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Panel Opportunities

Arts Midwest welcomes individuals from across the United States who are interested in joining our panels for Shakespeare in American Communities, GIG Fund, and NEA Big Read.

In a lecture hall, a person sitting at a table speaks into a microphone and gestures, while the people around them look and listen.
Photo by: Kerry Dulcio

What do panelists do?

Panelists for Arts Midwest programs play a central role in reviewing applications for funding and informing Arts Midwest on its grantmaking processes. We rely on individuals representing a broad range of artistic and cultural viewpoints to evaluate the artistic excellence and artistic merit of proposals.

Most panelists are arts professionals who are qualified by their activities, training, skills, and/or experience in one or more art forms. Every panel also includes a layperson – someone knowledgeable about the arts but not engaged in the arts as a professional either full- or part-time.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • If you’re curious about applying to one of our grants, being a panelist can provide insight into building a strong application in the future.
  • You will have a voice in directing Arts Midwest funding in the Midwest and nationally.
  • You can bear witness to all the creative ideas organizations put forward in their project proposals, which might inspire you in your own creative ventures.
  • You can make a little extra money; all our panelists are compensated for their time.

Arts Midwest is committed to panels composed of individuals who are diverse across lines of identity, including race, gender, age, sexual orientation, geography, (dis)ability, and occupation.

  • Individuals must be over 18 years of age and have a Social Security number.
  • For the GIG Fund, panelists must reside in Arts Midwest’s nine-state region (ND, SD, MN, IA, WI, MI, IL, IN, OH) or the Native nations that share this geography.
  • Panelists cannot be active Arts Midwest grantees.

If selected to join the panel, panelists attend a brief orientation then receive digital application materials for individual review. Panelists gather virtually to discuss applications a few weeks later via Zoom. Panelists submit scores to Arts Midwest via our online portal.

Panelists will need a tablet or computer with an internet connection that is capable of reviewing files, participating in online meetings, and visiting websites.

Total time for participation can be as much as 24 hours or as little as 10 hours, depending on the program and volume of applications. This range includes an estimate of time required for orientation, individual review, online deliberation, and scores submission.

Panel opportunities take place twice a year, in the Spring (February to early April) and again in the Fall.

Panelists receive $500 per fiscal year. We issue these honoraria once scoring is completed.

Current panel opportunities

NEA Big Read

We are seeking individuals who have experience administering community-wide programming, such as festivals and multi-partner events. Panelists should be knowledgeable about managing budgets for community events, building effective partnerships, developing strong programming, and marketing. Individuals from organizations intending to apply for the 2023-2024 NEA Big Read program are not eligible to serve as panelists.

Learn more about the program

Joy Harjo enjoying an afternoon in the Shinnecock Indian Nation territory before her presentation at Stony Brook University.
Photo by: Teatro Experimental Yerbabruja

Shakespeare in American Communities: Schools

We are seeking individuals who serve as artistic, managing, and education staff members of nonprofit theater companies to serve as panelists. Panelists should have a background or interest in the works of Shakespeare, knowledge of partnering with schools, and comfort reviewing financials. Individuals from theater companies intending to apply to the 2023-2024 Shakespeare in American Communities: Schools program are not eligible.

Learn more about the program

A crowd of students sitting on bleachers in a gymnasium watch a performance happening on the gym floor.
Photo by: Montana Shakespeare in the Parks

Shakespeare in American Communities: Juvenile Justice

We are seeking individuals with knowledge of arts programming within the justice system to serve as panelists. Panelists with knowledge of theater, Shakespeare, and youth programming are preferred. Individuals from theater companies intending to apply to the 2023-2024 Shakespeare in American Communities: Juvenile Justice program are not eligible.

Learn more about the program

In a classroom setting, a person wearing a protective cloth mask is leaning down and talking to a younger person who is holding sheets of loose leaf paper covered in writing.
Photo by: Esme Wu

Ready to be a panelist?

Submit your information through our sign up form to start the process.

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