Are you an arts organization, a government entity, a school, a theater, a performance center, a museum, a gallery, a festival, a community club or anyone else seeking to bring quality performing arts to your region? Well, if your region is the western part of the U.S., you're in luck.
That's because Western States Arts Federation heartily supports the performing arts, specifically bringing performance groups from all over the world to perform for and engage with audiences in western states.
Before we go any further, a geography refresher: The Western region consists of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Through a TourWest grant from Western States Arts Federation, as a presenter, you can apply for a grant to bring music, dance, theater, and literary arts performance to you. The funds you'll receive are earmarked to pay the artists' fees, up to $2,500.
Strong applicants will have a solid history of successfully bringing in performers, and will have a well-articulated plan, including a collaboration with other presenting organizations in the region—meaning that the time and costs for those traveling performance groups will amount to maximum performance and exposure.
In addition to a minimum of one public performance, the TourWest program also requires that the artists being presented engage in an outreach activity. Examples of these include lectures, demonstrations, master classes, or in-school educational activities that engage students with the artists.
Part of the reason this outreach component is mandatory is because Western States Arts Federation views engagement with “underserved and/or culturally diverse” audiences as important criteria. Be mindful of this as you pitch the project you wish to present.
And perhaps, needless to say, Western States Arts Federation also wants those performances to be of high quality. “Artistic excellence” is at the very top of its list of criteria for selection. “Relevance and potential impact of the artist/company in relation your community” is another key aspect the federation would like to know about.
Western States Arts Federation's TourWest program truly allows for any non-profit organization that fits the bill to bring in a performance group. The range of recent presenters includes:
- Bunnell Street Gallery in Homer, AK;
- Higley Unified School District #60 in Gilbert, AZ;
- California Center for the Arts in Escondido, CA;
- Swallow Hill Music Association in Denver, CO;
- Ballet Hawaii in Honolulu, HI;
- Community Building Partners in Post Falls, ID;
- Lake County Youth Home in Ronan, MT;
- New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, NM;
- City of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs in Las Vegas, NV;
- Portland Institute of Contemporary Art in Portland, OR;
- Moab Music Festival in Moab, UT;
- University of Washington in Seattle, WA;
- Park County Arts Council in Cody, WY.
The deadline for presenting organizations to apply for TourWest grant is the beginning of April, so be sure to reach out and pitch your organization with that calendar in mind.