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About We the Many

Currently in its second program cycle, We the Many centers immigrant and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities and artists across the Midwest, with the aim of building stronger community connections, using art as a vehicle for social change, and fully embracing cultural vitality.

First Phase: 2019-2021

We the Many had its first phase in the communities of Perry, Iowa, Sisseton, South Dakota and Wabash, Indiana. The program connected immigrant artists and artists of color to We the Many communities around performing arts activities. All residency activities were created in partnership with community members, seeking to leverage existing assets, and emphasizing connecting to neighboring communities.

Planning committees received a $45,000 grant, an advisor for artist selection, training, and additional assistance to create an artistic residency that leverages the creative assets of their area. Each community chose its featured artist after deep community conversations and conducted a variety of residency activities through June 2021. Learn more about their community-based artist in residencies here.

Second Phase 2022-2023

We the Many is currently in its second phase working in communities across North Dakota, Iowa, and Indiana. Program leadership and capacity-building support are exchanged between local community partners, artists, BIPOC regional community leaders and Arts Midwest staff throughout the program. Community partners from the region are programmatic and financial leaders of $100,000 of funding for the project. Local partners are BIPOC-led or serving community-based and/or arts-based organizations.


We the Many is a project of Arts Midwest with generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and in partnership with the Indiana Arts Commission, Iowa Arts Council, and South Dakota Arts Council.