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Creativity Amplified: Arts Midwest's New Brand + Strategy

Axiom Brass sits on a stage and play various brass instruments, below a glowing projection of planet Earth.
Axiom Brass playing below a glowing projection of planet Earth.

Arts Midwest has a new mission, vision, brand, and website that reflect who we are, our dreams for the Midwest, and our commitment to creativity.


For the past two years, our team at Arts Midwest has been working with partners, constituents, and stakeholders to explore how we can best serve our region. Our process was shaped by our guiding values: equity, integrity, and learning. We approached conversations about our future with both humility and an expansive belief that creativity lies within everyone.

Now, we are thrilled to share the results of that work with you in the form of a new brand, website, and strategic direction.

Two people in yellow outfits perform outside in front of children and adults. They leap joyously through the air with smiles on their faces.
Bread and Puppet Theater performs at Public Space One in Iowa as part of a GIG Fund event.

Our Future

Since our inception, Arts Midwest has been inspired by the creativity and vibrancy of our region. We’ve worked hard for more than 35 years to connect audiences to the arts, support organizations and arts leaders, and navigate change, together. We know that when our creative sector thrives, so do our communities.

Our new strategic direction continues this lifelong commitment to Midwestern creativity.

It reflects our unyielding dedication to the Midwest—a region that is embedded in our name, inseparable from our identity, and core to our sense of place. It also centers creativity in our work. We believe that creativity lies within everyone, and that creativity is both a product and a process—a tool to build community, learn and grow, and connect to one another.

With this region at our center, and creativity as our driver, we have some amazing opportunities ahead of us. We are entering this new chapter with a vision that Midwestern creativity powers thriving, entrepreneurial, and welcoming communities. Our work will amplify Midwestern creativity in three ways:

  • Support: We invest in efforts that use creativity to connect people, ideas, and solutions.
  • Inform: We share data and ideas to support Midwestern communities in being more visible, sustainable, and interconnected.
  • Celebrate: We honor the people, places, and creative organizations that compose the Midwest.

Learn more about how our programs—both new efforts and those that we have offered for years—fit into one of these focus areas.

Support

Through our grantmaking programs—the GIG Fund, NEA Big Read, and Shakespeare in American Communities—as well as our community artist residencies—We the Many and World Fest—we provide support by investing time, funds, and resources in organizations that advance creativity.

Get Support
Four people dressed in black, dancing in front of a white backdrop that is lit by red and blue lights.
Photo by: Harry Schwentker
Performance choregraphed by guest artist Katherine Horrigan at a Ashtabula Arts Center GIG Fund event.

Inform

We share information through the Ideas Hub, our podcasts, and our Accessibility Center. Our goal is to support Midwestern arts administrators and creative leaders as they learn and grow.

Explore Resources
Two people sit at a table together, taking notes and talking.
Two people at an ArtsLab retreat sit at a table together, taking notes and talking.

Celebrate

We celebrate our region by serving as a megaphone for the power and importance of Midwestern creativity through storytelling initiatives and award opportunities.

Read Stories
Artist Saaba Lutzeler smiles and poses next to one of her artworks.
Photo by: Saaba Lutzeler
Artist Saaba Lutzeler smiles and poses next to one of her artworks.

Explore our strategy frame

Our new strategy frame outlines our mission, vision, values, and focus areas. It serves as a guide for all our work, now and in the future.

Download PDF

Bear Clan members dancing and singing as people watch in the background.
Photo by: Museum of Wisconsin Art

Our Visual Identity

One of the most visible changes at Arts Midwest is our new brand.

We partnered with Briteweb, a creative agency dedicated to social change, to help us develop this new look and feel.

Through months of conversations within and beyond our team, we identified core themes to guide our new identity. Those themes, detailed in our new brand book, highlight the ways in which we seek to be authentic in our storytelling, shine the spotlight on those around us, lean into our pride of place, and bring out the good in one another.

Our process led us to develop a new logo mark and color palette that offers a graphic distillation of our tagline—“Creativity, Amplified.”

Arts Midwest black logo

A small ripple on the left, a growing shift in the middle, a seismic movement on the right: we’re witnessing the cumulative effect of Midwest creativity, and the results are off the charts.

This shape nods a banner in the wind, a stylized bolt of lightning, a confident brushstroke, a seemingly flat shape imbued with energy. It also contains a subtle “M” and “W”—a reminder that our work is proudly, unapologetically Midwestern.

Supporting the logo is a color palette inspired by Midwestern wildflowers as they begin to blossom in the springtime. That sense of anticipation for the beauty and flourishing ahead is directly connected to the creative process: new ideas come to life like the seeds that turn into fields of color.

Explore our Brand

Find logos for print and digital use, our brand guidelines, and contact information for our communications team.

Visit Our Press Kit

Two people performing; one is wearing white 3-D glasses and singing into a microphone, and the other is wearing sunglasses and a black protective mask and playing drums.
Photo by: Arts + Literature Laboratory

Our New Website

Core to our new direction is a focus on equity, accessibility, and centering our constituents.

So, we’ve also redesigned our website—streamlining how we share resources, how we guide people throughout our grant applications, and how we share stories about the people and places that compose our region.

We hope you will join us at every turn—whether that’s by applying for a grant, checking out our Ideas Hub, or joining our growing pool of creatives and writers poised to help us celebrate Midwestern creativity.

Our website also shares our Living Commitment to Native Nations, and our Accessibility Policy, documents that both name our values and are followed by active strategies and workplans.

These commitments, our brand and website, and our strategy frame are all created with evolution in mind—they are the beginning of something new, with a long-term commitment to growing, learning, and doing.

Author Sheetal Sheth sits on a stage and reads to young members of the Hancock County Community at a GIG Fund event.
Author Sheetal Sheth sits on a stage and reads to young members of the Hancock County Community at a GIG Fund event.

Our promise

Arts Midwest is here to build unprecedented opportunity in the Midwest by advancing creativity. To support the artists and organizations that define and redefine this place. To share ideas that make Midwesterners more visible and connected. To raise up the stories that challenge assumptions. And to build flourishing communities that are powered by opportunity, authenticity, and a deep sense of belonging.

That’s our Midwest: a place of limitless cool, expansive inclusivity, and extraordinary possibility.

Welcome—and thanks for joining us.

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