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About Us

Arts Midwest believes that creativity has the power to inspire and unite humanity. Based in Minneapolis, we grow, gather, and invest in creative organizations and communities throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, and beyond.

One of six nonprofit United States Regional Arts Organizations, our history spans more than 35 years. We are guided by a mission that centers creativity, leadership, and Midwestern communities, and by a set of values that are rooted in equity, trust, and learning.


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



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.

Our Commitment to Equity

As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, in August 2020, the Arts Midwest Board of Directors adopted the National Arts Strategies Racial Equity Principles as core guiding principles for our programs, strategies, and operations.

The NAS Racial Equity Principles were created by a global group of NAS Chief Executive Program alumni, including Arts Midwest President & CEO Torrie Allen. The principles were created to help the arts and culture field advance racial equity and are the product of a year-long effort of listening, writing, and refining. Learn more about these principles.

Strategic Plan

Arts Midwest is guided by a set of goals and strategies that seek to advance our programs, partnerships, and commitment to our region. Our planning process involves staff, board, member state arts agencies, and stakeholders across our programs.

We are currently developing a new strategic plan to shape our vision, programs, operations, and efforts for the coming ten years. That plan will launch in 2022. Download our 2018–2020 strategic plan to see the strategies that are currently guiding our work.


Arts Midwest’s partners and supporters include the National Endowment for the Arts, foundations, corporations, individual supporters, and our nine member state arts agencies, as well as the many artists and advisors who contribute to our programs and strategies.

Learn more about the partners and supporters that make our work possible.