Traditional Arts Touring Grants


These funding projects bring a traditional artist/ensemble and a scholar/folklorist for multi-day residencies in Southern communities.

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Applications Closed

The deadline for this grant program has passed. The guidelines below are for reference only.

Detailed Program Description

Traditional Arts Touring Grants aim to increase the public awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the traditional arts in the South by bringing artists together in Southern communities. Traditional Arts Touring Grants are available for requests from $1,000 up to $5,000. This program requires a 1:2 match. Applications will be accepted and reviewed until available funds are depleted. 

What are Traditional Arts?

The South is home to an abundance of traditional art forms whether they are indigenous to the region, or reflect the traditions of recent immigrant communities. Traditional arts are shared aesthetics, practices and values of families, geographic communities, occupational groups, ethnic heritage groups, etc. Traditional arts are learned orally, or by observation and imitation, often through a master artist instructing an apprentice. They are usually maintained without formal instruction or academic training. Some traditional arts have a deep-rooted history with little change, while others are constantly evolving and adapting to their changing environment.

Examples of traditional art forms (performing and visual arts) being practiced in the South include Afro-Cuban batá drum, Catawba pottery, Zydeco music, Indian Bharatha Natyam dance, Anglo American quilting, Peruvian retablos, African American gospel music, Chinese zheng, Cherokee storytelling, and Minorcan netmaking, among others.

Program Goals

The Traditional Arts Touring Grant Program works to increase the public awareness, understanding and appreciation of the traditional arts in the South, through funding projects that bring a traditional artist/ensemble and a scholar/folklorist for multi-day residencies in Southern communities.

This funding program is open to a wide variety of organizations, including community cultural organizations, schools/colleges/universities, libraries, museums, presenters, etc. The program serves both communities and traditional artists. Priority consideration is given to support new applicants and underserved communities.

South Arts staff can also direct you to potential resources and networks to identify traditional artists and scholars/folklorists. Applicants are strongly advised to contact Teresa Hollingsworth (Director, Film and Traditional Arts), or 404-874-7244 x 14 to discuss your project before you submit your application.

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • Application Deadlines: October 1, 2020 and December 4, 2020
  • Applicants will be notified by email within 6 weeks of the deadline.
  • Projects must take place before June 30, 2021.

Eligibility Requirements

The following is a top-level list of the main eligibility requirements necessary to be considered for a Traditional Arts Touring 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.
  • Engage a traditional artist/ensemble for at least one public presentation and one educational activity; the educational activity must include contextual/scholarly content by a folklorist or scholar. The artist/ensemble must reside within South Arts' nine-state service area, excluding the applicant's state.
  • Provide a 1:2 cash match.
  • Readiness plan description

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

COVID-19 Update

Due to COVID-19, in-person project activities may not be possible. Applications will be accepted for virtual presentations and educational activities.


While preparing your Traditional Arts Touring Grant application, please refer to the following guidelines. 

  • Nonprofit organizations, official units of government, and educational 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.
  • Organizations must have not-for-profit, tax-exempt status, or be an official unit of local, county or state government.  Governmental organizations must provide proof of government status. Educational institutions (schools, school systems, colleges and universities) are eligible.
  • 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. Applications will not be accepted from organizations that do not provide the required description of the readiness plan. For more information about readiness, please visit Arts Ready.
  • Eligible projects must include the following:
    • Engagement of a traditional artist or ensemble (meeting the description above of a traditional art form) that resides in South Arts’ region, but not within the applicant’s state for, at minimum, one public presentation and one educational activity
    • A residency of two days or more
    • The public presentation must include contextual/scholarly content by a folklorist or scholar
    • Projects must take place in the applicant’s state
  • Projects may include performing (music, dance and storytelling) and/or visual arts/crafts.
  • Organizations, which have failed to submit final reports for any previous South Arts grant by the time of this application, will not be considered for funding in this grant cycle.
  • Organizations that fail to properly acknowledge South Arts’ AND the National Endowment for the Arts’ support in programs and press materials will not be considered for additional funding.
  • Organizations are eligible for only one Traditional Arts grant through the fiscal year July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021.  
  • Organizations currently receiving funding through South Arts’ Performing Arts Touring or Literary Arts Touring program are not eligible for this grant program.
  • Applicants are encouraged to contact Teresa Hollingsworth (Director, Film and Traditional Arts) prior to submitting their application to discuss their project. She may also be a resource for information on traditional artists, scholars and folklorists in the region.   
  • Traditional Arts applications can be submitted beginning July 1, 2020 for projects taking place between November 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. The project must take place by June 30, 2021. 
  • There are two grant deadlines: October 1, 2020 and December 4, 2020. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM ET. 
  • Applications will be accepted and reviewed until available funds are depleted. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 
  • The project must include both a public performance/demonstration/exhibition involving both the artist(s) and the folklorist/scholar, and an educational/outreach component. For the public presentation(s), a minimum of 60 minutes of presentation by the traditional artist/ensemble and the scholar/folklorist is required, and the event(s) must be open and marketed to the public and dedicated to serving a wide audience. Please note if a grantee fails to meet this requirement, funding will be rescinded.
    • NOTE: Presentations at conferences and school-focused presentations (primarily engaging students, whether taking place at the school, or a performance 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.
  • Only one traditional artist/ensemble per grant application is allowed. 
  • The traditional artist/ensemble is required to fully participate in the public presentation. The traditional artist or members of the ensemble must also conduct the educational/outreach component. 
  • Projects are not required to serve the entire geographic community but should have targeted participants.
    • Be specific about who your targeted participants and communities will be. Strong applications will demonstrate the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion within their targeted audience.
  • 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 also 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 NEA's website for more information. Applicants must commit to the Endowment’s Assurance of Compliance
  • NOTE: Please print a copy of your completed application forms for your records.
Helpful Resources
  • 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 traditional artist/ensemble and organization and include a learning event that has a lasting impact upon the audience (e.g., workshops, lectures and master classes). The traditional artist/ensemble 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 historical reenactments, benefits or fundraisers. 
  • Grants are NOT transferable to other events. All changes in a project must be submitted in writing to South Arts before the event. Awards may be revised or revoked considering such changes. 
  • Traditional Arts grant awards require a 1:2 match. (Example: For an artist fee of $1,500, the applicant can request $1,000 and provide the remaining $500 cash.)  
  • Traditional Arts Touring Grant awards may only be used for artist honorarium and artist travel.  
  • The minimum grant request is $1,000. The maximum request is $5,000. 
Review Process
  • Applications must be submitted prior to one of two deadlines – October 1, 2020 or December 4, 2020 for projects taking place between November 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.  
  • A panel of folklorists, arts professionals and other individuals with relevant experience will review all applications according to the review criteria. Panelists may or may not be familiar with your organization, community or the selected artist(s)/scholar/folklorist, so please be clear and specific in your application.  
  • Applicants are encouraged to submit grant applications early. Applications will be accepted and reviewed until available funds are depleted. 
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 a conflict of interest; and/or
  • Application materials (submitted by the deadline) were not provided to reviewers.

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, Teresa Hollingsworth, 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 electronic 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

Review Criteria

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 
Support Materials and Work Samples

Please carefully follow these important instructions.

  • Video/audio samples may vary in length; however, the reviewer(s) is only required to view/listen to five minutes of material.  Poor video quality will prevent the reviewer(s) from being able to make an assessment for the artistic excellence and may result in a low score. 
  • Digital photos of artists’ work for visual/craft artists are required.  
  • Recommended Formats: For audio files, we recommend uploading a MP3 (however, all standard file formats are acceptable).  For written documents, we recommend uploading a PDF. For photos, we recommend high resolution JPEG format. 
  • Please provide URLs, the link should go directly to the requested information; the reviewer(s) should not have to search for the material. Hard copies of materials, including CDs and DVDs, will NOT be accepted. 

Attachments: Please plan with plenty of time to receive and upload these required documents to eGrant.

Proof of Government Status (if applicable)

If you are a governmental entity, please provide your government affirmation letter affirming your organization is a unit of government. For nonprofit presenters, you do NOT need to upload your tax-determination letter; your tax-exempt status will be verified by a third party entity such as GuideStar

Letter of Intent/Contract

The letter of intent or contract between the 1) artist(s), 2) scholar/folklorist and 3) presenting organization must state the service (including the educational component), dates and fee (signed by all three parties). 

Application Requirements

Applicants are required to submit the following materials: 

  1. Application
  2. Proof of government status (if applicable).
  3. Letter of intent or contract between the artist(s), scholar/folklorist and the presenting organization stating the services (including the educational component), date(s) and fee (signed by all parties)
  4. Artist/company support material – Artist biography, ensemble history, digital photos, etc.
  5. Scholar/folklorist support material – C.V.
  6. Audio or video sample – a representative work sample of the artist/ensemble
  7. Digital photos – a representative work sample of artist’s work (visual artists)
  8. Supplemental documents (optional)
    Other support material (e.g., still images, reviews, letters of support, or brochure) directly related to the application may be submitted. Supplemental documents should not exceed five (5) pages.
  9. 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 below.  

Applicants will be notified of funding decisions by email within six weeks of the deadline. 

Applicants must agree to the Contract Terms of Agreement for TAT Grants, Assurance 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 Traditional Arts Touring 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.

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For questions about Traditional Arts Touring Grants, contact program director Teresa Hollingsworth.

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