We support efforts that connect people, ideas, and solutions through creativity. That includes our grantmaking initiatives, our community programming, and our awards celebrating Midwestern creativity.
Funding artist engagements that build community
The GIG Fund is a grant of $4,000 that supports Midwest organizations who want to present artists in their community.
NEA Big Read
Funding to read and discuss a book in community
The NEA Big Read is a grant of up to $20,000 to help build bridges and encourage dialogue across your community by reading and discussing the same book.Applications Due Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Shakespeare in American Communities
Connecting young people with Shakespeare’s plays
Shakespeare in American Communities is a grant of up to $25,000 that connects youths across the country to Shakespeare’s plays.Applications Due January 9, 2023
A national research and messaging initiative
Creating Connection is a national research and messaging initiative working to make arts, and culture a valued part of life.
We the Many
A community-based artist-in-residency program
We the Many is a creative community-based artist-in-residency program hosted in three states at a time.
Touring artists to Midwestern communities
World Fest tours international musicians to Midwestern communities.
Past Grants + Programs
Arts Midwest’s 35+ year history spans geographic and cultural borders, artistic disciplines, and purpose. Learn more about our past grants and programs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn more about each grant program and see if you’re eligible to apply by reviewing the application guidelines listed on these pages:
Once you’re ready to apply, we have a grants portal called SmartSimple where you’ll submit your application. We invite you to learn more about this portal.
Following the application guidelines and providing a lot of details about your plans are hallmarks of a good application. We can provide sample applications upon request.
At this time, Arts Midwest has one award program for individuals, the Peter Capell Award for Midwestern Creativity and Entrepreneurship. This award supports one Midwestern arts leader per year.
Arts Midwest also promotes JazzRoad, a program run through South Arts, which provides touring and residency funds for jazz artists. Artists from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin should contact us with any questions related to your application or interest in a tour. Outside of the Midwest? Visit this page to learn more about who to speak with.
We encourage artists looking for direct support to contact their state arts agency for further information on possible funding opportunities available to them at the state level.
Most of our funding is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. As such, applicants and grantees must abide by federal eligibility requirements. Read more from the NEA about fiscal sponsorships here.
We are not currently accepting unsolicited proposals. Please sign up for our emails in the footer of our website to be notified when one of our grants or programs issues an open call.
We encourage artists and arts organizations to visit the Regional Arts Organization website for more information on grants for organizations outside of the Midwest, as well as national grant opportunities.
State Arts Agencies and the National Endowment for the Arts are also helpful resources for individuals and organizations looking for grant support for arts programs.
Questions about grants or programs?
If you’d like to talk to us we’re just an email or a phone call away.Contact Our Team