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About Showcases

Live performances are an essential part of the Conference and an important step in bringing arts to audiences. Performing at the Conference is an effective way to give presenters a glimpse of your or your artists’ work in person, showing them something they can’t get on a DVD or YouTube video.

Spotlight Showcases

Spotlight Showcases provide artists and ensembles with a forum for presenting work to a large, diverse audience in a professional setting, and offer attendees the opportunity to experience a wide range of performances. Arts Midwest strives to present high-quality artists selected from a pool of national and international applicants representing dance, music, theater, variety, and family programming, ranging from large ensembles to solo artists. An integral part of the Conference, the panel-selected artists/ensembles each present a 15-minute performance and gain main stage exposure to potential presenters and audiences.


The deadline has passed. New applications are no longer being accepted for 2018.

I Want To Showcase is a collaboration of over a dozen performing arts conferences. It offers a streamlined application system that saves artists wishing to showcase both time and money.

Download the Application Guide

Review the application guide before starting online. This guide will take you through each section of the I Want to Showcase application to help you prepare the information you need to provide. The website allows you to save your work and return to it multiple times prior to submission. Be sure to review the guidelines and recommendations for video work samples.

There is a non-refundable fee required for each submitted application, payable by credit card only.

Deadline: Thursday, March 1 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time.


Performing artists/ensembles with the capacity to tour are eligible to apply. Those who were awarded a Spotlight Showcase at the 2015 (Kansas City), 2016 (Milwaukee), or 2017 (Columbus) Arts Midwest Conference are not eligible to apply this year.

Applications are only complete when the online application is submitted and the fee is received. There is a limit of one application per artist/ensemble and its corresponding individual members.

Those selected to showcase must:

  • Pay a $800 fee to help defray production costs.
  • Be available on Thursday, September 6 and Friday, September 7, 2018 to perform in Indianapolis, Indiana. Performance times are assigned based on technical needs as determined by Conference management, and scheduling requests cannot be accommodated.
  • Participate in a soundcheck/rehearsal on the day of performance.
  • Purchase exhibit space at the 2018 Conference or be represented by an agency/organization that has done so.
  • Attraction will be solely responsible for all necessary licenses and permissions to perform, promote, broadcast, transmit, and/or display all elements of their performance, including without limitation elements protected by copyright, trademark, patent, rights of privacy, rights of publicity, trade secret, and contract.

Performance + Technical Specifics

Stage type Proscenium
Stage dimensions 40’ wide and 25’ deep with additional space backstage and for onstage crossover.
Capacity 600 seats
Sound Professional sound reinforcement system suitable for dance, theater, and music performances. Artists/ensembles are limited to 6 monitor mixes and 16 audio inputs on the mixing console.
Lighting Lighting plot suitable for dance, theater, and music performances. No follow spots or lasers.
Floor Resilient floor is suitable for all performances, including dance.
Projections Limited projection capability is available upon request.
Other tech Haze is not available at this venue.
Timing Showcase performance is 15 minutes in length, with a 5-minute changeover to tear down and set up next artist/ensemble.

Arts Midwest will work closely with each of the selected artists/ensembles to best meet their needs for the 15-minute showcase and 5-minute changeover, but certain technical modifications may be necessary due to the production timeline and/or the theater’s limitations. If extensive additional equipment is required and can be accommodated, shared costs will be discussed.

Selection Process

A panel composed of presenters, managers, and agents review eligible applications and select artists/ensembles to perform. Selection is based primarily on artistic excellence and artistic merit as displayed in video work samples. Promotional materials and the submitted application are also reviewed to evaluate the artist/ensemble’s capacity to tour. No more than two artists represented by a single manager/agency will be recommended to perform, and Arts Midwest is committed to presenting artists who represent a range of disciplines.

All applicants are notified in April following the panel review and receive a summary of comments and feedback from the panelists.

Independent Showcases

Independent Showcases allow artists, managers, and agents to capitalize on the avid audience of presenters planning their upcoming seasons. In 2017, more than 200 independent and group independent showcases were listed in the Conference publications as taking place at or near the Conference venue(s) over the four-day event.

Showcase Listings

Listings are no longer available for purchase. The deadline to purchase a listing for print publication was Thursday, July 19, 2018, and the deadline for digital-only listings was Thursday, August 9, 2018.


Arts Midwest strongly encourages scheduling showcases during the dates and times below, which follow Conference programming each day. The Conference will not promote or publish listings for performances scheduled outside of these times.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 8:30 p.m.– midnight Following the Opening Party at Indiana State Museum
Thursday, September 6, 2018 9:30 p.m.– midnight Following Spotlight Showcases at Indiana Repertory Theatre
Friday, September 7, 2018 9:30 p.m.– midnight Following Spotlight Showcases at Indiana Repertory Theatre

Group showcasing

Many artists and agents team up to produce a showcase, and it is up to those interested parties to contact one another and explore the possibilities for collaborating on a group showcase. When you register for the Conference, indicate that you’d like more information about connecting with others interested in group showcasing, and we will compile and distribute everyone’s contact information so that you can connect.

Venue options

Most often, showcase artists/producers rent a meeting room in the Conference hotel; others choose an offsite venue near the Conference hotel. These venues may include theaters, clubs, churches, cafés, or other sites. Your choice of venue will depend on availability, you or your artists’ schedules, and the venue’s suitability for your performance and budget needs.

1. JW Marriott in Indianapolis

The deadline to request a room was March 9, 2018. This lottery determined the order in which producers were contacted by Arts Midwest to discuss availability. There are currently no remaining rooms at the JW Marriott.

2. Other local venues

Artists and managers are encouraged to explore other venues in Indianapolis. Download the list below and contact venues directly to confirm availability and rates.

Local Venues PDF

Conference Call for Interested Producers

Arts Midwest hostedt an informational, webinar-style conference call for all past and interested Independent Showcase producers. During the call, staff explained the room request process and provided insight about this year’s showcase rooms at the Conference hotel, the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. It will also be an opportunity for producers to ask questions and start to explore opportunities for collaboration with other producers.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
2:30 p.m. Central Time

Play the recording

Read the transcript