issued by the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control.
  • Project costs supported by any other WESTAF or federal funding
  • Gifts and prizes, including cash prizes as well as other items (e.g., electronic devices, gift certificates) with monetary value
  • Contributions and donations to other entities
  • Fines and penalties, bad debt costs, deficit reduction
  • Rental costs for home office workspace owned by individuals or entities affiliated with the applicant organization
  • The purchase of vehicles
  • Visa costs paid to the U.S. government
  • Costs incurred before the beginning or after the completion of the official period of performance
  • Any portion of a project that duplicates costs in grants pending with, or received directly from, the National Endowment for the Arts
  • Any portion of the same project in multiple WESTAF grant applications


Applications Open April 15, 2024
Application Deadline May 31, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. MDT
Panel Review  July 2024
Award Notification August 2024

Program Requirements

TourWest 2024 – 2025 support is available to projects that meet the following requirements:

  • Funded activities must occur between September 1, 2024 and August 31, 2025.
  • Applicants may submit one application per fiscal year. Colleges/universities that are part of the same university system may apply separately.
  • Applicants are required to apply for grants that support the presentation of touring performers, musicians, and literary artists as part of administering the organization’s regional touring programming. Regional touring is defined as at least 50 miles from the performance venue. Applicants are encouraged to feature performers from the western United States; however, the performers do not have to be from WESTAF’s region and can be internationally based. 
  • Funds can be used to support performances in festivals, however, only the festival organization itself can apply, not individual presenters participating in the festival.
  • Programming can be virtual and/or in-person.

Ineligible Programming

The following programing is not eligible for TourWest funding:

  • Dance/theater companies or independent artists seeking funding for their own self-produced material
  • Performances, including children’s theater, in which local children or community members are the primary performers
  • University conferences
  • Projects that feature mostly student performers
  • For faith-based institutions, projects must be without religious proselytizing
  • Guest artists (such as guest composers and guest choreographers)

Required Supplemental Materials

  • Key personnel document that includes names, titles, bio info and responsibilities for key personnel involved in planning and managing your Regional Touring Program.
  • Artist bios/descriptive information for up to 5 performers/groups from your planned regional touring season

Reporting Requirements

All grantees will enter into a grant agreement with WESTAF. The agreement will outline the terms and conditions, including Federal regulations as well as project and crediting requirements of the grant award. Grantees must comply with all requirements as stipulated in the grant agreement as well as all other legal requirements, statutes and regulations that govern the award, including, but not limited to the following:

  • NEW FOR 2024 – CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOPS: All grantees must attend WESTAF’s Grant Management Workshop which will be held virtually in Fall 2024. In addition, all grantees must participate in at least one other FREE capacity building workshop that WESTAF will be offering throughout the grant year. These workshops will be designed to provide grantee organizations with information and resources on a variety of pertinent topics, and grantees may select the workshop that will be of the most value for their organization.
  • CREDITING REQUIREMENT: Grantees must clearly acknowledge support from WESTAF and the National Endowment for the Arts using the approved logos and crediting language in any related promotional material, including publications and websites.
  • FINAL REPORT: Grantees must complete the Final Report online within 30 days of project completion or by October 30, 2025, whichever is first. The Final Report includes the following: 
    • Responses to narrative questions
    • Final program season documentation on the impact and use of the grant
    • Proof of crediting requirement
    • Documentation of the allowable use of grant funds and matching funds. Acceptable documentation includes receipts, invoices, contracts, copies of canceled checks, transaction reports, bank statements, and charge/debit card statements, all of which must specifically identify the expense(s). Documented dates must be within the period of performance.
  • RECORD RETENTION: Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other non-Federal entity records pertinent to a Federal award must be retained for a period of three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report to the Federal awarding agency (2 CFR 200.334).

How to Apply

The application and all supplementary materials must be submitted online using WESTAF’s GOSmart™ system (https://tourwest.gosmart.org/). WESTAF will not accept mailed or emailed applications or work samples.

Review Criteria

Completed applications are reviewed and scored by a panel of arts professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Per National Endowment for the Arts regulations, applications will be evaluated on their Artistic Excellence and Artistic Merit as defined by the following:

  • Organizational Capacity (up to 15 points)
      • Programming aligns with and supports the organization’s mission and goals 
      • Demonstrates ability to carry out the proposed activities based on such factors as the appropriateness of the budget, clarity of the project activities, resources involved, and the qualifications of the project’s personnel and/or partnerships.
  • Engagement with Underserved Communities (up to 15 points) 
    • Demonstrates a clear understanding of the underserved groups/communities that they plan to reach with their regional touring program
    • Demonstrates thoughtful efforts to authentically engage with and support diverse audiences and alleviate barriers of participation for underserved communities

For the purposes of this grant, an underserved group/community includes populations whose opportunities to experience the arts have been limited by factors such as geography, economics, race or ethnicity, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and age.

  • NEW 2024: Accessibility (up to 10 points)
    • Demonstrates commitment to ensuring accessibility to funded programs/activities for individuals with disabilities.
  • Partnerships and Collaboration (up to 10 points)
    • Works collaboratively with artists, community partners, and/or presenters to plan regional touring program (this could include utilizing opportunities such as block booking, presenter networks, and booking conferences, if applicable)

NEW FOR 2024: In addition to the review criteria above, priority will be given to organizations with annual operating budgets of under 1 million dollars and organizations located in rural areas (populations under 50,000).