Home Programs Arts Midwest Conference 2021 Program

2021 Program

Coming together as a community is more important than ever. Join us September 17-22 2021, as we navigate reopening and imagine the future we want to create.

A Call to Build Back Better

Our conversations will draw on the collective wisdom gained over the past year, exploring the role of the arts in advancing social and racial justice, and the challenges and opportunities of working in a new landscape.

Participate in timely discussions and workshops with field leaders and peers, connect with colleagues through thoughtful networking opportunities, and discover artists and tours through showcases and the Exhibit Hall 2.0.

We’ll take time to get to know one another and build and strengthen relationships so that reopening is not a return to normal, but a new beginning.


2021 Online Conference Schedule

We’ll begin with kick-off events the afternoon of Friday, September 17. Boomset, our virtual platform, will remain open for attendee exploration over the weekend, but no programming is planned. We’ll pick back up on Monday, September 20th with events planned through Wednesday afternoon, September 22. All times are in central. Schedule subject to change.


Friday, September 17

11:30am – 1:30pm Exhibit Hall 2.0 Preview Hours 
1:30 – 2:00 pm Welcome to the Arts Midwest 2021 Online Conference 
2:00 – 3:00 pm ‘Making New Connections’ networking event 
3:00 – 3:15 pm Break 
3:15 – 4:30 pm NEA Performing Arts Discovery (PAD) Showcases 
4:30 – 6:00 pm Independent Showcases 


Monday, September 20

10:30am – 11:00am ‘Making New Connections: The No-Work-Allowed Version!’ networking event 
11:00 am – 12:15 pm Opening Exploration: Artists as Community Builders & Changemakers
Featuring Midwest arts leaders Sarah Bellamy and Ken-Matt Martin 
12:15 – 12:30 pm Artist Break 
12:30 – 1:15 pm Conversations: peer-led, interactive discussions
Meeting People Where They’re At: Touring Outside Typical Arts Venues • Marketing + Audience Development in a New Era  
1:15 – 2:15 pm Exhibit Hall 2.0 
2:15 – 3:15 pm Workshops
People First: How to Create Equitable Workplaces • Imagining Digital Education Engagements 2.0: Big Questions and Best Practices
3:15 – 3:30 pm Break 
3:30 – 4:15 pm Identity-based Conversations (gathering spaces dedicated to only those who self-identity as members of the identity group) Black Voices • Indigenous Voices • People with Disabilities • Students
4:15 – 4:45 pm   Spotlight Showcases
4:45 – 6:15 pm Independent Showcases 


Tuesday, September 21

10:30 – 11:00am Meet the Presenter Networks 
11:00 – 12:30 pm Exhibit Hall 2.0 
12:30 – 1:15 pm Conversations: peer-led, interactive discussions
The Role of Artist Incubators in a Vibrant and Diverse Arts Ecosystem • Building Library Partnerships for Public Engagement
1:15 – 1:30 pm Break
1:30 – 2:30 pm Workshops
Making Artistic Cents: Collaborative Contracting & Taking Care of Each Other in These Uncertain Times • Beyond Ramps and Captions: Designing for Accessibility and Inclusion • Strengthening Your Fundraising During a Crisis  
2:30 – 2:45 pm Break 
2:45 – 3:30 pm Newly added networking event: Making New Connections: Pop Up Event!Identity-based Conversations (gathering spaces dedicated to only those who self-identity as members of the identity group) Latinx Voices • Asian/Pacific Islander Voices • LGBTQ+
3:30 – 4:15 pm Spotlight Showcases
4:15 – 5:45 pm Independent Showcases 


Wednesday, September 22

10:00 – 10:30am Self-Represented Artist Coffee Hour 
10:30 – 11:30am Workshops
Global to Local: New Models for Virtual & Hybrid Residencies • The Community You Keep: Audience Diversity in the Performing Arts and the Post-Pandemic Landscape • Up Your Advocacy: Supporting the Future of the Arts    
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Exhibit Hall 2.0
12:30 – 1:15 pm Conversations: peer-led, interactive discussions
Response, Resilience, and Reopening Resources for Small and Rural Arts Organizations • Rethinking Our Role: New Working Models for Independent Agents 
1:15 – 1:25  Artist Break 
1:30 – 2:45 pm Closing Exploration: After Reopening – Creating a Sustainable Touring Landscape
Featuring Gail Boyd (Moderator) • Kathryn Grabowski • Kendra Whitlock Ingram • Mary Jennings • Tobi Parks