Help Save the Arts Midwest Conference
Dear Arts Midwest Leadership
We are writing as the collective voice of artists, agents, managers and presenters, Arts Midwest supporters and attendees, conference chairs, donors, sponsors, and leaders in our field. Thank you for hearing our concerns.
While during this post-Covid time agents, managers, artists, and presenters are literally fighting for their livelihood, we received the unwelcome news that Arts Midwest is pausing the annual conference. After Arts Midwest has worked for decades making themselves relevant and indispensable to a wide segment of the Arts community, this is a huge and negative blow to our collective communities and businesses.
We believe that Arts Midwest has a shared mission to serve the constituency of the field. After 18 months of shuttered venues and agencies, artists out of work and much turnover in our industry, it is especially vital to renew our spirits and our business relationships with one another in a live setting.
The urgent reality is that we, together, need a conference gathering to re-unite a fragmented industry. A process that takes place in human form between leaders of Venues, Colleges, Community Arts Organizations, State Consortia, Performing Artists and Artist Representatives. Ending the conference gathering will eliminate that vital part of the presenting process, it will erode trust, due process, understanding and good will for programming arts in communities.
The Arts Midwest Conference marketplace connects artists and artist representatives directly with arts presenters and cultural organizations enabling these institutions to carry out their missions. From cultural exchange, education and entertainment to social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, the arts strengthen our communities. The Arts Midwest Conference is vital to this exchange and its impact reverberates exponentially as an economic driver throughout the region.
We regret that AMW has lost sight of the need for this collective industry interaction.
We encourage the opportunity to seek solutions rather than abandonment of this important part of our shared business and mission. We need each other to solve the issues, whether they are monetary, situational, or directional.
We collectively support the efforts of Arts Midwest, business leaders, and the industry at large to collaborate in a reasonable and constructive way for a 2022 conference to take place in Omaha and the following year in Detroit. We are stronger together.
The undersigned supporters of the Arts Midwest Conference