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Arts Midwest 2020-21 Annual Report


A Year of Resilience

In 2020, Arts Midwest celebrated its 35th anniversary. For 35 years, we have served artists, audiences, and arts organizations across our region and beyond. We have produced tours and exhibitions, supported arts leaders, and brought communities together to experience creativity.

We reached this anniversary milestone in a year that was like no other in our history. Communities across the world are suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Arts organizations and artists have been deeply impacted by shuttered venues, travel restrictions, and social distancing. And in May of 2020, the city of Minneapolis, where Arts Midwest is headquartered, became the epicenter of a long- overdue racial justice awakening catalyzed by the murder of George Floyd in the hands of the police.

The work needed to rebuild and renew the creative sector is humbling. Yet the resilience of our region inspires us in this time of unprecedented difficulty. People are drawing on art and creativity to heal, connect, and move forward.

Strong communities need strong partners. For this recovery to succeed, we must work together to renew and rebuild. Arts Midwest is committed to supporting a creative and equitable Midwest – now and for the next 35 years.

Thank you for joining us on this journey.

Torrie Allen
President & CEO
Peter Capell
Board Chair


Download the 2020-21 Annual Report PDF

Design by Nupolitan (Fargo, ND)


Our Mission

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 Region

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.


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.


The Midwest

We work hard to connect, support, and honor the people and places that compose our region.



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.



Arts Midwest was created from the merger of two regional arts organizations
Launched the Jazz Program, a large-scale effort encouraging and recognizing jazz music and musicians


Created the Minority Arts Administration Fellowship and welcomed five inaugural fellows


Hosted the first annual Arts Midwest Conference in Minneapolis, MN


Began a 21-year partnership with artists and cultural leaders in China


Launched the first season of World Fest, which has since toured 33 international ensembles to 76 Midwestern communities


Partnered with the Arts Endowment to distribute recovery grants during the Great Recession


Launched Creating Connection, a research and training initiative that helps arts leaders deepen community relevance


Founding President & CEO David Fraher stepped down and Torrie Allen was named President & CEO


Distributed resilience and recovery funds to Midwest arts organizations to help them weather the COVID-19 pandemic


Click the circles to read stories from the year


2021 Annual Report

Community Voices

Hearing from the field

Creative Healing

Creative CityMaking Creative Respond Fund

Crisis Support

United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund

COVID Convening

Arts Midwest Conference

Cultures Connect

World Fest Goes the Distance

In Memoriam

Colleen McLaughlin



Thank you to our partners and supporters

Government + State Arts Agencies

National Endowment for the Arts
Illinois Arts Council Indiana Arts Commission Iowa Arts Council
Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs Minnesota State Arts Board North Dakota Council on the Arts
Ohio Arts Council South Dakota Arts Council Wisconsin Arts Board
US Department of State City of Minneapolis Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission
Quebec Government Office in Chicago

Corporations + Foundations

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Bush Foundation Barr Foundation
Margaret A. Cargill Foundation The McKnight Foundation 3M
Kaufman Family Fund for Israeli Cultural Exchange Japan Foundation Crane Group
McDermott Will & Emery Howard B. & Ruth F. Brin Jewish Arts Endowment, a fund of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation's Foundation BNSF Railway Foundation
United Health Group


July 1, 2019 to present

Anonymous Donor*  Luanne Fondell  Lynn Lucius  Anne Romens and Christopher Hill 
Veronica Ahern  David Fraher Emma Lumsden  Jennifer Ross 
Torrie Allen  Claire Frederick  Marc Lyon  Laura Ross 
Julie Amsberry  Alison Mara Friedman  Alex Mallett  Sara Rowley 
Emily Anderson and Danaca Booth  Jeannette Gardner  Emily Maltz and Jean-Michel Artigaud*  Omari Rush 
Larry Baill and Susan Colby  Judy Gaviser  Sheila and Joe Markley  Abby and Orin Rutchick 
Mr. Jordan Bandy  Margaret Genovese  Lee Marks  Mukta Sathe 
Lemuel Bardeguez  Tanya MB Gertz  Kymm and Ivan Martinez  Sandra Schoeder 
Jack and Kathleen Barlow  Teresa Glasgow  David Mayeri  Mary Margaret Schoenfeld and David Low 
Catherine Barnett  Karen and Norman Goeschko  Sarah McCarthy  Darr Schreurs 
Flávia Bastos and Larry Huston  Brian Goesl  Peg McDonald  Dana Setterholm and Antonio Spargo 
Marc Baylin  Anne Gossett  Barbara McLaughlin*  Kathleen Sewell 
Jodi Beach and Jim McDowell  Emily Gutknecht  Colleen McLaughlin  Emily Stiehl 
Alan Becker  Clay and Sandy Haapala  Rene and Christoph Meyer-Grimberg  Beth Strachan 
Ragnar Berthling  Ken and Catherine Haarstad  Charlotte Michalski  Kitty Strauss and Dick Rosenthal 
Rebecca Biderman  Dave Haist  Tod Minnich  Nico Taranovsky and Sharon Preves 
Anne Black  Lindsay Hanson  Joel Mintzer and Heidi Schneider  Tammy Tesky Ausen* 
Emma Bohmann  Alex Hargis, dedicated to Gracie girl, Evie cat and Lucasaurus  Bonnie Monte  Anna Thompson 
Brian and Kaija Bonde  Nancy Harold  Bonnie Morris and Dean Holzman  Brian Tiemann 
Ruth Brennan  Matthew Harris  Michael and Marci Moses  Megan and Ryan Torkelson 
Joi A. Brown  Stacy Harrison  Ms. Daniela Muller  George and Maria Tzougros 
Chelsea Brown and Brandon Herz  Steve Heath  Daniel Murphy  Angela and Grant Urbanz 
Ann Brusky  Janet Herman Barlow  Chaitra Nagaraja  Diane Veale, in honor of LuCille V Tack 
Peter Capell  Stan and Jane Hooper  Alexandra Nicholis Coon  Michael Vinson 
Ken Carlson and Lara Roberts  Alana Horton  Jenny Palmer  Jan Virgin 
Susan Chalmers Gauvin  Craig Howe, in memory of Philip Allen  Michael Pangburn  Greg Volan and Katarina Topalov 
Susan Chandler  Victoria Hutter  Joseph Patti  Saymoukda Vongsay, in memory of Sanouthith Vongsay 
Richard Chandler and Heidi Pankoke  Yumi Inomata and Karl H. Nilsson*  Ashleigh Penrod  Jo and Bob Wagner 
Tony L. Chauveaux  Yumi Inomata, in memory of Juro Inomata  Adam Perry  Stanley Wai and Gayle Jorgens 
Libby Chiu  Linda E. Johnson  Jasper Person  Melissa Wales 
Sandra Clark  Brenda Lee Johnston  Mary Pickard  Matthew Wallace 
Nina Clark  Joshua Kane  Rhoda Pierce  Ginger Warner 
Donna Collins  Sylvia Kaufman  Steve and Arlene Pine  Alison Watson 
Alex Cousins  Bob and Fay Kay  Mollie Quinlan-Hayes  Janine Webb 
Loann Crane  Moira Keane and Thomas L. Romens  Ashwini Ramaswamy  Jim Weiner 
Joshua Davis-Ruperto  Thomas Keegan  Angela Ramey  Alexis Wesling 
Leni De Mik  Grace Kelmer  Kirk Randolph  Todd Wetzel 
Shantel Dow  Jill and Bill Klanderman  Leslie Rapp  Chris Widdess 
Steve Duchrow and Janet Berkes  Margot H Knight  Jane and John Rasmussen  Anya Wilkening 
Darlene Dulitz  Jeff Laramie – SRO Artists  Barbara Rawley and Dan Nordby  Sally Windle 
Craig Dunn*  Andrea Larsen and Bill Youmans  Kyle Ridout  Pernille Wollan 
Kat Duvic  Daniel Lawrence  Jonathan Riehle and Angela M. Bohmann  Kyoko Yoshida 
Susan Feder and Todd Gordon  Wayne Lawson  Barbara S. Robinson 
Marlene Feldman  Sherri Leathers  Betsy Roder 
Ken and Penny Fischer  Irene Lee, The Mystical Arts of Tibet Sharon Rodning Bash 
Gerry Foley  Patti Liberatore  Eric R. Rogers

* Donations given in honor of Colleen McLaughlin