It goes without saying that Arts Midwest has never experienced a year like 2020. As the year comes to a close, we wish to pause to express our deep gratitude for a few of the people who made this year possible.
Bottom: (L to R) Akwi Nij, Ry Macarayan, World Fest Online, Basak Notz
Like our friends and colleagues across the country, Arts Midwest’s programs, operations, and expectations were upended by both the global pandemic and a dire call for racial justice that began in our own backyard. We have only just started to reckon with all that this year has exposed about our societies, communities, and systems. Yet through these difficult times, our partners, grantees, and community have demonstrated a powerful resilience, agility, and optimism that has inspired and humbled the Arts Midwest family.
As we look back on a year like no other, we wish to pause, acknowledge those who helped make 2020 happen, and express our deep gratitude for their support, advice, and commitment to Midwestern creativity.
We especially wish to thank:
Our Resilience Fund Advisors
These 23 artists, arts leaders, and community members from across our region guided us through reviewing, discussing, and shaping our work around the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund. Thanks to the support and leadership of this group, Arts Midwest was able to distribute more than $3 million to 91 historically under resourced arts, culture, and creative organizations across the Midwest as they navigate the pandemic.
Our Resident Artists
The three artists piloting our We the Many program across the Midwest have helped us reimagine what it means to be an artist in residence this year when we can’t gather in person. We the Many takes Arts Midwest’s tried-and-true residency model further and invites communities to lead the planning, co-creation, and execution of a year-long artist residency. Read more about how one residency has unfolded in South Dakota, from afar, in this article.
The teams of videographers and editors in Israel, Brazil, and Japan, as well as the teams at Free Truth Media and Art Spark Texas, who helped to bring our World Fest program to communities across the region in an entirely new way this year. Watch the 12-part video series they helped us create featuring international ensembles Hikaru, Hadar Maoz, and Paulo Padilha e Bando here.
Our Partners and Colleagues
Our friends at Western Arts Alliance and their Native Launchpad, who joined us in collaboration to pivot our annual conference to a new space, test new ways of working together, and spend four days reimagining the future of the field with more than 1,800 artists and arts leaders across the world.
The creative, dedicated, and hard working Arts Midwest staff and board. While this year separated us from our daily office routines, our slightly broken toaster, and our beloved coffee club, it also inspired us to come together in new ways and it allowed us to welcome new members to our team. So Kayla Aubid, Alana Horton , John Kaiser, and Maria Vorhis , while we’ve never actually worked together in person – thank you for showing up, working hard, and joining the Arts Midwest family.