Presentation Grants


Grants up to $9,500 for organizations to present a Southern artist for a performing arts, literary arts, visual arts, or film engagement.

View Full Guidelines

Application Closed

Applications for this program closed on March 1, 2023. The guidelines below are for reference only.

New Requirement This Cycle

Presentation Grant applications will require a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). Obtaining your UEI could take a minimum of 30 days. Read more about obtaining a UEI to begin the process today.

How to Obtain a UEI

Detailed Program Description

Presentation Grants are an opportunity for organizations in South Arts' nine-state region to receive fee support to present Southern guest film directors, visual and performing artists, or writers from outside of the presenter's state. Artist fee support is awarded for:

  • film (documentary, fiction, experimental, and animation),
  • performing arts (theater, music, opera, musical theater, and dance),
  • literary arts (fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry),
  • traditional arts, and
  • visual arts (crafts, drawing, experimental, painting, photography, sculpture, and mixed media).

Projects must include both a public presentation (film screening, performance, reading, or exhibition) and an educational/community engagement component. These grants are limited and very competitive. Based on the artist fee, the maximum request is $9,500 for modern dance and contemporary ballet or $7,500 for other artistic disciplines. The grant requires a dollar-for-dollar cash match (for example, an applicant that requests $7,500 must provide a $7,500 cash match for a project with a $15,000 artist fee).

South Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. We have prioritized this commitment to ensure that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) led organizations, LGBTQIA+ led organizations, and organizations representing persons with disabilities are represented as both applicants and grantees. In addition, we encourage applications for projects that engage BIPOC artists, LGBTQIA+ artists, and artists with disabilities.

New applicants are encouraged to contact Nikki Estes at 404-874-7244 x816 to discuss eligibility before applying.

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • An informational webinar was held on December 6, 2022, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET. The webinar recording is available below.
  • Applications open on November 1 , 2022.
  • Applications must be submitted on or before March 1, 2023.
  • Applicants will be notified by email in late May 2023.
  • Projects must take place between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024.

In addition to the dates and deadlines above, South Arts has a series of professional development webinars that may be a useful resource as you are preparing a Presentation Grant application. These include previous recordings of Accessibility in Digital SpacesReadiness Planning, and Accessibility in the Arts which may be viewed on our website.

Eligibility Requirements

The following is a top-level list of the main eligibility requirements necessary to be considered for a Presentation Grant. Please refer to the full list of eligibility requirements in the Guidelines section below.

A full list of eligibility criteria and other project requirements is provided in the guidelines below.

Informational Webinar

The following webinar was recorded on December 6, 2022, and discusses best practices when preparing a Presentation Grant application.


While preparing your Presentation Grant application, please refer to the following guidelines.

  • Only nonprofit and governmental presenters/presenting organizations in South Arts’ nine-state region are eligible to apply. South Arts’ nine-state region includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 
  • Presenters/presenting organizations are defined as organizations that present or host artists for engagements in their communities. Presenters can include but are not limited to community cultural organizations, community centers, churches, schools/colleges/universities, libraries, museums, film festivals/series, and performing arts centers. Typically, producing organizations or performing arts groups are not considered presenters, and are strongly encouraged to contact South Arts to discuss eligibility.
  • Applicants must have not-for-profit, tax-exempt status; be an official unit of local, county, or state government; or be a federally recognized tribal community. Applications are accepted from any tribal community with not-for-profit, tax-exempt status. For nonprofit applicants, tax-exempt status will be verified by a third-party entity. Governmental applicants must provide proof of government status. South Arts does not accept applications from fiscal agents for this grant program.
  • All applicants must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). Applications will not be accepted from organizations that do not have a UEI. Read more about How to Obtain a UEI.
  • All applicants must have a readiness plan (see "Readiness Plan" tab in the Narrative Instructions section below). Applications will not be accepted from organizations that do not provide the required description of the readiness plan.
  • Eligible projects must take place in South Arts' nine-state region. Unless there are special circumstances, projects should occur in the applicant's state (please contact South Arts to discuss special conditions).
  • Eligible projects must include the engagement of a guest artist or company (i.e., a film director, visual artist, performing artist/ensemble, or writer) that resides in South Arts' region but outside of the applicant's state. Please note the following exemption for touring within state boundaries: In-state touring is allowed for Southern artists residing at least 400 miles away from the applicant’s location.
  • Supported disciplines include film (documentary, fiction, experimental, and animation), performing arts (theater, music, opera, musical theater, and dance), literary arts (fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry), traditional arts, and visual arts (crafts, drawing, experimental, painting, photography, sculpture, and mixed media).
  • Screening partners currently receiving funding through South Arts' Southern Circuit program are not eligible to receive additional funding for Southern Circuit film screenings.
  • Applicants are limited to one Presentation Grant application per South Arts fiscal year.
  • Applicants who have failed to submit final reports for any previous South Arts grant by the application deadline for this program will not be considered for funding from this grant program until they have completed a conversation with program director Nikki Estes.
  • Applicants who did not properly acknowledge South Arts' AND the National Endowment for the Arts' support in programs and press materials for any previous South Arts grant may not be considered for funding from this grant program.
  • Presentation Grant applications must be submitted by Wednesday, March 1, 2023 by 11:59 PM ET.
  • The project must take place between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024.
  • The project must include both a public presentation (film screening, performance, reading, or exhibition) and an educational/community engagement activity. 
  • The public presentation must meet the following requirements:
    • For a public reading, a minimum of 30 minutes of presentation by the writer is required.
    • For a public performance, a minimum of 60 minutes of performance by the artist/company is required.
    • For a public film screening, a minimum of 40 minutes of running time (this may include a full-length film or a collection of shorts) with the film director is required.
    • For a public exhibition, a presentation with the artist is required.
  • The educational/community engagement component is not limited to student participants. Although presentations at conferences and school-focused presentations, which primarily engage students (whether happening at the school or another venue), will not be considered public presentations that are open and accessible to the general public, they will satisfy the educational/community engagement requirement.
  • For faith-based institutions, presenting projects must be without religious proselytizing.
  • Only one artist/company per grant application. The artist/company is required to participate fully in the public presentation. The artist or company members must also conduct the educational/community engagement component.
  • Events must be open and marketed to the public and dedicated to serving a broad audience. While projects are not required to serve the entire geographic community, they should have targeted local participants.
  • Project activities may be live, in-person experiences, virtual events, or a combination of in-person and virtual events. All grant-funded activities must follow all local, state, and federal COVID-safety protocols, as applicable.
  • All grant recipients are required to provide accessibility for constituents with disabilities at grant-funded events. For these guidelines, accessibility relates to your overall facility and project being accessible to all. In addition to physical access (ramps, accessible parking/box office/restrooms/seating, etc.), communications and programmatic accessibility are required and can help your organization build audiences and strengthen engagement. Grant applications should show evidence of thoughtful planning and implementation efforts. The National Endowment for the Arts has resources to assist arts organizations in making accommodations. Please visit the Endowment’s website for more information.
  • Applicants must commit to the Endowment’s Assurance of Compliance.
  • The educational/community engagement component is integral to the project and should be carefully planned. A meaningful educational/community engagement component should involve concentrated preparation by the artist/company and presenter, including a learning event that has a lasting impact on the audience (e.g., workshops, lectures, and master classes). The artist(s)/company must conduct the educational/community engagement activity. Please be aware that failure to include an educational/community engagement component will result in ineligibility.
  • South Arts does not fund benefits or fundraisers.
  • Grants are NOT transferable to other events. All changes in an event must be submitted in writing to South Arts before the event. Awards may be revised or revoked in light of such changes. 
  • Grant awards require a dollar-for-dollar cash match. Applicants can receive up to 50% of the artist fee as listed in the artist contract or letter of agreement, up to $9,500 for modern dance and contemporary ballet or up to $7,500 for other artistic disciplines (subject to funding availability). For example, a project with an artist fee of $15,000 means the applicant can request $7,500 and must provide a cash match of $7,500. This grant does not support indirect and additional project costs.
  • The minimum grant request is $1,000. The minimum artist fee for this grant program is $2,000.
  • The maximum grant request is $9,500 for modern dance and contemporary ballet or $7,500 for film, performing arts, literary arts, traditional arts, and visual arts.
Appeals Process

You can request a review of the method for South Arts' decisions concerning grant applications through the Appeals Process. If you did not receive funding or if your grant award was rescinded or reduced, you may submit an appeal based on the criteria listed below. Incomplete applications are not eligible for the appeals process. Dissatisfaction with the denial or amount of an award is not a sufficient reason for an appeal. An applicant not funded may appeal South Arts' decision if the applicant can demonstrate that the application was rejected for any of the following reasons:

  • Application was reviewed using criteria other than those published;
  • Funding decision was influenced by panelist/staff/committee member who failed to disclose conflict of interest; and/or
  • Application materials (submitted by the deadline) were not provided to panel members.

If an applicant's funds were rescinded or reduced, the applicant may appeal South Arts' decision if the applicant can demonstrate that (a) the project activities outlined in the application were performed, and (b) the contract terms and conditions were followed and fulfilled. To appeal a funding decision, first contact the Program Director, Nikki Estes, to request a review of the considerations affecting South Arts' decision. Subsequently, if you believe there are grounds for an appeal, you must submit your appeal, in writing, to South Arts' President & CEO no later than 15 calendar days following the receipt of the written notice from South Arts. The submission should contain evidence to support one or more of the allowable grounds for appeal. The President & CEO will make and render a final decision within 30 days of the appeal.

Mail your appeal to:

South Arts
ATTN: President & CEO
1800 Peachtree Street, NW
Suite 808
Atlanta, GA 30309

Narrative Instructions

Applications are reviewed and funding adjudications are made using the following criteria to evaluate each application:

  • Artistic Excellence (20%) – Quality of artist/company
  • Project's Artistic Merit (40%) – Quality of project
  • Audience Development/Community Involvement (20%) – Quality and degree of audience development efforts and community participation
  • Accessibility (10%) – Quality and degree of facility and program accessibility
  • Organizational Capacity/Evaluation (10%) – Presenter's ability to carry out and evaluate the project

Helpful Resources:

  • sample application from a past grantee demonstrating a clear, succinct, and well-organized application that was evaluated very highly in the review process.
  • The Evaluation Rubric/Matrix used to score applications – updated 03/01/2023.
  • A short video to assist you in uploading files into our new Salesforce application portal.

In addition to organizational and project information, you will need to provide a narrative addressing the following:


(Maximum 500 characters including spaces)

Provide a one-sentence description of the project, which South Arts will use in publicity if a grant is awarded. For example: "XYZ Ballet Company will conduct a three-day residency, with two master classes, two workshops for older adults, a Q&A with the artistic director and local choreographers, and a public evening performance at the ABC Theatre."


(Maximum 1,250 characters including spaces, approximately ¼ page)

List the chronological schedule of activities during the project including what, when, where, who, with/for whom; include ticket prices where applicable. NOTE: If your schedule is not complete at this time, provide as much detail as is known about how many activities will take place and the community members or groups likely involved.

Artistic Excellence (20%)

(Maximum 2,500 characters including spaces, approximately ½ page)

Evaluation of this criterion is based on the submitted:

  • artist's work samples (i.e., audio, video, film footage, images, and written work), 
  • support material (i.e., ensemble/company history, artist biography, or writer's resume/biography), and
  • description of artistic excellence for the artist. 

Work samples should represent the quality or type of work the artist/company will have presented during your engagement and should be no more than three years old. For audio/video samples, include instructions identifying the particular selection to be played. For video samples, we encourage applicants to submit a continuous work sample for the artist that is at least 3-5 minutes in length, but not to exceed 10 minutes. If the sample is part of a larger publication/book, please mark the passage/section to review.

Describe the artistic excellence of the artist included in project. Specifically include information about the artist's impact or influence on the artform (local, regional, and/or nationally), the artist's contributions to the artform, and/or if the artist or artistic expression is demonstrative of a historically underrepresented community. 

Project's Artistic Merit (40%)

(Maximum 5,000 characters including spaces, approximately 1 page) 

Describe the project. Include a detailed description of the presentation and explain why this artist/company was chosen. Explain why this project is important to your community. The educational/community engagement component* requires that participants be engaged in learning activities that have a lasting impact. Describe the educational and community engagement activities.

*An educational/community engagement component is a learning event that has a lasting impact on the audience (e.g., workshops, lectures, and master classes) and is not limited to student participants. The educational/community engagement component is integral to the engagement and should be carefully planned. A meaningful component should involve concentrated preparation by the artist(s) and presenter. The artist(s)/company must conduct the activity.

Audience Development and Community Involvement (20%)

(Maximum 2,500 characters including spaces, approximately ½ page)

Audience development includes assessing audience and community needs, cultivating audiences, creating an engagement plan, and developing effective partnerships. Describe the audiences and community segments you are targeting and engaging with this project. Explain why they were selected for this project, how they are involved in planning, and what community partners are involved. Describe any plans to broaden or diversify your audiences, any additional efforts to reach those lacking access to arts programs, services, or resources, or how your organization addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion. Describe your marketing plan for target audiences.

Accessibility (10%)

(Maximum 2,500 characters including spaces, approximately ½ page)

Grantees are required to ensure accessibility to funded programs for people with disabilities. Beyond meeting the minimum ADA requirements, describe actions to ensure programmatic and communications accessibility. Activities can include and are not limited to planning/advisory committees include people with disabilities, large print programs/labels, American Sign Language interpretation, audio description, and specific marketing strategies. Provide specific details on how you will reach those without access to the arts due to disability for this specific project (not your organization's work in general).

Organizational Capacity and Evaluation (10%)

(Maximum 2,500 characters including spaces, approximately ½ page)

Describe your organization's ability to carry out the proposed project. Provide a summary of your organization's presenting/programming history. Describe the method(s) you will use to evaluate the project's success. 

Readiness Plan

South Arts is committed to making business continuity planning a priority in the arts and encourages all arts organizations to develop and maintain readiness plans to ensure their sustainability. If you have a readiness plan, please attach a narrative (up to two pages) describing your plan and how/when you update it.

A readiness plan is a combination of documents, processes, and training that formulate what your organization will do should the unexpected occur. It focuses on protecting your organization's critical functions through an "all-hazards" approach, so that you can resume business quickly after any type or size of disruption. Strong readiness plans are comprehensive, updated at least annually, and comprised of more than just a facility evacuation plan or regular data backups. Plans should cover all aspects of your operations and assets by identifying how your organization will re-start post interruption. Critical functions can be programs, events, communications, people resources, finances, insurance, technology, exhibits, productions, and other primary activities.

Readiness planning is a required component for organizations applying for our grants. If you have a readiness plan, you must describe your plan and how/when you update it. You may contact South Arts staff for more information on readiness planning. We do not require you to use any particular resource for developing your plan.

For more information and resources for readiness planning, read What is a Readiness Plan? and visit dPlan|ArtsReady. The dPlan|ArtsReady online tool guides users through developing a customized readiness plan and provides templates and examples of readiness plan elements. South Arts is offering a free year of access to dPlan|ArtsReady for performing arts organizations. For more information, please visit our website.


Updates for 2023-24 Applicants

Please be aware of the following major updates to the 2023-24 Presentation Grants cycle:

  • We have a new grants management system. Please visit our new portal to create an account and begin your application.
  • Applicants must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). Read more about How to Obtain a UEI.
  • This grant program does not support the engagement of local artists. Guest artists must reside outside of the applicant's state but within our nine-state region.
  • A dollar-for-dollar cash match is required.

Application Requirements

Please plan plenty of time to organize your application in our Salesforce system.

South Arts encourages applicants to contact us with questions more than 48 hours before the application deadline; due to the volume of requests, South Arts team members may not be able to respond to inquiries submitted after that time.

  • Application
  • Proof of government status (if applicable)
  • Letter of intent or contract between the artist and the presenting organization stating the services (including the educational/community engagement component), date(s), and fee (signed by both parties)
  • Artist support material: Company history, artist biography, or writer's resume/biography with a list of published works
  • Work sample: A representative work sample for the artist/company
    • Performing – Submit up to 10 minutes of audio or video
    • Literary – Submit up to 10 pages of written work or up to 10 minutes of audio or video
    • Visual – Submit up to 10 high-resolution images
    • Film – Submit up to 10 minutes of film footage 
  • Supplemental document (optional)
    • Other support material (e.g., reviews, letters of support, or brochure) directly related to the application may be submitted. Do not include audio, video, or other electronic samples. The supplemental document should not exceed five (5) pages unless the document is a publication. 
  • Readiness Plan description (required for eligibility)

All grant applications must be submitted online using our grants management system. We recommend that you visit the site early to create your account and become familiar with the system. Complete your application and upload the required materials as detailed above. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions by email within 12 weeks of the deadline. For assistance, contact Nikki Estes at 404-874-7244 x816.

South Arts strictly adheres to deadlines and will NOT accept late or incomplete applications. Deadlines are not extended due to inclement weather. Grantees will be required to adhere to grant requirements based on the grant program and program source of funds as set forth in the grantee's award letter and/or contract. These can include, but are not limited to, Grant Acceptance Terms and ConditionsAssurance of Compliance, and Federal Suspension and Debarment Requirements.


Have a question about the guidelines or priorities above? It may be addressed in our Presentation Grants FAQ.

Read the FAQ

Application Portal

After reviewing program guidelines, log in to SalesForce to apply for a Presentation Grant, edit an application in process, and submit any required reports.

Log in to SalesForce

Manage Your Award

Review recipient terms and conditions, download the appropriate logos, access final reporting requirements, and more.

Manage Your Award

Serve as a Panelist

South Arts is looking for leaders in the presenting field from our nine-state region to serve as panelists for this grant program.

Nominate yourself as a panelist

Manage an Older Award

If you have a previous Presentation Grant (issued in FY23 or earlier) and need to complete your final report, please visit our eGrant system.


For questions about Presentation Grants, contact program director Nikki Estes.

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