We recognize that applicants will have many questions as they begin exploring Jazz Road Tours. We have assembled this FAQ to address the most commonly-asked questions. If your question is not addressed here or in the program guidelines, please contact us.
Content last updated October 14, 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the difference between a “Presenter” and a “Venue”?
“Presenters” are defined as organizations that present or host artists for engagements in their communities a “Venue” is the location where the engagement is taking place. In some cases, they may be the same but not always.
What is an Offer Letter?
An Artist Offer Letter is a sheet that gathers a Presenter’s information, business details, scope of the engagement, artist fee offered to the artist, lodging or food agreements, event/venue information, physical conditions the requesters' consent to terms and conditions, and other pertinent details. An offer letter can (and in most cases, should) include as much detail about the performance and expectations of both the artist and the presenter as possible. We have attached a Word template for you to use if you choose but you may also search for other templates on the web that you may find more suited to your needs.
Do all these details need to be included in the Offer Letter prior to submission?
Information regarding compensation, housing, meals, travel, and backline must be included even if the answer to these questions is zero. Other information on our offer letter template will be beneficial for you but not required as a part of the proposal.
Where can we find information on venues in areas we have not played before?
There are several tools available in the Resources section below. One thing we do recommend is reaching out to one of the Regional Arts Organizations in the area that you are researching to inquire about venues.
How do diversity, equity and inclusion affect the proposal review?
Jazz Road provides new, artist-driven tours of jazz to reach new audiences. While there are no specific expectations for each individual application, the program overall is looking to fund activities which include:
- Artists rooted in jazz as an African American experience and communal music, based upon the relationship between artists, elders, and their communities.
- Artists and presenters representing the full spectrum of gender identity, age, race/ethnicity, location, and disability, with an emphasis on supporting more women in jazz.
- Artists and presenters in small, rural, and isolated communities.
- Overall, Jazz Road aims to fund tours that reach audiences/communities in all six US regions and territories.
- Tours which reach listeners of diverse age, gender identity and race.
Are choreographers/dancers working collaboratively with established jazz artists on a specific touring work eligible to qualify for this grant?
The intent is to support equitable fees for jazz bands to tour to both experienced jazz venues and spaces new to jazz, while hoping to create new audiences for live jazz. A jazz ensemble accompanying what is primarily a dance performance would not fall within this program’s parameters. An exception would be tap dance, which has strong roots within jazz and carries a sonic element that contributes musically to the project. If a jazz ensemble is the primary artistic statement in a performance, there may be room for eligibility, and the work should be discussed with the South Arts Director of Jazz before beginning an application.
What do you mean by “Tour Integrity”
Planning a tour is a challenge no matter where you are in your career, so we want to make sure that you have put together a tour that will get you successfully down the road. Making sure that you have accounted for your tour route, and all your actual expenses, is an essential part of producing creatively and financially rewarding experiences for you, your group and the presenters.
Are Gospel Music Tours eligible for funding?
Gospel is often a facet of jazz. Certain jazz artists are influenced by gospel and classify themselves within gospel jazz categories. Gospel music tours, however, are separateand distinct from jazz tours, do not primarily feature jazz as an art form, or prioritize building new jazz audiences. Therefore, Gospel music tours do not fall within Jazz Road guidelines.
Must the artist/ensemble be presenting original compositions, or is it acceptable to perform standards, or material composed by others?
Original compositions are not required, and all this repertoire is eligible.
The guidelines state that Jazz Road is not trying to define jazz. Is a fusion group (i.e., hip hop/jazz funk/jazz rock/jazz group qualified?)
Jazz Road recognizes excellence in the full aesthetic range of jazz music and awareness of current trends in creative development. Jazz as a hybrid with funk, hip hop, and other forms is eligible.
How do we come up with the amount for our grant request?
The grant request should cover all of your expenses and compensation that you would need to complete your tour. Because we understand that this planning is crucial for a successful tour, we have provided a pair of tour budget templates that you can use to assist you determining your grant request. Filling these templates out is not mandatory but will prove very helpful since you will need to provide a justification for the requested amount on your application.
How does the up to $2,500 optional artist’s administrative tour coordination/promotion work?
Artist tour coordination/promotion support is an eligible expense for activities that you or an associate take on to handle coordination (time spent communicating with presenters, reaching out to target communities, arrange for travel/lodging/meals, rent equipment, etc.); and for promotion of the tour (time/expenses for purchased advertising, social media outreach, printing, etc.). You may request up to $2,500 for these expenses if your grant amount request is less than or equal to $12,500.
Can the optional artist’s admin/tour/promo coordination request cover a grant writer’s fee?
No. We really hope we have simplified the application and forms enough so that you do not have to have grant writing experience to be successful.
Does the cost of a tour manager (someone to accompany the band and help with lodging, driving, scheduling, etc.) constitute part of the tour administration part of the grant?
This cost can be part of the eligible artist fee total or a part of the “up to $2,500” artist tour coordination/promotion total if the rest of your grant amount request is less than or equal to $12,500. Either way it can be covered by grant funds.
What if this is a new ensemble/new configuration, and we do not have work samples yet?
The artist applicant should provide audio/video samples of work that most closely resemble the touring entity, including personnel, instrumentation, and music. Additionally, the applicant should focus on work of the highest artistic quality. If the touring ensemble is so new that no samples exist that closely represent it, the panel will consider the work samples of the primary artist, other personnel, and biography and narrative to determine artistic merit.
Can previously funded artists apply in the future?
Yes, previously funded artists are eligible to apply again. However, if an artist has been previously funded, we cannot fund that artist again until 1 year after their project end date. Please note that only Jazz Road Tours grantees that have completed their tours are eligible to reapply. In this case, applicants must propose new tours that begin at least one year from the completed tour’s end date. For example: If the funded artist’s tour end date was 5/16/2020, we cannot fund the artist again until 5/17/2021.
If a touring proposal was not funded in the first round, can it be saved and resubmitted?
You can apply again, but you will need to resubmit your application.
If I receive a grant, how is it paid? How is the grant distributed?
The grant is payable to the artist applicant, either an individual, or an LLC or 501(c)3 if requested. Upon receiving a signed award letter and completed/signed W-9 form, 75% of your total grant amount will be paid within six weeks of your first tour date. The final 25% will be paid upon South Arts receipt and approval of your completed Final Report form. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NONPROFIT JAZZ ORGANIZATIONS AND PRESENTER NETWORKS
- GuideStar: Directory of Performing Arts Charities and Nonprofits
- Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Jazz Touring Network is a presenter-based membership program that provides support for professional development opportunities and jazz artist performance fee subsidies for its participants.
- Western Jazz Presenters Network and Western Jazz Presenters Network Facebook Group is a coalition of jazz presenters in Western North America dedicated to networking, collective booking of jazz artists, and advancement of the jazz field.
- Chamber Music America Jazz Programs and Presenter Consortia grantee lists
- Creative Capital has a wealth of resources and content for artists and has developed a social media toolkit for artists.
- Jazz Society Directory contains the Smithsonian’s downloadable 2019 directory of jazz societies.
ALTERNATIVE VENUE SOURCES
- Alternative Venues for Jazz Facebook Group describes themselves as a place for the “community to talk about creating new performance opportunities for the jazz musician.”
- Art Gallery Guides for Major Art Cities and Every State
- Foreign Embassies in the U.S. have the contact information for Foreign Embassies & Consulates.
- Jazz Museums in the U.S.
- Jazz Near You – House Concerts is a list of house-concert venues and operators.
- League of Historic American Theatres is a professional network for theatre owners and operators to connect with others who have faced the unique challenges of historic theatre ownership and operation.
- Listening Room Network connects artists with house concert performance opportunities.
- National Registry of Public Libraries contains links to find local, state, and federal libraries.
- Sofar Sounds curates intimate music experiences with musicians and audiences around the world.
- U.S. Art Museums
- U.S. Department of Education Directory of Schools, Colleges, and Libraries
GRANT WRITING RESOURCES