Traditional Arts Touring Grants increase the public awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the traditional arts in the South. These grants support in-person or live virtual residencies by Southern traditional artists 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.
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 mentor artist instructing an apprentice. These traditions 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) practiced in the South include Afro-Cuban batá drum, Catawba pottery, Zydeco music, Indian Bharatha Natyam dance, Anglo American quilting, Peruvian retablos, African American Sacred Steel, Chinese Zheng, Cherokee storytelling, and Minorcan netmaking, among others.
The Traditional Arts Touring Grant Program works to increase public awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the traditional arts in the South, through funding projects that bring a traditional artist/ensemble for a residency of two or more days in Southern communities.
This funding program is open to a wide variety of organizations, including community cultural organizations, schools/colleges/universities, libraries, museums, performing arts presenters, etc. Although only these organizations are eligible to apply, the program funds activities that serve both communities and traditional artists.
South Arts staff can direct you to potential resources and networks to identify traditional artists. Applicants are strongly advised to contact Teresa Hollingsworth (Director, Traditional Arts), at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-874-7244 x814, to discuss your project before you submit your application.
Important Dates & Deadlines
Application Opens: November 1, 2022
Application Deadline: February 15, 2023
Applicants will be notified of the status of their application by April 17, 2023
Projects must take place between July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024.
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.
South Arts is committed to funding traditional arts projects in rural communities (with populations under 50,000).
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.
Applicant must be a nonprofit organization, official unit of government, or an educational organization based within South Arts' nine-state service area.
Eligible projects must include the following:
Engagement of a traditional artist or ensemble (meeting the traditional art form description above) that resides in South Arts’ nine-state region but in a state other than the applicant's
A residency of a minimum of two days
At least two live educational/outreach components
At least one public presentation of at least 60 minutes, open and marketed to the public and serving a wide audience
Applicant must provide a 1:2 cash match.
Organizations currently receiving funding through South Arts’ Presentation Grants or Literary Arts Touring Grants are not eligible for this grant program.
A full list of eligibility criteria and other project requirements is provided in the guidelines below.
While preparing your Traditional Arts Touring Grant application, please refer to the following guidelines.
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. South Arts does not accept applications from fiscal agents for this grant program.
All applicants must have a UEI (Unique Entity ID) number. Applications will not be accepted from organizations that do not have a UEI number. Visit sam.gov for additional information about UEI numbers as well as instructions on how to receive one. If your organization has used a DUNS number in the past, this link also provides instructions on transitioning to a UEI: How to Obtain a UEI
Eligible projects must include the following:
Engagement of a traditional artist or ensemble (who meets the description above of a traditional art form) that resides in the South Arts region, but in a state other than the applicant's.
The residency must include at least one in person or live virtual public presentation and two in person or live virtual educational activities.
The residency must be a minimum of two days.
Projects must take place in the applicant’s state.
Projects may include performing (music, dance, and storytelling) and/or visual arts/crafts.
Applicant must provide a 1:2 cash match.
Organizations that 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 Touring Grant through the South Arts fiscal year, July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024.
Organizations receiving funding through South Arts’ Presentation Grants or Express Grants during FY24 (July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024) are not eligible for this grant program.
Organizations can submit Traditional Arts Touring Grant applications beginning November 1, 2022, for projects taking place between July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024.
The grant deadline is February 15, 2023. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM ET.
Traditional Arts Touring Grant awards may only be used for artist honorarium and/or award travel.
Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
The project must include both an in person or live virtual public performance/demonstration/exhibition, and at least two in person or live virtual educational/outreach components. For the public presentation(s), a minimum of 60 minutes of presentation by the traditional artist/ensemble is required, and the event(s) must be open and marketed to the public and dedicated to serving a wide audience. Please note that 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 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 must fully participate in the public presentation. The traditional artist or members of the ensemble must also conduct the educational/outreach components.
Projects are not required to serve the entire geographic community but should have targeted participants.
Applications must include a letter of intent or contract between the 1) artist/ensemble representative, and 2) grant applicant. The letter/contract must state the services (including the educational component), dates, and fee, and must be signed by both parties.
Although a readiness plan is not required and will not impact application review, all applicants will be asked if their organization has a readiness plan. For more information about readiness, please visit dPlan|ArtsReady.
All grant recipients are required to provide accessibility for constituents with disabilities at grant-funded events. Accessibility relates to your overall facility and the Traditional Arts Touring project being accessible to all. In addition to physical access (ramps, accessible parking/box office/restrooms/seating, etc.), communications and programmatic accessibility is required and can also help your organization build audiences and strengthen engagement. Grant applications should show evidence of thoughtful accessibility 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.
This Sample Application from a past grantee illustrates a clear, succinct, and well-organized application that was evaluated very highly in the review process. Please note this sample application is to illustrate application context, not format.
The required 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 the organization and should include learning events that have a lasting impact on the audience (e.g., workshops, lectures, and/or 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 to 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 cash match. (Example: For an artist fee of $1,500, the applicant can request $1,000 and provide the remaining $500 cash match.)
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.
A panel of community scholars, folklorists, traditional artists, arts professionals, and/or other individuals with relevant experience will review all applications according to the review criteria. Panelists may or may not be familiar with your organization and community, so please be clear and specific in your application.
Applicants are encouraged to submit grant applications early.
Applications are reviewed and funding recommendations 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.
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’ President and CEO 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 President and CEO, who will render a decision within 30 days of the appeal. Mail your appeal to:
ATTN: President and CEO
1800 Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
Support Materials and Work Samples
Mandatory: Letter of Intent/Contract
The letter of intent or contract between the 1) artist/ensemble representative, and 2) grant applicant must state the services (including the educational component), dates, and fee. It must be signed by both parties.
If Applicable: Proof of Government Status
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.
Mandatory (at least one): Work Samples. Please carefully follow these important instructions.
Please clearly label support and work samples.
Video/audio samples may vary in length; however, the reviewers are only required to view/listen to five minutes of material. Poor video quality will prevent the reviewers from being able to assess 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 an MP3. For written documents, we recommend uploading a PDF. For photos, we recommend high resolution JPEG format.
Please provide URLs to work samples available online, such as videos uploaded on YouTube or Vimeo. The link should go directly to the requested information; the reviewers should not have to search for the material. Hard copies of materials, including CDs and DVDs, will NOT be accepted.
Please plan plenty of time to organize and upload these required documents to Salesforce.
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.
Proof of government entity status, if applicable
Letter of intent or contract between the artist(s)/ensemble and the applicant organization stating the services (including the educational component), dates and fee (signed by all parties)
Artist/ensemble support material: artist biography, ensemble history, digital photos, etc.
Audio or video sample: a representative work sample of the artist/ensemble (for performing artists)
Digital photos: a representative work sample of artist’s work (for visual artists)
Supplemental documents (optional) Other support material (e.g., still images, reviews, letters of support, or brochures) directly related to the application may be submitted. Supplemental documents should not exceed five (5) pages.
All grant applications must be submitted online using the Salesforce system. We recommend that you visit the site early to create your account and become familiar with the system. Complete your application in Salesforce and upload the required materials as detailed above.