Dear Friends and Colleagues,
We are writing to you today to announce that we are pausing future planning around the Arts Midwest Conference.
For more than 30 years, the Arts Midwest Conference has been a space for networking, business, education, and performances. In this time, the Conference has visited 14 cities across the Midwest and middle South, and connected 20,000+ artists, managers, agents, presenters, and service organizations to one another.
Even more important than the business that took place during this event, the Conference has been like a family reunion. It has given us a chance to come together each year to reconnect, learn together, and have fun. It has been directed by an incredible team at Arts Midwest, including Angela Urbanz, who has been leading the Conference for the past 24 years.
We have deep respect and gratitude for this conference family, and we must acknowledge that we are facing a changing industry. Production costs have increased while event revenue has not. We have begun to encounter unsustainable financial losses from this event. While these losses pre-date the pivots we have made in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have grown exponentially these past two years. As a steward of private and public dollars, we have a financial responsibility to our communities, partners, and donors to pause and take the time needed to reimagine our presence in this space. This pause in our planning has led to many difficult decisions, one of which is that Maria Vorhis, our Creative Gatherings Manager, and Angela Urbanz, our Conference Director, will not be part of the Arts Midwest staff after November 2021.
Arts Midwest will continue to be champions of the performing arts, and partnerships will be at the core of that future. We hope that this shift opens new opportunities to work together, gather together, and celebrate creativity together. We look forward to all that’s ahead as we begin this journey.
Thank you for your support and creativity. If you have any questions, please contact me at [email protected].
President & CEO