Increase opportunities for Virginians to experience high-quality performing arts events, and promote high-quality Virginia artists.
This grant program supports touring by Virginia performing artists and ensembles within the state. The touring activities are restricted to those listed in the Commission’s annual Touring Artist Roster. Any nonprofit organization meeting the Basic Eligibility criteria can apply to receive a touring assistance grant to support these activities. Grants are made to the presenter, not to the touring artist(s). Touring artists apply to be listed in the Touring Artist Roster, with a set dollar amount reserved to support their touring, as outlined below. To be eligible for funding, performances must take place in Virginia but outside of the performer’s home base. Any activity underwritten with Commission touring assistance funds must be open to the public, and the presenter must provide community-wide publicity. Elementary and secondary schools, senior living facilities, correctional facilities, and hospitals are exempt from this Commission requirement.
FOR PERFORMERS AND ENSEMBLES SEEKING TO BE LISTED ON THE TOURING ARTIST ROSTER
Virginia performing artists and performing arts ensembles. Individual students or organizations whose members are primarily Pre–K-12 or undergraduate college students are not eligible for inclusion in the Touring Artist Roster.
- All bookings for Performing Arts Touring Assistance must take place 30 miles outside of the home area of the touring artist(s)/ensemble.
- Programs should be open to the public, and the presenter must provide community-wide publicity. Elementary and secondary schools, senior living facilities, correctional facilities, and hospitals may be exempt from this requirement.
Deadline for Artists to Apply for Inclusion on the Touring Artist Roster
Online application is due July 15, 2024, by 5:00 p.m. EST, for the touring season of July 1, 2025, to June 15, 2026.
Criteria for Evaluating Applications
- Artistic excellence
- Effective management
- Availability of similar touring programs in the state
- Cost-effectiveness of the proposed tour
- Evidence of presenter interest in the proposed tour
Application/Review Procedures for Touring Artists and Ensembles Wishing To Be Listed on the Tour Roster
- The artist/ensemble must complete and submit the online application to the Commission by the deadline.
- The Touring Program advisory panel will consider the proposals and make recommendations to the Commission. The Commission will approve artists/ensembles for touring support and reserve a block of funds for each. Decisions will be announced in October 2024.
- The funding reserved by the Commission for each touring artist/ensemble will be held for potential presenters from March 1, 2025, until December 1, 2025.
- In December, the Commission will post the 2025-2026 Touring Artist Roster on its website with information about artists and ensembles eligible for touring support and descriptions of their touring programs.
- The Commission will begin accepting touring assistance applications from presenters on March 1 of each year.
- Presenters apply online for touring support, including copies of signed contracts with touring artists/ensembles, to the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Applications must be received by the Commission at least two weeks prior to the event and no later than December 1.
- The Virginia Commission for the Arts awards touring support grants to presenters of a particular artist/ensemble on a first-come, first-served basis from that artist’s/ensemble’s allocation. Grant award letters are generally emailed two weeks after receipt of each presenter’s application by the Commission.
- If an artist/ensemble listed on the 2025-2026 Touring Artist Roster has booked a tour and used all of its original allocations prior to December 1, it may book additional performances and encourage the presenters to apply to the Commission’s “wait list” on a first-come first-served basis for funds which have gone unused by other artists/ensembles. It is the responsibility of the artist/ensemble to explain that there is no guarantee of funding in this situation.
- After December 1, the Commission will pool any uncommitted touring funds and award them to presenters on the “waitlist,” or other presenters who apply to support the activities of eligible artists/ensembles. Waitlist performances must take place between December 2 and June 15 of each touring season. Touring ensembles that receive an allocation of $25,000 or more may not apply for waitlist funds.
Information for Presenters of Virginia Touring Artists/Ensembles
Virginia nonprofit organizations, units of local or tribal government, or educational institutions that meet the Basic Eligibility criteria.
- Programs taking place between July 1, 2024, and June 15, 2025
- Programs listed in the Touring Artist Roster take place at least 30 miles from the home base of the artist/ensemble
- Programs should be open to the public, and the presenter must provide community-wide publicity. Elementary and secondary schools, senior living facilities, correctional facilities, and hospitals may be exempt from this requirement
Touring Assistance applications are available online, beginning March 1. Presenters should apply online for touring support, including copies of signed contracts with touring artists/ensembles, to the Commission at least two weeks prior to the event, and before December 1.
Amount of Assistance
The Commission will fund up to 50 percent of the performance fee only for touring programs listed in the Touring Artist Roster, subject to the overall limit for each touring artist/ensemble. Grant award amounts are a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $7,500 per performance.
Application/Review/Payment Procedures for Presenters
- In December, the Virginia Commission for the Arts posts an online Touring Artist Roster, listing basic information about the artists and ensembles eligible for tour support and descriptions of the touring program for the following July 1 through June 15 time period.
- Touring artists/ensembles and presenters begin scheduling and signing contracts. All negotiations regarding the type and schedule of activities, fees, technical needs, and promotional efforts are the responsibility of each touring artist/ensemble and its presenters, and the resulting arrangements should be included in the contract. The Commission’s grant, however, will not exceed 50 percent of the contracted performance fee. Fees and all local costs are the responsibility of the presenters. A presenter’s total costs will depend on the touring artist’s/ensemble’s fee, facility costs, promotion costs, and other local factors. Each contract must contain language referring to the requested amount of presenter touring assistance.
- Applications are made available online on March 1. Presenters apply online for touring support, including copies of signed contracts with touring artists/ensembles, to the Virginia Commission for the Arts at least two weeks before an event and before December 1.
- Presenters should not consider touring grants automatic, but wait for confirmation. Grant award letters are generally emailed two weeks after receipt of each contract by the Commission.
- For grant awards of over $500, the Commission will send 85 percent of the grant to the presenter before the scheduled touring program. The Commission will pay the final 15 percent of the grant after receiving the final report. For grants of $100 to $499, payment will be made after the Commission has received the final report. The Commission will not make the first payments for July performances. Awards for July performances will be made in full 30 days after the receipt of the final report (online), but no earlier than August 1.
- Presenters must submit final reports to the Virginia Commission for the Arts within 30 days after each event. Final report forms can be found on the applicant’s dashboard.
- If any presenter receiving a subsidy for one of these touring artists/ensembles has actual income in excess of expenses, the presenter must use these additional funds for other arts activities, and the Commission must approve the use of any of these excess funds up to the amount of the grant.