Regional Touring Program
Bring touring artists to your state
The Regional Touring Program (RTP) provides support for projects by presenting organizations showcasing the work of artists from elsewhere in the M-AAA region.
- Presenters that book an artist listed on a state touring roster may be awarded up to 50 percent of the artist’s fee.
- Presenters that book an artist that lives in the region, but is not listed on a touring roster, may be awarded up to 25 percent of the artist’s fee.
- Presenters located in rural communities may receive an additional 10 percent of the artist’s fee.
Touring artists must come from outside the presenter’s state but within M-AAA’s service region (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas). Organizations must be a 501(c)3 not-for-profit or a unit of state or local government or a federally recognized tribal entity.
Presenters may book artists of any discipline and grants require two public-facing activities: a feature presentation (a concert, performance, or other) and an outreach engagement (a class, workshop, artist talk, or other) to involve the general public in the work of the featured artist or educate an audience about the art form.
Applications are accepted on a rolling deadline at any point during M-AAA’s fiscal year, which is July 1–June 30. Grants are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, until the allocation for each state is gone. New allocations begin each year on July 1.
The Regional Touring Program (RTP) is designed to support projects by organizations working with artists of all disciplines including, but not limited to, folk and traditional, performing, visual, or literary residing or incorporated in the M-AAA region. RTP projects engage and deepen the impact of arts programming on regional audiences through exposure, interaction, and outreach engagement. Through this grant program, M-AAA supports up to 50% of M-AAA’s regional state arts agency roster artist’s fees or 25% of other regional artist’s fees up to a maximum of $5,000 for projects that include at least one feature presentation by the artist and at least one outreach engagement. Additional financial support of up 10% of the grant amount will be awarded by M-AAA if the applicant organization is located in a rural community.
For the purposes of the Regional Touring Program (RTP) grant a project is defined as two public-facing activities: a feature presentation and an outreach engagement that occurs between July 1 and June 30. The outreach engagement can be provided by the feature presentation artist, a scholar/educator, or another artist who works with similar themes or the same art form as that involved in the feature presentation.
While M-AAA’s preference for public-facing activities remains in-person experiences of the artist or ensemble, live streaming online activities are an excellent accommodation while the COVID-19 pandemic is a public health concern. Applicants and artists are urged to include a termination clause in all project contracts that states the fulfillment of the contract is contingent upon local public health authority guidance and/or funding from M-AAA and other pending financial resources.
M-AAA requires a 1:1 dollar-for-dollar match for the RTP Grant. The 1:1 match must be reflected in the grant request since the grant can only support 25-50% of the in-region touring artists’ fees. The applicant is expected to adhere to the terms of the touring artists’ contracts and to pay the remaining fees which is, in fact, the 1:1 dollar-for-dollar match. The project budget must show other direct expenses (e.g., personnel, promotion) and income sources related to the project activities. Federal and other M-AAA grant funding cannot be used to meet the 1:1 match requirement for any applicant since the RTP grant is provided through generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts (CFDA #45.025 Promotion of the Arts Partnership Agreements).
Applicants are encouraged to reflect all expenses and income expected for this project in the application budget in order to clarify the project scope for reviewers. Funding awarded by M-AAA through RTP is restricted to support the costs specified in the artist contracts. Grant funding may not be used for indirect project costs.
RTP grant amounts are determined based on the artist’s fees stated in the fully executed contract held between the artist and the applicant. In light of changing public health scenarios where fully executed contracts may be difficult to obtain, a Letter of Agreement (LOA) or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that reflects tentative project details can be submitted with the application for M-AAA staff consideration.
Additional financial support of up 10% of the grant amount will be awarded by M-AAA if the applicant organization is located in a rural community. Rural status is determined by the Department of Commerce’s Metropolitan Statistical Area Rating and is generally defined as having a population of less than 50,000 people.
The fully executed contract is required for final grant award determination and must include the name of the artist, their contact person or agent’s name, their current contact information (mailing address, phone number and email address), the applicant organization’s name, a brief description of the agreed upon activities, the venue name and address or the streaming platform where activities will take place, its dates(s), time(s), and the artist’s fees associated with the project.
For in-person activities, the artist’s fees can include their payment for services (performance, workshops, etc.), transportation, accommodations, and per diem costs. When the activities are streamed online, the artist’s fee can include payment for services and online streaming fees associated with the project described in the contract.
Review of application materials relies upon:
- Applicant eligibility
- Project eligibility
- Availability of funding
- be a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization, a unit of state or local government, or a federally recognized tribal community;
- have a valid Unique Entity Identifier generated through sam.gov;
- be located in the M-AAA region (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, or Texas); and
- be in good standing with M-AAA, with no overdue or delinquent reports and/or documentation
M-AAA does not accept applications from fiscal agents for this grant program.
Organizations may submit multiple applications and receive awards for up to three different projects in a single fiscal year (July 1–June 30). Each applicant is eligible for an aggregate amount of $15,000 in a single fiscal year. Similarly, an artist, ensemble, or scholar/educator can be the recipient of an aggregate of $15,000 through successful RTP grant applications submitted to M-AAA in a single fiscal year.
Eligible Regional Touring Program (RTP) grant projects must:
- feature an in-region artist from outside the applicant’s home state in at least one feature presentation a minimum of 60 minutes in length that is open to the general public;
- offer at least one outreach engagement a minimum of 30 minutes in length that builds an appreciation for the featured artist or their creative discipline and provides additional direct interaction between an audience and the artist(s) or the art form;
- identify other funding sources which can include, but is not limited to, ticket sales, entry fees, cash contributions, grants and/or organizational funding. Other federal funding and in-kind goods or services should be noted in the budget, but cannot be used to fulfill payment of the artist’s contract fee;
- take place in an accessible facility or on an accessible online streaming platform that allows for artist and audience interaction before, during and/or after the feature presentation and/or outreach engagement (e.g. chat, Q&A); and
- attempt to engage underserved audiences who lack access to the arts due to geography, economic conditions, ethnicity, disability, or age, including but not limited to underrepresented cultural groups, immigrants, veterans and active military, persons in institutions, those living below the poverty line and youth at risk.
Projects not eligible for consideration include:
- an artist from the same state in which the applicant organization is incorporated;
- an artist who resides outside the M-AAA region;
- an activity that is already funded by M-AAA through another grant program;
- an activity that is not arts focused (e.g. conference keynote speeches, sidewalk sales, food festivals, fireworks displays, etc.);
- an activity that is part of a benefit or fundraiser;
- an activity through which students will receive academic credit for attendance or participation;
- those which take place exclusively in schools during school hours;
- those that are not open or available in part to the general public.
- The next Regional Touring Program Grant application will be available on or before June 1, 2023 for projects that take place between July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024.
- Applications are due at least six weeks before the first public-facing activity when possible. Contact M-AAA staff at email@example.com if there is less than six weeks before the first events so that staff can expedite the grant application review process if possible.
- Applications will be reviewed by M-AAA staff.
- Award decisions require a fully executed artist contract on file.
- Award notifications will be made by email approximately three weeks before the first public-facing activity.
- Funding is distributed in two payments: 50% upon return of the signed grant agreement and 50% upon successful review of the final report submitted by the grant recipient.
- Final report is due 30 days following the project’s last public-facing activity.
Eligible applications are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis by state as funds are available. Applicants may consult with M-AAA staff prior to applying, but consultation is not required, nor does it guarantee award.
M-AAA will provide an on-line Final Report form. Grant recipients must complete and submit one within 30 days of the project’s last public-facing activity. M-AAA will require: in-person and on-line attendance information for funded activities, pictures or screenshots of funded activities, documentation of award acknowledgements, and, when available, press reviews and/or evaluations of activities including anecdotal feedback. Pictures and documentation must be uploaded into the on-line Final Report form.
How To Apply
All funding for the Regional Touring Program grant has been fully allocated as of March 17, 2023. Any applications submitted prior to March 17, 2023 are still under consideration. M-AAA staff will be in touch when a funding determination has been made.
Need help? Visit the FAQ for Artists or FAQ for Organizations to see if your question is answered.
PLEASE NOTE: The guidelines allow for the safety of audiences, artists, and organizations during the pandemic. While M-AAA’s preference for public-facing activities remains in-person experiences of the artist or ensemble, live-streaming online events are an excellent accommodation while the COVID-19 pandemic is a public health concern. The outreach engagement can be provided by a scholar, educator, or another artist who works with similar themes or the same art form as that involved in the feature presentation. Applicants and artists are urged to include a termination clause in all project contracts that states the fulfillment of the contract is contingent upon local public health authority guidance and/or funding from M-AAA and other pending financial resources.
If you have questions about the Regional Touring Program Grant email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a phone or Zoom conversation.
Although RTP grants are awarded directly to presenting organizations, artists can help by:
- Registering on your state’s touring roster. If you are already registered, make sure your information is up to date.
- Creating a website and making sure your information is up to date. Presenters are required to submit a link to this site as part of the application.
Pictured: Bruce Wood Dance of Texas performs at Choregus in Oklahoma with the support of an RTP grant, FY21