Home News & Events Call for Creatives: Join Our New Storytelling Initiative

Call for Creatives: Join Our New Storytelling Initiative

Arts Midwest is launching a new multimedia storytelling initiative that celebrates arts, creativity, and culture in our region. We believe that creativity is integrated in every part of everyone’s lives. Midwestern Creativity shows up in multitudes—in wonderful, diverse, and significant ways that are worth documenting, sharing, and amplifying through storytelling.

An integral part of this initiative is to build a community of creatives and collaborators across our nine-state region and the Native Nations that share this geography. In this first step, we are inviting a wide range of creatives—writers, photographers, videographers, illustrators, audio storytellers—to join our Midwest Creatives Pool. This network of creatives will be the first to hear of stories we are interested in commissioning!

We seek, embrace and value the insight of people reporting from their community, and are actively considering proximity to place and story subject in our commissioning process. This storytelling effort through Arts Midwest will emphasize on stories created of, by, and for people of color, Native communities, and rural communities. We hope our stories will inspire, connect, and catalyze creative communities, and help shift narratives and break stereotypes around Midwestern communities and identities.

If you are a creative invested in your community, the region and its peoples, fill out the form below and help us kick off this exciting initiative.

 

Join the Pool!

 

We will not bother you with too many emails, but you will receive a notification when there is a story of interest in your area. We will also go through submitted story pitches every other week and pursue ones that fit our editorial frame for commissioning. Our goal is to produce 50 pieces annually, including written pieces, videos, and podcasts.

Do you have questions about this storytelling initiative? Email our Managing Editor, Angela Zonunpari, at [email protected].

We are looking for stories that:

  • you are excited or inspired by, or want to tell a friend about
  • focus on people and their passion and inspirations, rather than just organizational perspectives
  • are rooted in community activation, cross pollination, and creative intersections between people 
  • expand the understanding of what it means to be a Midwesterner, and highlight diverse perspectives and identities, especially those in Native and rural communities
  • seek to celebrate what has happened, rather than inform the public about events that will happen
  • show examples of creativity beyond what might be shared in traditional arts coverage

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Do you pay creatives for stories you commission?

Yes! We pay $500 for a 1,500-word written piece. We also offer an additional budget if the same person is documenting the story with photography. For other media types, we will work with the creative on budget and scope.

When are you launching this initiative?

We will officially launch this initiative alongside our new website at the end of the year. So, there will be a new ‘Stories’ section in our navigation bar.

Can I pitch a story to Arts Midwest?

Yes! There is space in the form to share your story ideas or interest areas. You can also send your pitch to [email protected]

When will I be commissioned to do a story?

You will hear from us when there is a story of interest in your area. We will also go through submitted story pitches every other week and pursue ones that fit our editorial frame for commissioning.

Do I need to live in the Midwest to do a story?

We value the insight of people reporting from their community, and are actively considering proximity to place and story subject in our commissioning process. While we are currently only accepting pitches from our region’s nine states and the Native Nations making up that geography, we encourage anyone with a strong connection to the Midwest to submit their information to the pool for potential opportunities in the future.