On October 1, 2019, NEFA announced a series of changes to the Expeditions and New England States Touring (NEST) programs, merging the two under the NEST moniker and sunsetting the Expeditions program. Please visit the NEST Grant page to learn about tour support for artists from inside or outside of New England.

Expeditions Tour Planning grants provide resources for projects that need additional planning time to build interest among tour partners, leading to an application for Expeditions Touring support.

About the Expeditions Grant Program

Visit the Expeditions Program page to learn more about program goals, the annual Idea Swap event, and more.



The application must be submitted by a New England nonprofit organization. Applications submitted by an artist/ensemble must have a nonprofit presenting partner who will likely serve as the lead applicant for a subsequent Expeditions Touring application. 

To be eligible for Expeditions Tour Planning funding, applicants must:

  • Be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, school, federally-recognized Indian tribal government, or unit of state or local government. (Nonprofits do not have to be arts organizations. Organizations that do not have a federal tax identification number may apply if part of an official government agency.)
  • Be based in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).
  • The federal government requires that all NEFA organizational grant recipients supported by federal funds register for DUNS (Dun & Bradstreet) numbers. If you are unsure if the applicant has a DUNS number or to sign up to receive a DUNS number, go to: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform
  • Applicants must be able to provide documentation of their compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Please visit our Arts & Accessibility page for details.

Expeditions will not fund:

  • Fundraising events or activities.
  • Organizations or activities occurring outside of the six-state New England region.
  • Events designed exclusively for students in school during class time.
  • Performances that are not open to the public and advertised accordingly.
  • Performances in which the performers are primarily students.
  • Artist engagements that receive tour funding from more than one NEFA grant program.

If a project changes after funding has been awarded, the applicant must notify NEFA as soon as possible. NEFA does not guarantee funding if the project differs substantially from the original application. Requests for changes to a tour planning grant will be considered on a case by case basis and may change the amount of the grant award.

Funding Criteria

Tour Planning grants provide up to $5,000 for the planning of a tour that will eventually fulfill Expeditions Touring grant criteria. These grants support activities directly related to the planning of a tour, such as meetings between potential partners, artist showcases for potential tour partners, workshops to build community interest, and artists' travel to visit  communities to prepare for the touring engagement.

The funding criteria are:

  • A high level of artistic quality, exploration, and creativity.
  • Collaborative planning in key areas among project partners and artists. The featured artist(s) should be included in project planning.
  • Contextual, educational, and adjunct activities featuring the artist(s) in the project which meaningfully engage various sectors of the community. Cross-sector exchange (connecting arts and non-arts organizations) and collaboration is strongly encouraged.
  • Remove barriers to participation due to race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class, age, and geography.
  • A budget that reflects revenue from a variety of sources including admissions, sponsorships, private foundations, individuals and/or government agencies.
  • A strong relationship between the artist and presenting partner.

Tour Planning applications that feature a New England-based artist/ensemble are eligible for up to an additional $5,000 to support production expenses related to preparing the project to tour. Expenses must include a fee paid directly to the featured artist/ensemble for the artistic expertise of creation and production, and may include expenses related to design fees, rehearsals, travel, space rental, rights/permissions, equipment rental or purchase.

Receiving Expeditions Tour Planning support does not guarantee Expeditions Touring support in the following year.

Process & Timeline

The Tour Planning process should be completed within the June 1, 2019-August 31, 2020 time frame following the award notification. Tour Planning grant recipients are strongly encouraged to develop plans early in the grant period so that the touring project can be shared at the annual Idea Swap, a one-day networking conference described on the Expeditions program page.

  • October 30, 2019: 18th Annual Idea Swap
  • February: Application deadline
  • Late-April: Expeditions Tour Planning and Touring grant recipients notified.
  • June: Tour Planning period begins (and continues through August of the following year) for tour planning grant recipients.

The next deadline is winter 2020. Before applying, applicants are highly encouraged to contact Adrienne Petrillo, Program Director, New England Presenting & Touring, at 617.951.0010 x527 to discuss their tour planning project.

Requirements & Reports for Grant Recipients


Grant payments will be made upon receipt of the following which must be submitted within 40 days after the funded event:

  1. A completed Expeditions Tour Planning grantee report for each grant. Click "Return to your grant form" below to log-in to your portal account to find and submit your online report(s). If you need technical assistance, please email Falyn Rose Elhard (they/them/theirs).

    Return to Your Grant Form
  2. A copy of the signed contract or letter of agreement between your organization and the artist(s) presented with the artist fee and scope of work.
  3. Copies of letters of appreciation sent to your federal and/or state legislators. This is to inform them about the purpose of this award, and the impact it will have on your organization’s activities and service to the community. 
  4. Copies of program and publicity materials, if applicable, showing acknowledgement of NEFA’s funding.