Apply to Perform

2025 Season Performance and Grant Application Cycle

The Miller Theatre Advisory Board, Inc. (MTAB) is charged by City Ordinance with the responsibility for allocating Hotel Occupancy Tax revenues and other funds to performing arts and cultural organizations in order to conduct an annual season of free performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Applicants who wish to be considered to perform at Miller Outdoor Theatre must use the application form provided on the Miller Outdoor Theatre website. Applicants selected to perform during the season will enter into a Performance Grant Agreement with MTAB. 

MTAB welcomes inquiries and applications from qualified non-profit performing arts or community organizations that meet our Core Values as outlined below.

Application Information

Program Guidelines
MTAB CORE VALUES FOR PROGRAMS AND SUPPORTING POLICIES AT MILLER OUTDOOR THEATRE (MOT) 

 

All applicants are evaluated based on the following: 

(1)  QUALITY is our foremost consideration in selecting performances for the Miller stage. 

Performances shall be of professional caliber. While MTAB appreciates the crucial role that civic and emerging arts organizations play in the city’s cultural fabric, MTAB’s commitment is to present the finest, most professional performances available. 

(2)  We are committed to serving the many DIVERSE communities of Houston. 

Programs with cross-over, multi-cultural and multi-generational appeal are particularly encouraged. 

(3)  We support performances with BROAD, POPULAR APPEAL. 

The vastness of the Miller stage and audience area demands that MTAB select performances which will attract a sizeable audience and also promote cultural tourism. MTAB appreciates the fact that many performances, while of a generally accepted “excellent” artistic quality, are nonetheless of a limited audience appeal. MTAB believes such performances should be presented in more suitable, intimate spaces rather than at a venue as large as MOT.   Conversely, performances with an anticipated attendance of more than 6,000 per night would be more suitable for a venue larger than MOT.    

(4)  We expect a high level of ACCOUNTABILITY. 

MTAB funds selected performances on the Miller stage, produced/presented by non-profit organizations who follow sound business practices, regardless of their budget size. MTAB expects Producing Partners to follow the rules and regulations of the grant process and of the theatre facility as well as any policies communicated by MTAB. Producing Partners not in compliance may face reduction and/or elimination of future funding. 

(5)  We fund programs that are COST-EFFECTIVE in audience reach. 

Although quality is the number one consideration for performances at Miller, MTAB also pays close attention to the program’s cost for audience reached by measuring “per capita” yield for MTAB funds.  A Producing Partner whose event’s per capita funding exceeds average per caps for similar events may find future funding reduced or eliminated. MTAB supports each performance by marketing the entire Miller Outdoor Theatre season through the website, printed materials, earned and paid media, however the Producing Partner is expected to contribute to the marketing of their show by providing marketing assets and investing in other marketing and media strategies. 

All performance proposals will be weighed in relation to MTAB’s 2025 strategic program goals: 

  • Audience Development and Outreach – To contribute to Houston’s creative economy by building current and future audiences, with focus on (but not limited to) younger adults (-60), diverse cultural heritage, disability, and economic status.  
  • Cultural Tourism/Impact – To produce quality entertainment and arts programming that attracts visitors to Houston and supports the City’s efforts in increasing tourism to our area.  
  • Creative Economy – To support local arts organizations and city leadership in building the local creative economy by investing in local talent, local labor, and local organizations. 
  • Impact – To invest in programs that have the maximum amount of impact possible on our community, cultural landscape, creative workforce, and economy. 
Application Requirements
APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS 

 

Applications are submitted using the link that will be found at the top of this page during the application period.

  • Please select the form that applies to your category (Evening Performances, Weekday Matinees) 
  • To save and return to complete your application, make sure to click the SAVE AND RETURN button to create an account. 
  • Please provide complete answers beneath the question heading. Do not answer any question by referencing an attached document (ie: “See attached)”. 
  • No applications will be accepted from any prior Producing Partner who has outstanding reports or payments due to MTAB. 

 

COMPLETION OF “PROJECTED PROGRAM EXPENSES” WORKSHEETS 

Please fill out to the best of your knowledge. Include only true out-of-pocket expenses. Do not include in-kind expenses. 

Please note that only activities related to the performance on the Miller Outdoor Theatre main stage should be included as program expenses. Admission may not be charged at Miller Outdoor Theatre. 

If you have a contractual obligation to pay artists extra if the performance is livestreamed, please include those costs where noted in the Projected Program Expenses worksheet. MTAB will determine whether or not those added costs will be covered in the Grant. 

 

FUNDING AWARD 

Recipients/Producing Partners will receive a Performance Grant to cover the cost of the proposed production and marketing the event. Recipients do not need to provide matching funds, however, should the Performance Grant amount not cover all production costs, recipient will need to supplement with other funds/sponsorships. MTAB will cover the cost of rent, Miller Outdoor Theatre crew and IATSE contracted labor (if needed), security, ushers and tickets. 

 

FINANCIAL DOCUMENTATION 

An IRS determination letter is required with the funding application, in addition to a financial statement. Organizations will also be asked to disclose annual operating amount, and project budget using provided template. 

 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
Please provide at least TWO and up to FOUR supporting materials. These materials are critical for new applicants) Accepted materials:
  • Photos of proposed production or prior performances produced by organization.
  • Link to video clips/reel of proposed production or prior performances produced by the organization.
  • PDFs of marketing and outreach materials related to performances.
  • Other supplemental materials or links to reflect the quality and style of the work by applicant.
  • DO NOT UPLOAD VIDEO FILES. Please only provide links to videos in the space below.

 

PAYMENT PROCEDURES 

 

Performance Producing Partner may request 50% of the fee no sooner than 45 days prior to performance date. No later than 30 days following completion of the performance and/or live streamed Broadcast Period, Performance Producing Partner will provide in digital format Final Reports as required by MTAB substantially in the form attached hereto as Exhibit A.1 and A.2. Balance due Performance Producing Partner will be paid after receipt of said report. 

Timely payments of advances and finals due to Performance Producing Partner are dependent upon MTAB’s receipt of Hotel Occupancy Tax Funds. Delays can occur. 

 

HELP WITH THE APPLICATION 

 

For questions regarding the funding process, required documentation, or payment procedures, please contact MTAB Director of Finance and Operations Reg Burns at (832) 487-7119, [email protected] 

For questions concerning available dates or artistic criteria, contact Managing Director Claudia de Vasco at (832) 487-7127, [email protected] 

For questions related to technical aspects of the proposed production, Managing Director Claudia de Vasco at (832) 487-7127, [email protected] 

Use the Application preview PDFs below to prepare your application. DO NOT FILL THESE OUT TO SUBMIT.

What We Fund
PROGRAMS THAT MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR FUNDING 

MTAB accepts applications for the following types of programs at Miller Outdoor Theatre: 

THEATRE – projects or organizations which present or produce theatre or musical theatre. 

MUSIC – projects or organizations that produce or present classical music, new music, contemporary music, chamber music, early music, jazz music, non-classical music, blues, and popular music including orchestras, opera companies, vocal ensembles, concert bands, etc. 

DANCE – projects or organizations which support dance performances including ballet, modern and avant-garde, ballet folklorico, folk, ethnic, and jazz dance styles, historical dance companies, and collectives of individual choreographers. 

FOLK ART – projects and organizations that present traditional performing arts that enhance public understanding of these traditions to help to sustain the vitality of the performing arts heritage. 

MULTIDISCIPLINARY – projects and organizations that fuse or transcend distinct performing art disciplines and present a balance of events in two or more performing art forms. 

FESTIVALS – MTAB is not accepting applications for any new festivals. Only festivals funded in 2023 may re-apply. Festival funding by MTAB pertains only to the performances on the Miller Outdoor Theatre main stage. No activities may begin prior to 6:00 pm. No vendor booths are allowed. 

WHAT WILL NOT BE FUNDED 

MTAB does not fund the following: 

  • Administrative expenses. 
  • Activities that do not take place on the MOT main stage. 
  • Photography and / or video of your MOT performance. Only expenses related to the pre-performance marketing of your event are eligible. 
  • Programs whose primary purpose is religious or political. 

Exception: religious organizations or groups closely affiliated with religious organizations would be eligible to receive funding if the following conditions are met: 

  • The primary effect of the performance neither advances nor inhibits religion; 
  • The performance does not promote one religion over another, and 
  • The performance is open to the general public. 
Review Process and Scoring Criteria
REVIEW PROCESS 

 

  1. Applications will be reviewed by the MTAB Managing Director and the Programming Committee of the Board, which includes Board members and select MOT/MTAB team members/staff. 
  2. If the Committee has questions, applicant may be called to provide clarification/explanation.
  3. MTAB board members will not participate in the review of applicants with which they have a conflict of interest.

 

Applications are scored utilizing the following weighted system:

 

Artistic Merit (40%), Capability (30%), Impact (30%) 

Each round will be reviewed by a different group belonging to the Programming Committee: Miller Theatre Advisory Board Members (Round 1) and MOT/MTAB staff (Round 2). Final curation of the season by the Managing Director will consider both rounds of scores relative to each other, so applicants may not need to score high in both rounds to be offered a performance spot. MTAB considers date availability, production needs, impact on the park and venue, and other additional factors when curating the season of performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre. MTAB Board of Directors approves the season lineup. 

Decisions and Allocations of MTAB are final. Recipients will receive a Letter of Intent for funding before issuing formal contract. MTAB reserves the right to alter or rescind funding prior to issuance of formal contract. 

 

2025 Application Deadline

Online Application Period: July 8, 2024 – Friday, July 26, 2024, 5:30pm. No applications will be accepted beyond that point.
 
Please note: Our 2025 Season will be shorter due to construction that begins at Miller in Fall of 2025. The current date range for performances is March 28, 2025-October 4, 2025.
If you have any questions, please send a message by selecting “Programming” in the drop-down menu on the contact page.
Producing at Miller Info Session

Thursday, June 20, 1pm – Topics include information on technical capacity, rehearsal/load-in and performance schedules, production support staff, etc. If you aren’t able to attend, fill out the registration forms above and select the option to have the recorded Zoom video sent to you.

REGISTER HERE

Grant Application and Program Info Session

Tuesday, June 25, 1pm – Topics include review of new application process and grant agreement, payment schedule/reporting, ticket and other non-performance policies, marketing. If you aren’t able to attend, fill out the registration forms above and select the option to have the recorded Zoom video sent to you.

REGISTER HERE

The following General Eligibility Requirements pertain to all applicant organizations: 

  • Applicants must have been in operation for at least one full year as a tax-exempt, charitable organization under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Applicant must be able to produce financial statements showing activity for the most recently completed fiscal year, and a recent 990 filing with the IRS before the funding application deadline. 
  • Governed by a Board of Directors that meets regularly; 
  • Provides programs open to the general public; 
  • Admission may not be charged at Miller Outdoor Theatre. 

Do You Love Miller?
We Can’t do it without you!

Gifts and Contributions made to Miller Theatre Advisory Board, Inc. support programming and theatre activities that assist in enhancing the audience and producer experience and help keep performances free.