Home Programs Arts Midwest Conference Spotlight Showcases

Spotlight Showcases

Please note: The 2020 Spotlight Showcase process is moving forward as normal. The panel will convene fully online and applicants will be notified in late April.

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 for 2020 Spotlight Showcase applications was Thursday, February 27, 2020, 11:59 p.m. (Central Time)

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.


Performing artists/ensembles with the capacity to tour are eligible to apply. Those who were awarded a Spotlight Showcase or participated in a sponsored Spotlight Showcase at the 2017 (Columbus), or 2018 (Indianapolis), or 2019 (Minneapolis) 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 an $800 fee to help defray production costs.
  • Be available on Thursday, September 10 and Friday, September 11, 2020 to perform in Omaha, Nebraska. Performance times are assigned based on technical needs as determined by Conference management, and scheduling requests cannot be accommodated.
  • Participate in a sound check/rehearsal on the day of performance.
  • Purchase exhibit space by May 7 for the 2020 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.
  • Attraction/artist is responsible for all costs and arrangements related to travel and lodging.

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 later receive a summary of comments and feedback from the panelists.

Performance + Technical Specifics

Spotlight Showcase performances will take place at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha, NE.

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 additional equipment is required and can be accommodated, shared costs will be discussed.

Stage type Proscenium
Playing Area 54’ wide and 40’ deep with additional space backstage and for onstage crossover. Stage Dimensions
Capacity 2,600 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. The use of haze and spotlights will not be available.
Floor Oak tongue and groove floor suitable for all performances, including dance. Marley provided.
Projections Limited projection capability
Backline Piano, drum kit, bass and guitar amplifiers, and keyboard provided. All other instruments to be brought by the artist or Arts Midwest will coordinate rental and invoice the artist/ensemble.
Timing Showcase performance is 15 minutes in length, with a 5-minute changeover to tear down and set up next artist/ensemble. Artists/ensembles are allotted a 30 minute sound check on their awarded performance day.

Interior of Orpheum Theater
Orpheum Theater.