FY2024 Performing Artists Directory Guidelines

Application deadline: March 15, 2023

For inclusion in the PAD: July 1, 2023-June 30, 2025

The Kentucky Arts Council strongly encourages you to read and understand the Performing Artists Directory guidelines before accessing the application.

Like all programs of the Kentucky Arts Council, the Performing Artists Directory is guided by the arts council’s core values. Successful applications will embody these core values, and all applicants are strongly encouraged to read and reflect upon them before submitting an application.

Core Values of the Kentucky Arts Council

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Performing Artists Directory is to promote, showcase and provide professional development opportunities to a diverse selection of Kentucky's finest contemporary and traditional performing artists.


  • Provide experienced, professional performing artists with opportunities to connect with performing arts venues.
  • Provide training for artists to better market themselves as professional performing artists.
  • Support the artistic growth of outstanding professional artists.

Who May Apply

  • Professional individual artists, companies or groups in dance, theater, music and storytelling may apply.
  • Music applicants must primarily perform original music, songs in the public domain or a combination of the two.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Student-based performance groups must perform regularly off-campus for professional fees.
  • Applicants must have been full-time Kentucky residents for at least six months prior to the application deadline and remain full-time residents for the program participation period.
  • Performing groups must include a majority (more than 50 percent) of Kentucky residents as members. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence or have permission from the Department of Homeland Security to work permanently in the U.S.

Residency Requirements

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence or have permission from the Department of Homeland Security to work permanently in the U.S.

Applicants must have been legal Kentucky residents for a period of at least six months immediately before the application deadline (e.g., legal residency must have begun no later than Sept. 15, 2022, for applications due March 15, 2023).

For proof of residency, you must submit by mail or email a copy of two of the following documents by the application deadline:

  • Kentucky driver’s license OR State of Kentucky identification card issued by applicant’s circuit court clerk’s office (Note: The arts council will not accept both a Kentucky driver’s license and a State of Kentucky identification card as the required two proofs of residency.)
  • Kentucky voter registration verification from the State Board of Elections Voter Information Center website at https://vrsws.sos.ky.gov/VIC/. (You may redact political party information.)
  • 2020 or 2021 Kentucky State Income Tax Form 740 (full-time resident). Income information may be redacted.

These are the only acceptable forms of proof of residency for this application.

Program Description

The Performing Artists Directory is an adjudicated roster of Kentucky professional performing artists who have an established performance history. It is a marketing program that offers roster artists professional development and a variety of opportunities to promote their performance work, including a detailed entry in the online directory. In addition, the directory is used by in-state and out-of-state presenters and others as a resource for identifying artists for performance bookings and projects.

The Kentucky Arts Council does not provide artist management.

Performance Criteria

Applications will be assessed using the following criteria.

  1. Artistic Excellence (60 points)
    • Creativity
    • Technical proficiency
    • Professional staging and presentation
  2. Performance Experience (20 points)
    • Ability to negotiate performance contracts and communicate technical requirements
    • Performance history
  3. Marketing Capacity (10 points)
    • Communication and marketing materials
    • Strategies for using the Performing Artists Directory to increase or expand marketing plan


Performers whose repertoire consists primarily of covers of contemporary music are not eligible to apply.

Participation Requirements

In order to maintain eligibility, participants of the Performing Artists Directory must apply and be approved for inclusion in two back-to-back rounds (e.g., FY24 and FY26). After successfully jurying into the program twice consecutively, artists will be required to reapply only if they fail to respond to requests for updated information and images from the program directory, change performance genre, change performer status (e.g., switch from a solo act to a group or vice versa) or if there is a significant change to performer personnel. Artists who leave or who are dropped from the directory for any reason must repeat the application process for consideration. If you are uncertain as to whether you need to reapply to the directory, contact the program director.

Participants must:

  • Designate a qualified person with whom presenters can conduct business
  • Comply with program guidelines
  • Comply with all rules for participating in Kentucky Arts Council events
  • Conduct business in a professional manner
  • Acknowledge the arts council in all published materials and announcements (print and electronic) including websites, social media, advertising promotions, news releases, printed programs, catalogs, flyers, posters, literature and other publicity

All Performing Artists Directory artists selected for inclusion in the program are required to attend a daylong orientation and training on Tuesday, July 18, 2023. Returning directory artists are encouraged, though not required, to attend.

Program Timeline

Application deadline: March 15, 2023

Review of applications by panel: May 2023

Applicant notification: As soon as possible after panel meeting

Mandatory artist orientation/training: July 18, 2023

Program Agreement Form due: June 2023

Program Benefits

  • Representation in the online Performing Artists Directory on the arts council website.
  • Access to the Kentucky Peer Advisory Network (KPAN), which provides consultation in specific professional areas.
  • Promotion of Performing Artists Directory performers to in-state and out-of-state presenters.
  • Performance and marketing opportunities in association with other arts council programs.
  • Referrals to presenters, community groups, schools, businesses, governmental agencies and others requesting assistance with identifying high-quality performing artists.

Application Deadline

Submit the online application no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern, March 15, 2023.

Note: The application can take several minutes to upload and closes promptly at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. Applicants are strongly advised not to wait until the last minute to submit their applications.

How to Apply

Carefully review the program guidelines and then create a profile in the GO Smart application system and complete the application.

Profile Page

Select Individual as Profile Type. The Performing Artists Directory is a part of the Kentucky Arts Council’s Individual Artists Programs.

Enter your first and last name as required, as well as your phone number and email address. Then create your user name and password. Make a note of these as the Kentucky Arts Council does not maintain application login information and you will need it each time you login.

Applicant Information

Enter your legal name (as indicated on your Federal Tax Return), street address and phone number. Then select Individual Artist as Artist Description and your primary performance genre as Applicant Discipline (dance, music or theatre). Under discipline, you may also select your specific art form (e.g., dance—ballet, ethnic/jazz or modern; music—band, chamber, choral, new, etc., theatre—general, puppet, storytelling, etc.)

To determine district numbers, contact your county clerk’s office or go to www.lrc.ky.gov. Find your congressional district by going to https://www.house.gov and entering a zip code and, when prompted, a street address. The State Board of Elections’ Voter Information Center website at https://vrsws.sos.ky.gov/VIC/ provides this information for registered Kentucky voters.

Click the captcha box next to “I am not a robot” and then submit.

You may now access the application by selecting the “Current Programs and Applications” tab. Find "Performing Artists Directory" and click “START.”

Before moving from one page of the application to another, always click the “Save Work” button at the bottom of the page or your work will be lost.

Digital Images

Applicants must submit two professional quality promotional images of the performer.

Images should be:

  • JPG, JPEG format
  • Sized at 1000 pixels x 1000 pixels (at a resolution of 72 pixels per inch)

Work Samples

Work samples are the primary means by which panelists assess artistic excellence. Carefully consider your choice of work samples in relation to the program’s performance expectations.

Applicants to the Performing Artists Directory must submit links that are easily accessible without passwords or codes.

Work samples must support the selected discipline or medium (e.g., dancers must submit work sample video of dance performances only; musicians must submit work samples of musical performances only).

Work samples submitted for review must not exceed a total of 10 minutes for all work samples combined. Applicants may use full-length work samples as long as stop and start times are clearly indicated. Panelists are responsible for viewing no more than 10 minutes.

Work samples must have been completed within the past three, full calendar years (e.g., for the application deadline of March 15, 2023, eligible work must have been completed between Jan. 1, 2020, and March 15, 2023).

Work samples of applicants applying as solo performers must include at least one sample of the applicant performing solo. The remaining work samples must include the applicant as the lead performer.

Storytelling, theatre, dance applicants: Submit two or three video work sample links.

Music: Submit three work samples, including at least two video samples and no more than one audio sample.

All applicants: At least one video must be of a performance in front of a live audience. Each link must lead directly to the corresponding work sample. Do not include a page of links as a work sample. (A link to a specific video included on a webpage of samples is acceptable.) Work sample links requiring a password or other access information will not be viewed. Panelists will view only 10 minutes of all eligible work samples combined.

Narrative Responses

Applicants are required to respond to criteria about their performances, their experience working with presenting organizations, their current marketing processes and their goals for increasing those processes.

In addition to narrative responses, applicants must include a link to their electronic press kit and two professional-looking JPEG artist images.

Panel Meeting

A panel of arts professionals will review all applications according to the performance criteria. Keep in mind that panels may include out-of-state panelists who may be unfamiliar with the state’s organizations, artists and/or communities and prepare your application with this in mind.

Due to budget constraints, programs receiving fewer than five eligible applications will not receive a panel review. Applicants will be notified if a panel will not be convened and encouraged to apply at the next deadline.


There are no appeals in this program.

Program Agreement Form

Successful applicants will receive a Program Agreement Form, which will detail benefits and responsibilities as an adjudicated participant of the Performing Artists Directory. Successful applicants must agree to the terms, sign the form and return it to the arts council within 15 days if they choose to participate in the program.

For More Information

Stop by Zoom office hours to ask your questions about the Performing Artists Directory application on Mondays, Jan. 9, Feb. 6 and March 6 at 3 p.m. Eastern by going to https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86218942469?pwd=ZzZqR2lXQUxZcSs1WnVZTmZsWnFrUT09.

Register for the Zoom application webinar on Thursday, Feb. 15 , at 3 p.m. Eastern by going to https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcpf-ygrz4uEtLb3lmcekKsmBbawKw12Hct.


Tamara Coffey
Arts Program Grant Manager
888-833-2787 (toll free)

Page last updated: November 15, 2022
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