Program Overview

For the 2023 cycle, WESTAF will be providing support for the administration of an organization’s regional touring program. 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. WESTAF also encourages the inclusion of community/educational outreach as part of an organization’s presentation of touring artists. This programming can be virtual and/or in-person in accordance with state guidelines.

For the 2023 program cycle, applicants may apply for one TourWest grant up to $5,000 or 50% of the overall programming expenses, whichever is less. Support is available for use by organizations for their regional touring program budgets for any of the following:

    • Artist/contractor fees
    • Administration costs
    • Programming/marketing costs

The grants are only available to organizations that sponsor performances within the 13-state WESTAF region and jurisdictions including Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and American Samoa. All TourWest grants must be matched on a one-to-one basis in cash by the presenting organization.

The funding period is September 1, 2023 through August 31, 2024. Funding support through TourWest is contingent on available funds from the Arts Endowment. Applications will open on March 20, 2023. The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. MDT on May 28, 2023.

All application materials must be submitted online. Mailed or emailed applications will not be accepted.


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.
  • The organization must have and provide a valid Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  • 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 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 or delinquent reports and/or documentation.
  • Have a 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.

WESTAF, manager of the TourWest program, reserves the right to make final decisions regarding eligibility. Questions regarding eligibility should be directed to the TourWest staff at tourwest@westaf.org.

Program Requirements

TourWest 2023- 2024 support is available to organizations that meet the following programmatic requirements:

  • Support applies to activities between September 1, 2023 and August 31, 2024.
  • Applicants may submit one application.
  • Applicants are required to apply for grants that support the presentation of out-of-state touring performers, musicians, and literary artists as part of administering the organization’s regional touring programming. As described above, 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.
  • TourWest funds can be used to support performances in festivals. The festival organization itself, not individual presenters participating in the festival, may apply.
  • TourWest funds are federal funds and require a one-to-one cash match. As the grant award will support a portion of regional touring program expenses, the remaining program expense amount is to be paid by the grantee and is considered the cash match for the grant.
    • Grantees cannot match Arts Endowment funds to other Arts Endowment grants funds or other federal funds, nor get two different federal grants for the same program costs (overlapping costs).
    • Grantees cannot match resources with another Arts Endowment award or other federal program.
    • Certain contributions or gifts provided to your organization are restricted and cannot be used to support the program.
    • Gifts (bequeathed or otherwise) that are not available to your organization during the award period of performance cannot be used to match the Arts Endowment award.
  • 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 National Endowment for the Arts regional touring program, are to be specifically directed to regional touring programming.

Ineligible Programming

The following programing is not eligible for TourWest funding:

  • Performances that receive federal funding, such as funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (the Arts Endowment) or Arts Endowment funds that flow through programs such as Southern Exposure Roster Artists and New England Foundation for the Arts-supported projects in dance and theatre.
  • 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 theatre, 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

Because the 2023 TourWest grant provides support for the administration of an organization’s regional touring program, work samples will not be required. However, WESTAF requires that applicants submit documentation for the program season in the funding period. The program season can be in draft form, if needed. Failure to provide the program season will result in the disqualification of your application.

Please note: All supplementary materials must be submitted as a digital file uploaded to the GOSmart™ system (https://tourwest.gosmart.org/). WESTAF will not accept mailed or emailed work samples or links.

Required Supplemental Materials

  • Documentation of your regional touring program seasons for: previous (2021-22 season), current (2022-23 season), and projected (2023-24 season) program seasons, draft form for projected season is acceptable.
  • A .pdf or .doc of proof of nonprofit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) status, or the equivalent, from the applicant’s organization.

Reporting Requirements

Interim Report

  • Signed Grant Agreement
  • Profile Confirmation

Final Reporting Requirements
The TourWest Final Report is due October 30, 2024 and will include:

  • Responses to narrative questions
  • Final program season documentation on the impact and use of the grant
  • Proof of funder crediting
  • One-to-one matching documentation

    • Documentation such as itemized receipts showing proof of payment details, invoices and check stubs, etc. will be required to show how your organization matched your award. Documented dates must be within the timeframe of the granting period.

Review Criteria

Completed applications are reviewed by a panel of touring and presenting professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Each application is reviewed and rated in accordance with the review criteria. Preferential consideration will be given to applications that most effectively address the following criteria:

  • Access and Equity
    Through TourWest, WESTAF and the Arts Endowment 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 will be key components of a successful TourWest grant application. In agreement with the National Assembly of Arts Agencies (NASAA), WESTAF believes that “All Americans deserve to benefit from public investments in the arts. To this end, our actions are guided by a commitment to dismantling discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion, geography, national origin, and social/economic status.”
  • Artistic and Cultural Merit
    How your organization celebrates diverse cultural practice, fulfills its mission, and supports arts and artists.
  • Engagement and Collaboration
    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.
  • Program Seasons
    The applicant will submit their previous, current, and projected seasons of programming These documents will be reviewed and evaluated with the above criteria in mind.