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Grants to USA Arts Nonprofits for Festivals, Events, and Projects in the Performing Arts

Performing Arts Grant Program

GrantWatch ID# 192011

Funding Source
Tri-M Foundation
Array ( )

Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Deadline: 02/15/23 Receipt Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $10,000 to USA nonprofit arts organizations for innovative activities in the performing arts disciplines. Funding is intended to support festivals, events, and projects that have regional relevance, addressing local history, culture, or character. The current cycle will support activities presented in the disciplines of theater and dance.


Proposed projects must comply with the applicant’s established mission and vision, be a featured project in the organization’s season, and demonstrate detailed planning. The Foundation is interested in projects that encourage artists to produce their best work, enthrall audiences, and provoke important discussions. Projects should represent a unique regional perspective, meaning that they should address a location’s culture, history, aesthetic, or character.  

Organizations may submit proposals for projects that address sensitive topics, controversial politics, and uncomfortable subjects.  Grantees must make their programs open and accessible to all members of the public, regardless of sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual preference, or gender expression.

Grant funds may be used for the following activities: 

  • Development and presentation of new works
  • Development and presentation of new performing arts mediums
  • Regional premieres of new works
  • Presentation of works for new audiences
  • Performances related to performing arts research (e.g. producing and performing ancient music with reconstructed authentic instruments)
  • Touring/traveling/housing expenses for artists and performing arts technicians 
  • Travel expenses for artists and technicians to attend and present works at art festivals
  • Scenic and properties design and construction
  • Project-specific marketing expenses
  • Hosting performing arts festivals — Funds may support either a single element of the event or be redistributed as a sub-grant to individual artists or arts companies to participate in the festival. Single elements of the festival include performance space rental, technical production (lights, sound, etc.), artist stipends or awards, or the design and production of sets or properties.

To ensure an equitable distribution of funds, the Program only awards grants to specific disciplines every other year. In 2023 - 2024, grants will be awarded in the areas of Theater and Dance.


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Proposals are accepted from eligible arts organizations. Three categories of arts organizations are eligible for funding under the Program:
- Small to medium size non-profit arts organizations that possess an active 501(c)(3) designation, have been in operation for a minimum of 2 years, and have an annual operating budget of under $1,000,000
- Non-profit umbrella arts organizations that produce performing arts festivals and propose to fund the participation of individual artists or arts organizations that have not obtained 501(c)(3) status (operating budget limitations do not apply), or
- Individual artists or small arts organizations that have not obtained 501(c)(3) status who identify a non-profit umbrella arts organizations with an active 501(c)(3) that has agreed to serve as the fiscal sponsor for the project; a memorandum of understanding between the fiscal sponsor and the applicant or a formal letter sanctioning the project must be submitted with the application. Note that operating budget and 2-year minimum work history limitations do not apply for the applicant but do apply for the fiscal sponsor. Grants awarded under this category are made to the sponsoring organization.

Grant funds may not be used to support the following activities:
- General operating support for the organization
- Grants to individuals – unless an established non-profit arts organization with an active 501(c)(3) designation serves as their fiscal sponsor, such as in a performing arts festival
- Projects that rely on volunteer labor from artists (all artists/technicians involved in the project must be compensated with at least a $200 stipend, if not compensated at a professional level)
- Travel for attendance at academic or professional conferences
- Projects that will not receive at least one public performance or presentation
- Political demonstrations or protests (dramatic or musical works about protests or that were developed during historical protests are acceptable)
- Projects intended to influence legislation or to support candidates for political office
- Projects intended for religious or doctrinal purposes
- Activities that violate local, state, or federal law
- Propaganda or myopic and intentionally misleading representations of history, populations, peoples, or cultures.

Pre-Application Information
The application deadline for projects scheduled from August 2023 - July 2024 is February 15, 2023. Applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed.

Award announcements will be made by April 15 annually, to allow time for preparation for the upcoming season.

Applicants should apply for funding for the upcoming year. For example, a proposed theatre program in the next round should submit an application for their project sometime between April 2022 and February 2023 for the 2023 – 2024 project year.

Grant Program Application:

Number of Grants
5 - 10 awards per year

Estimated Size of Grant
Award Range: $3,000 – $10,000

Term of Contract
Project period is maximum of 12 months following the award. Projects must take place from August 2023 - July 2024.

At this time, the Program does not fund multi-year projects.

Contact Information
Completed applications and supporting materials should be submitted by emailing them to

For questions, please contact Tri-M at for assistance.

Tri-M Foundation
1130 Spruce Street
Lockhart, TX 78644

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