In response to the pandemic, Arts Midwest and Western Arts Alliance (WAA) combined teams, resources, and imaginations to create an innovative four-day virtual event for the performing arts field. On October 6-9, the Arts Midwest + WAA 2020 Conference brought together over 1,800 performing arts professionals to hear from thought leaders, gather new ideas, connect with colleagues, and map a way forward.
This year’s Conference demanded a different approach to tackle the questions on all our minds:
- How do we move forward amidst a pandemic?
- How can we work together to combat systemic racism in our organizations and communities?
- How do we want the future of the performing arts to look?
Each day of the Conference centered a specific theme that shaped the day’s professional development programming. Day 1: Invitation–Coming Together Again & Anew welcomed attendees to process the last eight months and share what it means to be performing arts professionals in today’s world. Day 2: Motivation–Calls for Change addressed several of the challenges facing the field. Day 3: Inspiration–Response & Innovation focused on new partnerships and collaborations within the virtual landscape. Day 4: Reimagination–Building a New Future Together invited attendees to envision the future of the field and to reinvest in our collective purpose.
By the Numbers
- 1,824 individuals (346 Artists, 459 Agents + Managers, 671 Presenters, 348 Administrators + Creatives)
- 54 states and U.S. territories and 22 countries represented
- 64 professional development sessions
- 140 speakers
- 114 panel-selected & independent showcase performances