Frequently Asked Questions
About the Texas Touring Roster
TCA recorded three short videos to help you prepare a successful application to be listed on the Texas Touring Roster. The videos go through the online application in detail as well as the required supporting materials. We highly recommend that you watch all the videos provided here.
Q. What is this program and how does it work?
A. The Texas Touring Roster is a list of approved artists. Texas-based nonprofits can apply for a grant to bring in artists from the Roster to do performances and activities. You can review the guidelines for the related grant here: https://www.arts.texas.gov/ow/tcagrant/TXArtsPlan/CC6.htm.
The Roster is a marketing opportunity for artists on it.
Q: Who is eligible to apply to be on the roster?
A: Individuals and performing groups residing primarily in Texas are eligible to apply. Nonprofit organizations that are recognized by the IRS as Texas-based organizations are also eligible.
Q. What's an eligible TCA-funded activity?
A. The activity should be arts-based and conducted in Texas. It should not be self-presented (You need to have a contract with a separate party presenting you). Ideally, the artist would conduct the work in person with members of the applicant's community as an audience or participants. It should not be one of the ineligible activities listed here: https://www.arts.texas.gov/ow/tcagrant/TXArtsPlan/Guidelines.htm.
Q: Will I be expected to do anything further if approved to the roster?
A: Yes. TCA will require an online training for all approved companies and artists to ensure familiarity with the TCA grant processes and rules.
Q: I’m on the current Texas Touring Roster. Do I still have to apply to be listed on the next roster?
A: YES! You should submit a full application form and all supporting materials to be considered for the next roster.
Q: What artistic disciplines are considered for inclusion on the roster?
A: Dance, music, theater, musical theater, creative writing, storytelling, visual art, and film/animation.
Q: Visual artists and film/media artists don't "perform." How are they eligible for this program?
A: TCA has opened the roster up to all disciplines and wants to include visual arts and film/media artists. However, those artists must be able to offer a program that is performative or interactive/collaborative and able to fit within a pre-specified timeframe. Examples might include a drawing demonstration/talk, community mural project, or a film screening with artist Q&A. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact TCA staff to discuss their program prior to applying.
Q: I'm with a group, but I also do work as a soloist. Can I submit one application for my group, and a second application for myself?
A: No. You can indicate in your group's application that soloists (or smaller groups) are also available, but that's as far as you should go.
Q: What’s the first thing I should do before applying?
A: This application is very dependent on the audiovisual material submitted along with the application. TCA strongly suggests you begin working on a professional quality audiovisual work sample early since it can influence whether you are approved to be on the roster. All work samples should be recorded before a live audience with quality sound, lighting, and clear footage. This part of the application should not be rushed. Your audiovisual sample should be uploaded within the application form. This general training webinar on making quality videos has some great tips.
Q: When is the deadline for the application form?
A: The application, including attachments, must be submitted online by 11:59 PM CST on January 31, 2024.
Q: How do I apply?
A: The application form is on the Submittable platform, which will allow you to upload all of your supporting materials online.
Q: Why is an audiovisual sample of my performance required?
A: The audiovisual material is used by the panel to assess Artistic Quality, which is worth 50 points out of 100 in your final score. Your audiovisual material should be a professional quality representation of what a live performance is like. It should be 4 minutes or less. It can include a montage of footage or be a short selection of a performance. It should be of the actual program you are touring, or a reasonably similar program. It should be in an appropriate context – that is, if you are a children’s performer, it should include footage of you performing for children. It should be footage of you in front of a live audience.
Q: How do I count my contracts for the Touring History section?
A: First, please count your contracts consistently. If you had one contract for several performances at a venue (for example, back-to-back performances at a school, a series of workshops on your craft at a community center, or a standing monthly gig at a music venue), that contract counts as one no matter how many performances or services you provided. If you have had more than one contract with the presenter, you can add an asterisk (*) to the listing to show that the presenter has presented you before.
Q: How do I decide which 12 contracts to list in my touring history?
A: List as many contracts as you can to provide a complete picture of your recent touring work. If you have had more than 12 contracts recently, you will have to select which to list. In choosing which contracts to list, be sure to provide a representative list of the broad types of presenters who have hired you, and show any repeat bookings. Provide a good sense of the geographic range of your appeal—showing only local contracts doesn’t help to indicate that presenters outside your community would be likely to book you. Remember that the Texas Touring Roster is used by nonprofit organizations and units of government (schools, libraries, cities, etc.), so you should try to show evidence of your appeal to those presenters.
Q: Will evaluators look at my website?
A: Yes, evaluators will be instructed to refer to your website (as provided in your application) for additional information as they review your application. We expect that materials such as electronic press kits and more information on your touring offerings are on artists' websites.
Q: How competitive is getting on the Texas Touring Roster?
A: Acceptance onto the Roster is very competitive. It is up to you to adequately convey your experience both as an artist and as a touring professional, plus your appeal to nonprofit presenters, schools, and libraries, through your application and website.
Q: What is the Touring Advisory panel looking for in an application?
A: Evaluators are asked to focus on the artistry of the program you are touring (as demonstrated in your audiovisual sample), the appropriateness of your fee range, and your demonstrated ability to tour outside of your community.
Q: What else can I do to submit the most competitive application in TCA’s process?
A: Take advantage of all resources: watch the videos, carefully read all the material covered in this FAQ, look at the current Roster, and read the program description. You can ask TCA staff to review your application at least two weeks before the deadline and give you feedback.
Q: What will evaluators use to assess my application?
A: All TCA evaluators consider applications using the TCA Review Criteria.
Q: I have a question that isn't answered here-- how do I ask it?
A: Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512-463-5535. TCA is also holding periodic virtual Q & A meetings-- contact us for how to join the next one.
Q: What is a presenter?
A: Some artists think that because they are the performers, they're the presenters. In fact, the touring arts world uses the term "presenter" to refer to the organization that hires an artist to perform - they present you to their community. When you see the term "presenter" or "presenting organization" in TCA's application materials, please understand it in this way.
Q. What is a teaching artist?
A. Teaching artists are practicing, professional artists who have dual careers as educators.
Other definitions can be found here: https://www.arts.texas.gov/ow/tcagrant/TXArtsPlan/Glossary.htm
© Texas Commission on the Arts