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Play a role curating the 2018 Spotlight Showcases

Nominate yourself or a colleague for the panel

We are looking for presenters, managers/agents, and self-represented artists with a strong background in the performing arts, including experience with dance, music, family programming, theater, and variety. Panelists are responsible for reviewing promotional materials and work samples, and the panel convenes in Minneapolis for three days in April 2018 to select who will showcase at the Arts Midwest Conference.

Submit your nomination


Doolin’, a French band rooted in the Celtic tradition, performs a Spotlight Showcase at the Davidson Theatre in Columbus, Ohio during the 2017 Conference. Photo by Terry Gilliam.

An unparalleled way to preview new work or to gain exposure for an artist

Spotlight Showcases at the Arts Midwest Conference strive to present high-quality artists from a pool of national and international applicants representing dance, music, theater, variety, and family programming, ranging from large ensembles to solo artists. Spotlight Showcases provide artists and ensembles with a forum for presenting work to a large, diverse audience in a professional setting, and offer attendees from the Conference’s 15-state region the opportunity to experience a wide range of performances.


Rob Torres and his one-man visual comedy show performs a Spotlight Showcase at the Davidson Theatre. Photo by Terry Gilliam.

An enormous task

Panelists serve as expert advisors to staff and review, score, and comment on all Spotlight Showcase applications. Arts Midwest depends on the panel’s recommendations and expects panelists to make confidential, fair, and consistent decisions. Arts Midwest views the decisions made as panel decisions, not individual decisions.

The review process is not open to applicants. Conference staff and the panel chair provide support to the process, but cannot vote, participate in discussions, or provide personal opinions on applicants.


A Moving Sound offered artistic reinterpretation of music from the Far East at their Spotlight Showcase. Photo by Terry Gilliam.

Panel objectives

  • Review applications, promotional materials, and work samples in a fair and equitable manner.
  • Provide useful and constructive feedback based on stated criteria.
  • Recommend applicants based on artistic quality who represent a diversity of artistic disciplines and genres.
  • Ensure that no more than two artists/ensembles represented by the same agency/management are recommended.
  • Recommend alternates in the event an artist/ensemble is not able to accept the showcase.

Submit your nomination


The Quebe Sisters, a trio rooted in traditional Texas and American music, perform during the 2017 Conference. Photo by Terry Gilliam.