Grant Guidelines for RTP

Through its mission, Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) strengthens communities and improves lives through extraordinary cultural experiences. M-AAA recognizes the important roles that arts and culture organizations and artists play in making our region more vital. Thanks in part to generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), M-AAA invites eligible organizations to apply for underwriting for projects of artistic excellence and artistic merit that meet the Regional Touring Programs objectives and criteria.

The Regional Touring Program (RTP) is designed to support organizations and artists across the M-AAA region (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas) in their efforts to engage and deepen the impact of arts programming on regional and underserved audiences through exposure to, interaction with, and outreach created to support a combination of activities. Through this grant program, M-AAA underwrites up to 50% of M-AAA’s regional state arts agency roster artists’ fees or 25% of other regional artists’ fees for at least one public presentation preceded by complementary educational activity.

Organizations are urged to review M-AAA’s General Terms and Conditions prior to applying for any M-AAA grant program. That document includes a glossary for clarification of terminology used in all M-AAA grant program guidelines.

Program Objectives and Criteria

Eligible projects require two parts: complementary educational activity and a public feature presentation. Complementary activity can include, but is not limited to: exhibition, lecture/demonstration, master class, residency, workshop, and other creative approaches to engage the community in the work of the featured artist or art form. The complementary activity can be provided by a local scholar/educator or artist who works with similar themes or the same art form as that involved in the feature presentation.

Organizations may submit as many as three different project applications. Each application may request 50% of a regional state arts agency roster artists’ fees up to a maximum total of $5,000. Organizations booking regional artists not listed on a regional state arts agency roster may request 25% of the artists’ fees up to a maximum total of $5,000. Additional support of up to 10% of the contracted fees may be awarded if the applicant organization is located in a rural community. Rural status is determined by the Department of Commerces’ Metropolitan Statistical Area Rating.

Each applicant organization is eligible for a total of $15,000 in a single fiscal year (July 1–June 30). Similarly, no artist, ensemble, or scholar/educator can be the recipient of more than an aggregate of $15,000 through successful grant applications submitted to M-AAA in a single fiscal year (July 1–June 30). Applicants and artists are urged to include a termination clause in all project contracts that states the fulfillment of the contract is contingent upon funding from M-AAA and/or other pending financial resources.

Project expenses underwritten through this grant must be noted in the signed artist contract(s). Allowable expenses include: artist fees, travel expenses, per diem, and accommodation expenses. An itemized budget is required for any expense referred to, but not specified with a dollar amount in the fully executed contract(s). Applicants may not request funds to compensate staff or a member of its board of directors for their participation in the project.

Eligible Regional Touring Program projects must:

  • Feature an artist from outside the applicant’s home state and metropolitan area in at least one presentation that is open to the general public
  • Offer at least one complementary activity that builds greater appreciation for the featured artist or the art form in advance of the public presentation
  • Involve relevant, strategic partnerships with organizations in the community and/or adjacent communities
  • Identify other funding sources which support this project with at least a dollar-for-dollar match of funds requested in this application. Federal funding and in-kind goods or services do not count toward the match for this grant program
  • Take place in an accessible facility
  • Engage underserved audiences who lack access to the arts due to geography, economic conditions, ethnic background, disability, or age.

Examples of eligible Regional Touring Program projects are:

An organization hosts a regional state arts agency roster artist from outside the applicant’s home state and metropolitan area for a public performance, which is preceded by a master class or workshop by the roster artist for a local school or senior center such a project would be eligible for a request of 50% of all artists’ fees up to a maximum of $5,000;

An organization books an ensemble from M-AAA’s region and outside the applicant’s home state for a public performance which is preceded by a visual art exhibition that focuses on the same themes as the ensemble’s performance such a project would be eligible for a request of 25% of all artists’ fees up to a maximum of $5,000.

Regional Touring Program projects may NOT include requests to underwrite:

  • An artist from the same state as the applicant
  • An artist who resides outside the M-AAA region
  • 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 artist appearing in a locally produced presentation, concert, or production
  • Activities at colleges and universities where students will receive academic credit for participation or attendance
  • Activities that serve mostly students and faculty with minimal or no general public involvement.

Please refer to the Regional Touring Program Frequently Asked Questions prior to contacting staff. If questions and/or concerns regarding the Regional Touring Program remain, contact the Program Administrator at rtp (at) or (816) 421-1388, ext. 228.

Program Timeline

All applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit draft narrative segments or consult with staff by email prior to applying. Drafts submitted less than twelve weeks in advance of project start dates will not be reviewed. When submitting a draft, please include the word “DRAFT” in the subject line. Draft review or staff advice does not guarantee funding. No rewrites, changes, or additions will be accepted once the application is submitted.

Applicants may apply at anytime up to eight weeks before the start date of their project with the understanding that notification regarding the status of the application will be made by mail three weeks before the start of the project.

Application Review and Award Notification Process

Once submitted, Regional Touring Program applications are screened by M-AAA staff to determine eligibility. Eligible applications are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis by state as funds are available. In an effort to fairly distribute funds, only one application per organization per day will be considered. Organizations can designate the priority order in which their applications are considered. Regional Touring Program award recommendations are presented to the M-AAA Board of Directors for their approval. Applicants will receive notification of Regional Touring Program awards by mail.

Grant awards are considered taxable income. Grant recipients are responsible for all tax obligations under federal, state, and local laws.

M-AAA recommends that all recipients consult a tax accountant or local Internal Revenue Service office with questions or concerns regarding deductions and reporting.

Applicant Eligibility

Organizational applicants must:

  • Be a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, a unit of state or local government, or a federally recognized tribal community
  • Have a valid Dun and Bradstreet number
  • Be located in the M-AAA region
  • Be in good standing with M-AAA, with no overdue or delinquent reports and/or documentation

How to Apply

Please use this checklist to prepare your responses before completing the online application. Data imported into the online form can be saved for editing later, but preparation of information in advance is encouraged. All applicants will also need to submit an Accessibility Checklist.

M-AAA will only consider application materials submitted online at