Home Programs Arts Midwest Conference Showcases


Showcases provide artists with a forum to present their work to Conference attendees with the goal of connecting with presenting organizations and planting the seeds for future collaborations.

Spotlight Showcases

The Arts Midwest 2021 Online Conference features 10 incredible artists who were selected by the 2020 Spotlight Showcase panel process and chose to defer their showcase to this year. Between high energy percussive acts and infectious Brazilian guitar tunes, you’re sure to find something you like and leave inspired!

Spotlight Showcases will air on the evenings of Monday, September 20 and Tuesday, September 21, on the virtual Conference platform, Boomset. Performances will be viewable after the initial airing.


Meet the Artists



Independent Showcases

Independent showcasing encourages artist discovery for artists at any stage in their career to showcase via video on the virtual Conference platform. Whether emerging, new to developing your career, or established, tour-ready artists are encouraged to apply. Deadline to apply is July 30. All applications will be entered into a lottery to fill the 90 available spots. Selected artists/ensembles will be notified of their status by early August.


Learn More


All artists participating in Independent Showcases need to register individually or be affiliated with a registered organization.


Performing Arts Discovery (PAD) Showcases

The National Endowment for the Arts Performing Arts Discovery program first launched in 2015 to help promote U.S. artists to international programmers, festival directors, and venue managers.

In May 2021, the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and Western Arts Alliance (WAA) announced a virtual international showcase opportunity for performing artists as a part of this year’s PAD program. There are two opportunities this year:

Applications were due June 25 for this opportunity. A PAD committee will select 10 artists to showcase virtually at this year’s Western Arts Alliance and Arts Midwest Conferences. Artists/ensembles selected to perform at this year’s Conference will be announced in late summer 2021. Applications were open to all U.S. based performing artists with readiness to tour internationally. Those who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of color, and LGBTQ+ were encouraged to apply.

Later this year a second round will seek an additional 20 artists and ensembles for additional showcase opportunities. Stay tuned for more information this fall

All 30 groups will also be featured on a dedicated platform and included in selected international online showcases.


Meet the Round 1 Artists