Visual Arts Touring Eligibility and Guidelines


Standard Application cycle is currently closed

VAT Grant monies is available contingent upon NEA funds allocation and availability.

Through this program, WESTAF seeks to expand the awareness of noteworthy visual artists in the region, especially artists who have significantly influenced the aesthetic of a state or a region. WESTAF is also interested in building the understanding of environments, issues, and ideas rooted in the West that have been explored by seasoned artists and/or groups of artists. Artists of very high quality who are relatively unknown are of special interest as are artists who have served as teachers and/or leaders within the arts field, and who have influenced other artists. This project is funded by the NEA's Visual Arts Touring program.

Because the funds available for this project are not large, no specific guidelines are being established for the scale of exhibition. In some cases, 20 works may make an excellent exhibition; in other instances, many more works may be required to develop a quality exhibition. Works on paper, photographs, selected crafts, and folk arts that are readily prepared for touring are welcome. If an organization wishes to expend significant funds on the preparation of the works in the exhibition for tour--particularly fine arts crating--it may do so.

However, we encourage organizations to think of ways to tour these works without encumbering high costs related to the preparation of shipping containers. Further, if an organization wishes to use the funds to add to the budget of an already in-development touring exhibition, it may do so.


  • Applicants must be a nonprofit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization or the equivalent, such as a university or school district.
  • Applicants must be incorporated in and currently conducting business in one or more of the following states in the WESTAF Region:
    Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington or Wyoming.
  • Artists who will be participating in the exhibition must reside or work, or have resided or worked, primarily within the WESTAF region.
  • Applicants must have presented one visual art exhibition within the last three years.
  • Previous VAT grantees cannot apply if they have an open grant contract - a contract is considered closed when the final exhibition date is closed, the final report has been submitted, and the final payment has been approved and processed.
  • You may submit up to two applications for the quick turn around grant. However, ONLY one grant can be awarded.

Program Rules

When selecting and designing exhibits for which you will be applying for Visual Arts Touring funding, please adhere to the following program rules:

  • Representatives of the originating organization must review the VAT guidelines and the Assurance of Compliance thoroughly and consider whether the organization is eligible to apply and whether it will compete favorably in the review process prior to starting their grant applications.

  • The applicant is the originating organization. The applicant must propose exhibition(s) that opens at their venue in the 13-state WESTAF region and then tour to a minimum of two other locations outside of the originating state but within the WESTAF region.

  • The WESTAF region includes the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai'i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

  • The two touring venues must be located outside of the home state of the applicant within the WESTAF region. The two touring locations may be in the same state provided it is not the originating state.

  • Exhibitions must take place between October 1, 2014, and December 30, 2016. The project is considered complete when the originating institution has opened the exhibition at the second touring venue.

  • Originating organizations may submit only one Visual Arts Touring application per annual Visual Arts Touring cycle.

  • Artists who will be participating in the exhibition must reside or work, or have resided or worked, primarily within the WESTAF region: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

  • The artist that will be participating in the exhibition cannot be a member of the applicant's organization as staff, board, and/or faculty.

  • All projects submitted for consideration must be accompanied by digital image work samples from the exhibit. Applicants will be required to format the worksamples to the WESTAF format and upload them online .

  • The following documents will be required at application submission. These documents will be required as an electronic document that can be uploaded to the site.
    • Letter of Non Profit Status or equivalent (uploaded as a .pdf or .doc files only. Documents formatted as .docx files or jpgs will NOT be accepted)
    • Contract or Letter of Agreement with the target venue expressing interest and proposed fees/cost for the target touring location (uploaded as a .pdf or .doc files only. Documents formatted as .docx files or jpgs will NOT be accepted)
    • Artist(s) Bio (uploaded as a .pdf or .doc files only. Documents formatted as .docx files or jpgs will NOT be accepted)
    • 12-15 Images of the proposed exhibition or artist works: Only jpgs formated 1920x1920 will be accepted.

  • At the time of the submission of the application, the two out-of-state locations need not be confirmed; however, the application at least should indicate targeted touring locations. If the applicant is awarded, they must to submit final signed Contracts or Letter of Agreements from the touring venue.

  • Matching Funds - This project requires that funds be matched on a one-to-one basis. Matching funds can be in the form of either cash or in-kind. All matching funds must be documented in the manner required by the National Endowment for the Arts.

  • WESTAF seeks to provide funds such that each state in the WESTAF region will benefit from this funding program. The applications are due by midnight (Mountain Time) on the date of deadline and must be submitted through the CultureGrants Onlineā„¢ system. Questions about this project should be sent via e-mail to

Equitable Distribution

WESTAF reserves the right to limit or cap the amount of VAT grants received by any state in the region should the distribution of funds not follow established demographic patterns or advantage any state in an unfair manner.

Required Credits

In order to receive VAT funding, the exhibition presenters are required to credit VAT's support in all promotional/printed materials and electronic media related to any VAT-funded engagement using the following phrase: "These activities are supported, in part, with funds provided by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), the (presenter's state arts agency name), and the National Endowment for the Arts." All printed materials also must include the WESTAF and NEA logos, which are available on the WESTAF Web site and/or by the calling the WESTAF office at (303) 629-1166.

Professional Standards

WESTAF encourages exhibition presenters, artists, companies, managers, and all others receiving support through WESTAF's VAT programs and services to strive for professional standards of behavior that embody a commitment to honesty, integrity, fulfillment of verbal and written commitments, and the avoidance of conflicts of interest.

Frequently Asked Question

Please read over the frequently asked questions before beginning your grant application. Click here to access the VAT FAQs

Payments/Support through VAT is contingent on available funds