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Apply to help us plan the 2021 Conference

We’re creating three opportunities to be involved in Conference planning and welcome your application! Applications are due April 6th, 2021.

Professional Development session at the 2019 Arts Midwest Conference. Photo by Terry Gilliam.

The Arts Midwest Conference is a place for performing arts professionals who create, present, and tour performances across the Midwest and beyond to connect, learn, and celebrate the creativity that keeps us moving forward. We know the touring field is ever-evolving, as are your needs. How we gather and what we choose to gather around are more important than ever.

In anticipation of the 2021 virtual Conference, we are creating three opportunities to be involved in Conference planning:


Gathering Advisors

The Gathering Advisors will guide long-term visioning for the Conference, starting with the 2021 online Conference, and building toward future in-person convenings. Gathering Advisors will be creative, big-picture thinkers who are passionate about the performing arts and value the Conference as a place to build connections with colleagues, explore new ideas, and uplift the work we all do together.

  • This newly formed advisory group will be composed of 8-10 members who will help us get started in reimagining how we center relationships and equitable practice in our work, discover and support artists, and develop opportunities for more meaningful connections both “on-site” and after the Conference. The advisory group will be committed to exploring who the Conference serves and how our gathering and planning can be more representative of the field.
  • Virtual meetings will be discussion-based, and collaborative. Advisors will participate in monthly 90-minute virtual planning meetings (to be scheduled Monday-Friday during day-time work hours) between April-October 2021 and attend the virtual Conference in mid-September (term ends in October 2021). The goals and priorities established by the Gathering Advisors will inform a separate Professional Development Committee.
  • As compensation for your time, selected advisors will receive comped individual registration to the 2021 Conference and a $200 honorarium.



Professional Development Committee

The Professional Development Committee will shape educational programming for the 2021 online Conference. Committee members will be knowledgeable on current issues and industry trends and passionate about community building through education. Virtual meetings will be discussion-based and members will be asked to generate Conference themes, review session proposals, and recommend speakers and sessions.

  • The committee will be composed of 10-12 members who will participate in 90-minute virtual planning meetings (to be scheduled Monday-Friday during day-time work hours) between April-August, 2021, engage in small working group conversations between meetings, attend the virtual Conference in mid-September, and participate in a wrap-up call in October. Term ends in October 2021.
  • As compensation for your time, selected committee members will receive comped individual registration to the 2021 Conference and a $200 honorarium.



Showcase Panel

The Showcase Panel will strive to select high-quality groups from a pool of applicants, ranging from solo artists to ensembles representing a variety of disciplines, to showcase at the 2021 online Conference. Showcases selected by the panel provide artists with space to introduce their work to Conference attendees in a virtual setting.

  • Panelists will be passionate about artist discovery and elevating new work that celebrates diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Guided by a set of criteria, panelists will use critical knowledge and relevant experience in both individual review and group discussion to rank and collectively curate the final selection of artists.
  • The panel will convene fully online and the process will begin with an orientation meeting later in the Spring. Individual review will take approximately 10-15 hours over the course of four weeks, and the group review portion requires 10 hours over three days. The process is confidential and led by a panel chair and staff.
  • This role requires access to a computer, a stable internet connection, and the ability to review, score, and give written comments on applications. To view streaming videos and digital materials, an ethernet connection (not WIFI) is preferred.
  • As compensation for your time, selected panelists will receive comped individual registration to the 2021 Conference and a $300 honorarium. Those who have served on the panel in past are not eligible to apply.
  • Updated information on showcases at the 2021 Conference will be coming soon via email and our website.



Arts Midwest is committed to making the Conference and planning processes inclusive and reflective of the diversity in lived experiences of the field it serves. We are specifically interested in garnering input from individuals who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and/or under 35, and will also be considering applicant’s profession (presenter, artist, agent, manager, producer, etc.), chosen discipline (dance, music, theatre, etc.), and type of community (urban, rural, suburban).

Selected committee members agree to represent the field and serve in an objective capacity without expectation of self-promotion for themselves or those they represent. Priority will be given to those who have not served on Arts Midwest Conference committees in the past. Applicants who are not selected will be kept on file for future consideration.

Applications are due April 6, 2021


Apply Now


Questions? Reach us at [email protected].