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About Showcases

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 was Wednesday, February 22, 2017 and applications are no longer being accepted. Applications will be accepted again starting in January 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 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.

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.


Performing artists/ensembles with the capacity to tour are eligible to apply. Those who were awarded a Spotlight Showcase at the 2014 (Minneapolis), 2015 (Kansas City), or 2016 (Milwaukee) 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 $750 fee to help defray production costs.
  • Be available on Tuesday, August 29 and Wednesday, August 30, 2017 to perform in Columbus, Ohio. 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 2017 Conference or be represented by an agency/organization that has done so.

Independent Showcases

View more information here.