Celebrating a new Arts Midwest World Fest season
The 2013–2015 season of Arts Midwest World Fest is upon us. Featuring ensembles from Israel, Québec, Brazil, and China, this season will tour to nine communities across the Midwest: Grand Forks, ND; Sisseton, SD; Bemidji, MN; Orange City, IA; Cumberland/Rice Lake/Barron/Shell Lake, WI; DeKalb, IL; Midland, MI; Hanover, IN; and Medina, OH.
Le Vent du Nord, from Québec, and Baladino, from Israel, kicked off their tours on September 22, and we are already receiving wonderful feedback from our community partners.
This was a redemptive event for some in the room … they sat rapt at every move and note unfolding before them.
— Sharon Carson, University of North Dakota
Top: Yonnie Dror, of Baladino, performs at DeKalb High School, DeKalb, IL. Photo by Eric Young Smith. Bottom: Students at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Grand Forks, ND learn foot drumming from members of Le Vent du Nord. Photo by Shigeyo Henriquez.
2013 Arts Midwest Conference a Texas-sized success
The annual Arts Midwest Conference was held September 9–12 in Austin, Texas, with the highest registration numbers in recent years. The 1,001 attendees made the most of the four-day event, including:
- Taking in the views of downtown Austin and enjoying some festive food truck fare at the Opening Party;
- Getting down to business with more than 200 live performances, a wide range of professional development offerings, and a Marketplace buzzing with conversation;
- Hearing keynote speaker Ray Benson’s inspiring accounts of keeping his band, Asleep at the Wheel, on the road for more than 40 years;
- Learning how Allison Orr (artistic director of Forklift Danceworks) is making the arts accessible to new audiences; and
- Kicking up our heels and conquering the mechanical bull at the Closing Party.
We wish to extend a special thank you to everyone who made this year’s Conference such a success, including our co-chairs, sponsors, mentors, professional development session leaders, volunteers, and Board of Directors.
Keynote speaker Ray Benson with, left to right, Conference Co-chairs Anne Black and Jeff Laramie, Arts Midwest Vice President Susan Chandler, and President & CEO David Fraher. Photo by Tiffany Rodgers.
To see more images from this year’s Conference, visit www.flickr.com/artsmidwest.
Bringing jazz legends to American communities
We are thrilled to share the following update from Willard Jenkins, our senior advisor for NEA Jazz Masters Live, as he provides insight into the history of this important national program:
Since its 1982 inception, the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters awards have been the highest honor this nation bestows upon individual living jazz masters for lifetime achievement.
When former NEA Chair Dana Gioia was appointed in 2003, he committed the agency to raising the profile of this honor. His efforts included increasing the number of annual awards from three to six Masters, escalating the monetary recognition from $20,000 to $25,000 per Master, and enhancing the annual awards ceremony from being part of the annual jazz education conference to a grand and eagerly-anticipated Jazz at Lincoln Center presentation and webcast.
During this reframing, the NEA also sought to bring NEA Jazz Masters to communities across the country for programs extending beyond performance. Thus the NEA Jazz Masters Live grants were born. Working in partnership with Arts Midwest, these grants enable performing arts organizations across the country to engage NEA Jazz Masters in ways that make them broadly available to communities—including residencies, commissions, and other extended presenter-artist collaborations.
We are proud to manage this program and to announce the recipients of the 2013–2014 NEA Jazz Masters Live grants and the Masters they will present:
- Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington, VT): Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, and Benny Golson
- The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC): Bobby Hutcherson, Wayne Shorter, and McCoy Tyner
- Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, University of Idaho (Moscow, ID): Benny Golson, Eddie Palmieri, and Sheila Jordan
- Monterey Jazz Festival (Monterey, CA): Lou Donaldson, Bobby Hutcherson, and Wayne Shorter
- New Mexico Jazz Festival, Outpost Productions (Albuquerque, NM): Jack DeJohnette
- SF Jazz (San Francisco, CA): Eddie Palmieri
For a complete listing of NEA Jazz Masters selected since 1982, and to learn how you might nominate your favorite jazz master, visit www.nea.gov/honors/jazz.
ArtsLab continues to strengthen arts organizations
Now halfway through the 2012–2014 cycle, ArtsLab is busy supporting 15 arts organizations across Minnesota and North Dakota. From peer learning retreats, to online training, to in-depth mentorship, we are challenging participating arts leaders to think deeply about their role in their communities, explore their leadership style, and sharpen their strategic thinking.
In late September, the group gathered for an in-depth workshop that explored revenue models, leadership and infrastructure, pricing, and capitalization. The weekend also included a gathering of ArtsLab alumni, representing organizations that participated in ArtsLab as early as 2000. More than 50 individuals joined us for this event, sharing stories and exploring possibilities to collaborate on future projects.
Thanks to special arrangements with our funding partners, ArtsLab is offering $20,000 grants to participating organizations for projects that advance their strategic direction. Diverse in scope, these projects include:
- Marketing, communications, branding, and data management
- Human resource development
- Program expansion
- Curriculum development
- A community development project focused on building an art park in downtown Jamestown, North Dakota.
Mu Performing Arts staff and board members at the May strategy retreat at St. Mary’s University. Photo by Angie Keeton.
New website for The Big Read
The Big Read launched a redesigned website on August 1. The new look emphasizes the beautiful book cover art of each title and features quick links to important resources for teachers and community members.
Visit the updated site to learn more about the program, find events near you, and discover the three new book titles added this year. If you are a library or other literary nonprofit, be on the lookout for the 2014–2015 application, which will be available sometime this month.
The Business Committee for the Arts, a program of Americans for the Arts, recently released a report with good news for the arts community. The BCA National Survey of Business Support for the Arts surveyed 600 companies and found that support for the arts by U.S. businesses increased 18% between 2009 and 2012.
Survey for the Midwest presenting and touring industry
If you are a presenting organization in the Midwest, an artist who tours the Midwest, or a manager or agent who represents artists who tour in our region, please consider taking our survey about the Arts Midwest Touring Fund. Your responses will help us to learn more about performing arts engagements in our region, and how best to serve our constituents across the Midwest.