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Announcing the Spring 2023 GIG Fund Recipients

A group of Black dancers in a dance classroom crouch low to the ground with arms extended at an angle
Choreographer Stephen Petronio leads a workshop for 25 high school students at the Cleveland School of the Art as part of a Fall 2022 GIG Fund activity.

100 organizations across the Midwest have received a total of $400,000 through Round 2 of the 2022-23 GIG Fund, a grant program from Arts Midwest. These awards will support creative projects and educational events in Spring 2023, helping organizations present artists in their community and offset the costs of programming and touring.


The GIG Fund provides $4,000 grants to support the arts throughout the Midwest. Each year, the fund supports a variety of performances across Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and the Native nations that share this geography.

The GIG Fund prioritizes organizations that are led by or engage artists from historically underrepresented or marginalized communities, rural communities, and under-funded areas. 48% of this round’s organizations have never been funded by Arts Midwest in the past. 54% of the organizations are from rural areas, according to the National Endowment for the Arts definition.

“Arts Midwest is thrilled to support these 100 organizations to bring diverse programming from talented artists to so many Midwestern communities in partnership with our state arts agency leaders and GIG Fund panelists,” said Joshua Feist, Director of Grantmaking at Arts Midwest.

Learn more about the organizations funded in Round 2 of the 2022-23 GIG Fund and see if this opportunity might be a fit for your community in the future!

    Spring 2023 GIG Fund Projects Include:

    • New LGBTQ+ Musical

      Chicago, IL

      About Face Theatre presents Leather Daddies: The Musical, a wild ride with the real-life gay biker gang who kickstarted the sexual revolution in 1950s Chicago. Acclaimed theatre artist Scott Bradley and Nashville recording artist Mercy Bell are building the show upon the biography Leatherman by Tracy Baim and Owen Keehnen. About Face Theatre will host the artists in Spring 2023 for a workshop of this new work in development, culminating in the first concert reading of the full work for an audience.

    • Residencies for Native Artists

      Indianapolis, IN

      The Eiteljorg Museum’s Artist in Residence is a longtime, successful program that hosts Native American contemporary and traditional visual, performing, and literary artists and culture bearers at the museum for one to two weeks at a time to share their art and culture with the Indianapolis community. Through performances, open studios, and workshops, they give visitors a greater understanding of the artist’s work, traditions, and culture. For Dr. Paschen’s residency, they are partnering with Brick Street Poetry, Inc., a local nonprofit that connects and shares individual experiences through poetry.

    • Interactive Art Highlighting Artists with Disabilities

      Grand Rapids, MI

      Artists Creating Together‘s 2023 ACTion Art Exhibit seeks to celebrate and share artwork created by people with disabilities. The exhibit will showcase the collection of work by these artists at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, and their mobile art studio, The Creative Cube, will host accessible and interactive art activities highlighting three local artists with disabilities.

    • Traditional Ojibwe Snow Snake Competition

      Bemidji, MN

      Watermark Art Center will support Manidoo Ogitigaan in hosting their second Snow Snake tournament to be held on Lake Bemidji in Feb 2023, through funding, promotions, and staff hours. This will be the second year that Bemidji hosts a competition for this traditional Native sport.

    • Performance Art Centering Formerly Incarcerated Artists

      Columbus, OH

      Healing Broken Circles’ Back Wall performance series features artists who have returned to the community following incarceration, as well as artists from communities most impacted by incarceration, such as spoken word and hip hop artist Tripp Fontane. Focused on music, storytelling, theater arts, and spoken word and run collectively by majority BIPOC and formerly incarcerated individuals, the Back Wall deepens the conversation around criminal justice through the lens of the arts while creating high quality productions.

    See all Spring 2023 GIG Fund Grantees

    100 arts and culture organizations across the Midwest received GIG Fund grants in this round. Projects will take place between January 1 and June 30, 2023.

    Download Full Grantee List

    About the Grow, Invest, Gather (GIG) Fund

    1. 1

      Arts Midwest’s GIG Fund provides financial support to arts organizations in the Midwest.

      It is a flexible grant that helps organizations bring touring artists into their community.

    2. 2

      As part of the GIG Fund, organizations must present performing or visual artists.

      These artists must take part in at least two public events, which can be in-person or virtual.

    3. 3

      GIG Fund applications are reviewed on a state-by-state basis by a group of panelists.

      GIG Fund panelists have diverse personal and professional experiences related to the arts and creativity. Review criteria included artistic excellence and merit of the proposed project, potential to deeply engage underserved community members, and the capability of the organization to carry out the project. Priority consideration went to organizations that are led by or engage artists from historically underrepresented or marginalized communities, rural communities, and under-funded areas. With limited funding, Arts Midwest was not able to award all projects.

    4. 4

      More information is available on the GIG Fund webpage.

      Interested in applying for the next round of the GIG Fund? Get all the information you need on the GIG Fund webpage.

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