Presentation Grants

Overview

Grants up to $7,500 for organizations to present a Southern artist for a performing arts, literary arts, visual arts, or film engagement.

View Full Guidelines

Important Note

This new grant program replaces our previous Performing Arts Touring and Literary Arts Touring grants.

Applications Closed

The deadline to apply for the most recent Presentation Grant cycle has passed. The guidelines below are for reference only.

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 inside or 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), 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 component. These grants are limited and very competitive. Based on the artist fee, the maximum request is $7,500 and requires a 50% cash match (for example, an applicant that requests $7,500 must provide a $3,750 cash match for a project with a $11,250 artist fee).  

South Arts is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We have prioritized this commitment to ensure that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) led and LGBTQIA+ led organizations are represented as both applicants and grantees. In addition, we encourage applications for projects that engage BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ artists. Our guidelines also acknowledge the current realities of the presenting and touring field. For the 2021-2022 grant cycle, we will accept applications for virtual presentations and for the engagement of local artists, and we will temporarily adjust the cash match requirement from a dollar-for-dollar cash match to a 50% cash match. Finally, this grant program is now supporting a broader range of artistic disciplines than in previous years.

New applicants are encouraged to contact Nikki Estes at 404-874-7244 ext. 816 to discuss eligibility prior to submitting an application.

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • Applications must be submitted on or before May 3, 2021.
  • Applicants will be notified by email within 12 weeks of the deadline.
  • Projects must take place between September 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.

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 program's Guidelines.

  • Be a tax-exempt nonprofit or an official unit of local, county, or state government based within South Arts' nine-state service area (AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, or TN)
  • Engage an artist or ensemble who resides within South Arts' nine-state service area (AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, or TN)
  • Provide a 50% cash match

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

Guidelines

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

Eligibility
  • Only nonprofit and governmental 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. For the purposes of these guidelines, presenters 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. 
  • 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. 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 DUNS number. Applications will not be accepted from organizations that do not have a DUNS number. Visit the Dun & Bradstreet website for additional information about DUNS numbers as well as instruction on how to receive one.
  • 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 take place 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. The engagement can include a guest artist that resides within or outside of the applicant’s state. 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), 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 the 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 in this grant cycle.
  • Applicants who fail to properly acknowledge South Arts’ AND the National Endowment for the Arts’ support in programs and press materials may not be considered for future funding.
Guidelines
  • Presentation Grant applications must be submitted by Monday, May 3, 2021 by 11:59 PM ET.
  • The project must take place between September 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.
  • The project must include both a public presentation (film screening, performance, reading or exhibition) and an educational/outreach component. The educational/outreach component is not limited to student participants. NOTE: Presentations at conferences and school-focused presentations (primarily engaging students, whether taking place at the school or another venue) will not be considered public presentations that are open and accessible to the general public; however, school-focused presentations will satisfy the educational component requirement.
  • 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 can 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.
  • For faith-based institutions, presenting projects must be without religious proselytizing.
  • Only one artist/company per grant application. The artist/company is required to fully participate in the public presentation. The artist or members of the company must also conduct the educational/outreach component.
  • Events must be open and marketed to the public and dedicated to serving a wide audience. Projects are not required to serve the entire geographic community but 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 the purpose of 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 is not only required but 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 and view presentation slides from the fall of 2015.
  • Applicants must commit to the Endowment’s Assurance of Compliance.
Policies
  • The educational/outreach component is an integral part of the engagement and should be carefully planned. A meaningful educational component should involve concentrated preparation by the artist/company and presenter, and include a learning event that has a lasting impact upon the audience (e.g., workshops, lectures and master classes). The artist(s)/company must conduct the educational activity. Please be aware that failure to include an educational/outreach 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 50% cash match. Applicants are eligible to receive up to two-thirds of the artist fee as listed in the artist contract or letter of agreement, up to $7,500 (subject to funding availability). Example: For a project with an artist fee of $11,250, the applicant can request $7,500 and must provide a cash match of $3,750. Indirect and additional project costs are not supported by this grant.
  • The minimum grant request is $1,000. The minimum artist fee for this grant program is $1,500.
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 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 review considerations affecting South Arts’ decision. If you believe that you have grounds for an appeal, you must submit your appeal, in writing, to South Arts’ Executive Director 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 decision on an appeal will be made by the Executive Director, who will render a decision within 30 days of the appeal.

Mail your appeal to: South Arts, ATTN: Executive Director, 1800 Peachtree Street, NW, Suite 808, Atlanta, GA 30309.

The following webinar was conducted March 30, 2021 to offer additional insight into the program's guidelines, priorities, and application process.

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 (35%) – 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
  • Readiness Plan (5%) – Quality (content, comprehensiveness, and currency) of planning

Helpful Resources:

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

Description

(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, e.g. “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.”

Schedule

(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 which community members or groups will be involved.

Artistic Excellence (20%)

Work samples should represent the quality/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. Promotional videos, montages and poor video quality will prevent the reviewers from being able to make an assessment on this criterion and may result in a low score. If sample is part of a larger publication/book, please mark the passage/section to review. NOTE: No narrative response is necessary. Evaluation on this criterion is based on the submitted artist's work samples (i.e., audio, video, film footage, images, and written work) and support material (i.e., company history, artist biography, or writer’s resume/biography).

Project's Artistic Merit (35%)

(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 and outreach component* is the requirement that participants be engaged in learning activities that have lasting impact. Describe the educational and outreach component and any additional community activities.

*An educational and outreach component is a learning event that has a lasting impact upon the audience (e.g., workshops, lectures and master classes), and is not limited to student participants. The educational/outreach component is an integral part of the engagement and should be carefully planned. A meaningful educational component should involve concentrated preparation by the artist(s) and presenter. The artist(s)/company must conduct the educational 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 a plan for engagement, and developing effective partnerships. Describe the audiences and community segments that you are targeting and engaging with this project. Explain why they were selected for involvement in 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 that lack access to arts programs, services, or resources, or how your organization is addressing 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 to people with disabilities. Beyond these minimum ADA requirements, describe actions you will take for programmatic and communications accessibility (e.g., planning/advisory committees include people with disabilities, large print programs/labels, American Sign Language interpretation, audio description, specific marketing strategies, etc.). Provide specific strategies on how you will reach those that lack access to the arts due to disability for this project specifically (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 success of the project.  

Readiness Plan (5%)

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 you can resume business quickly after any type or size of disruption. Readiness plans should be comprehensive, updated at least annually, and be 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 any other primary activities.

Readiness planning is a required component for organizations applying for our grants, and your organization will be evaluated on the quality of your readiness planning. Quality includes content, comprehensiveness and currency. Content should include documentation, policies, procedures, and trainings/drills of what you will do if your business is impacted or stopped by a crisis of any type. Comprehensiveness means that the plan addresses all of your critical business functions and all key personnel. Currency means the plan (documentation, procedures and trainings) is updated at least annually.

If you have a readiness plan, you will be asked to describe your plan and how/when you update it. You may contact South Arts staff for more information on readiness planning and/or to review draft descriptions submitted at least four weeks prior to the application deadline.

We do not require you to use any particular resource for developing your plan. For more information on readiness planning, read What is a Readiness Plan? and visit ArtsReady. Many state arts agencies are subsidizing arts organizations in their state to use the ArtsReady online tool, and many national service organizations offer discounts. The ArtsReady online tool guides users through developing a customized readiness plan and provides templates and examples of readiness plan elements.

 

Updates for 2021-22 Applicants

Due to COVID-19, eligible projects have expanded to include:

  • Projects that involve virtual activities by the guest artist/company.
  • Projects that engage local artists.

We have temporarily adjusted the cash match requirement to a 50% cash match (rather than a dollar-for-dollar cash match). Example: For a project with an artist fee of $6,000, the applicant can request $4,000 and must provide a cash match of $2,000.

We have expanded the types of artists and presenting organizations eligible to apply for Presentation Grants. This program now offers fee support to present Southern guest film directors, visual and performing artists, or writers. 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), 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 component.

Application Requirements

  • 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 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. 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 the eGrant system. We recommend that you visit the site early to create your account, and become familiar with the system. Complete your application in eGrant 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 ext. 816.

South Arts strictly adheres to deadlines and will NOT accept applications that are late or incomplete. Deadlines are not extended due to inclement weather. Applicants must agree to the Contract Terms of AgreementAssurance of Compliance, and Federal Suspension and Debarment Requirements prior to submission.

Application Portal

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

Log in to eGrant

Manage Your Award

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

Manage Your Grant

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

Need TO MANAGE A PREVIOUS PERFORMING ARTS TOURING OR LITERARY ARTS TOURING GRANT?

If you have a previous Performing Arts Touring Grant or Literary Arts Touring Grant (issued in FY21 or earlier) and need to review the terms, request modifications, or otherwise manage your award, please visit one of the links below.

Manage your Performing Arts Touring Grant Manage your Literary Arts Touring Grant

Questions?

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

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