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Special Presenter Initiatives

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, and IHEs in
Multiple States to Host Touring Arts Performances

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF), DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), Delaware Division of the Arts (DDOA), Virgin Islands Council on the Arts (VICA), and West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH)

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Grants starting at $500 to Delaware, West Virginia, Washington, DC, and Virgin Islands nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and IHEs to host performances by touring artists and ensembles particularly in underserved communities. These performances may take place at small and mid-size venues.

Program Description:

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF), in partnership with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), the Delaware Division of the Arts (DDOA), the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts (VICA), and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH), offers a special funding initiative to support the presentation of professional performing artists/ensembles at small and mid-size venues within these jurisdictions that enhance meaningful exchanges between touring artists and a presenter’s community.

The initiative is designed to support performing arts engagements and related activities that would not otherwise be possible, particularly in communities underserved by the arts (defined for the purposes of this program as populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, age, economics, or disability). Nonprofit organizations and government entities that meet the eligibility criteria are invited to apply.

Applicant Eligibility:

Special Presenter Initiatives supports projects that present exemplary touring artists involving all performing arts disciplines, including dance, music, theater, multi-disciplinary work, and folk/traditional arts. For the purposes of this program, a presenter is defined as an organization that selects and engages touring artists to perform work before audiences in their communities. Presenters manage all the local requirements for the performance and facilitate the interaction between artists and the public.

All Special Presenter Initiatives projects must include the following:

-At least one public performance that serves and is marketed to the general public in the applicant presenter’s community. For the purposes of this program, performances that primarily serve a non-public audience (such as K-12 schools, university classes, summer camps, nursing homes, etc.) are not considered public performances, although they may be one of the community engagement activities that comprise a Special Presenter Initiatives project.

-At least one community engagement activity. For the purposes of this program, a community engagement activity is defined as an activity that enhances the audience’s appreciation for the artists’ work. These may include, but are not limited to, exhibitions, lecture/demonstrations, master classes, panel discussions, pre or post-performance artist question and answer sessions, residencies, workshops, and other creative approaches to engage the local community.

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

-Artistic Excellence: The demonstrated excellence of the artist/ensemble as evidenced by submitted work samples and records of achievement, including awards, honors, grants, and performance history

-Quality of Engagements: The degree to which public performances and well-designed community engagement activities provide a greater appreciation for the artists’ work and encourage, meaningful exchanges between artists, audiences, and communities, as well as the potential to reach populations underserved by the arts

-Impact of the Grant: The ability of grant support to enable the applicant to present an artist/ensemble or performing arts genre with which the applicant has little or no prior presenting history or whose fees would otherwise be beyond the applicant’s means

-Organizational Capacity: The organization’s capacity to carry out the project successfully as demonstrated by its presenting history and financial and human resources

Regarding eligible expenses, please note:

-Eligible costs include contracted artist fees; artist-related travel and lodging; and lodging expenses.
-Contracted artist fees for the public performance and any community engagement activities in which the artist(s) is involved must be listed in the application budget and clearly outlined in the required Letter of Intent or contract submitted with the application.
-Funding awarded by MAAF is restricted to the specific, direct costs of the project, as detailed above, and may not be used for indirect costs.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178113

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants may apply for up to $2,000 per project, for a maximum of two projects, except for applicants in the Virgin Islands who may apply for up to $5,000 per project. Grant requests must be for a minimum of $500.

Term of Contract:

Projects may take place between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Presenters applying for funding from the Special Presenter Initiatives must:

-Be based in Delaware, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or West Virginia;
-Be designated by the United States Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or be a unit of state or local government;
-Be an arts or community-based organization, college or university, or government entity with an ongoing performing arts presenting program; and
-Be in good standing with their state arts agency and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation at the time of application, with no overdue or outstanding required reports and/or grant documents.

Applicants will be assessed in part on the risk of noncompliance with Federal statutes, regulations and the terms and conditions as provided by the applicant’s Certification and Statement of Assurances in the submitted application or Common Information Form and the results of previous audits including adherence to Single Audit requirements as set forth by Federal statutes.

Project Artist Eligibility:

-Special Presenter Initiatives projects must feature professional performing artists that have at least two years of touring experience either regionally, nationally, or internationally. For the purposes of this program, a professional artist is someone who receives a significant portion of annual income from artistic activities and has a demonstrated record of achievement within their chosen artistic discipline.

-Project artist can be based anywhere in the United States or around the world, except the artist cannot be based in the same state or jurisdiction as the applicant presenter.

-Artists on MAAF’s 2019-2020 Mid Atlantic Tours and Southern Exposure rosters are ineligible for support in the current round.

-Organizations applying for support through the current grant round of the Special Presenter Initiatives cannot apply to MAAF’s ArtsCONNECT program for funding to support the same artists and engagements.

The Special Presenter Initiatives will not fund:

-Projects taking place outside of the state or jurisdiction where the applicant presenter is based;
-Producing organizations that create artistic work or assemble artists to perform as ensembles for performances;
-Programs or events in which the artist/ensemble is not the primary focus of the performance;
-Programs or events that are commercial in nature or in which the arts are not the primary focus (e.g. message oriented educational events or programs, information sessions, sidewalk sales, food festivals, fireworks displays, etc.);
-Fundraising events; or
-General operating expenses.

Pre-proposal Conference:

MAAF will be offering three free webinars to assist potential applicants in understanding the Special Presenter Initiatives program and filling out the online application. Webinar dates and times:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 3-4PM
Thursday, January 24, 2019, 11AM-12PM
Friday, March 15, 2019, 1-2PM

To Register for a Webinar:

Pre-Application Information:

The application deadline for the Special Presenter Initiatives is Friday, March 29, 2019. Applications must be completed and submitted through the eGRANT online system on or before the published deadline.

Grants must be matched on a 1:1 basis. The match may not include Federal funds whether they are received directly from a Federal agency or indirectly, such as through a state agency or other entity. In addition, the MAAF grant and the required match may not be used to match any other directly or indirectly received Federal funds.

Grant amounts are based on a percentage of costs for an engagement. Presenters may request up to 50% of eligible project expenses (not to exceed dollar limits stated above).

All applicants will be notified by email on the status of their proposals in June 2019.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Access the online eGRANT application here:

Haowen Wang, Program Officer
410-539-6656 x 110

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Delaware;   Washington, DC;   West Virginia

USA Territories: Virgin Islands (USA)