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About Us


Arts Midwest promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives.

Our Programs and Services

A non-profit regional arts organization headquartered in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest serves audiences, arts organizations, and artists throughout the nine states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and beyond. Formed through the merger of the Affiliated State Arts Agencies of the Upper Midwest and the Great Lakes Arts Alliance, our history spans more than 30 years.

Over the years, Arts Midwest’s portfolio of programs has evolved to include performing, visual, and literary arts and leadership development initiatives that provide opportunities for communities to engage with arts and culture.

Recognizing the value of global activities to Midwest communities, Arts Midwest has worked with foreign governments and arts organizations on projects in Argentina, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Slovakia, and Turkey.

Our management of NEA National Initiatives extends the opportunities available to audiences in the Midwest while providing learning and networking opportunities to the entire United States.



We are on a journey to create more just and equitable ways of working. We commit to centering diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in our operations, programs, and relationships.


We believe Midwestern art and creativity are essential to the well-being and vibrancy of communities. We invest in and uplift efforts that use creativity to connect people, ideas, and solutions.

The Midwest

We care deeply about the communities we call home. We work hard to connect, support, and honor the people and places that compose our region.


We value learning, growing, and risk taking. We share what we learn with Midwestern artists and arts organizations to support them in being more visible, resilient, and sustainable.


We believe we are doing our best work when we listen and respond with empathy, humility, and authenticity. We approach our partners, communities, and each other with trust and accountability.

Strategic Plan

Arts Midwest periodically reviews our strategic direction and develops goals and strategies to guide us in our work. Our process involves staff, board, and our member state arts agencies in a comprehensive review of current programming and long term goals for new ventures across the Midwest. Download our 2018–2020 strategic plan to see a blueprint for our programs, operations, and evaluation processes for the next few years.


Arts Midwest’s partners and supporters include the National Endowment for the Arts, foundations, corporations, individual supporters, and our nine member state arts agencies — Illinois Arts Council Agency, Indiana Arts Commission, Iowa Arts Council, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Minnesota State Arts Board, North Dakota Council on the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, South Dakota Arts Council, and Wisconsin Arts Board.