As is true for everyone, this is not a business as usual year for the Arts Midwest + Western Arts Alliance (WAA) Conference. Due to health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic the Conference will take place online October 6 – 9, 2020. As in previous years, however, artists, managers, agents, presenters, and service providers are all invited to participate. Titled “Meeting the Moment. Together.” this four-day virtual journey offers participants to “gain insight, cultivate discovery, and deepen connections” between all members of the performing arts community.

“This year demands a different approach to tackle the questions on all our minds: How do we move forward amidst a pandemic? How can we work together to combat systemic racism in our organizations and communities?  How do we want the future of the performing arts to look?” From the Arts Midwest + WAA press release.

Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest “grows, gathers, and invests in creative organizations through the nine-region state of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin” for more than 30 years.

Western Arts Alliance (WAA) has been serving its members since 1967 and has offered annual booking conferences and year-round programs that are greatly needed for the artists, managers, presenters, and other performing arts professionals located in the West.

Participants of this year’s Arts Midwest + WAA Conference will come together each morning to hear what is on the minds of leaders, investigate more thoroughly through Professional Development Workshops and Roundtables, and to meet and get to know their colleagues in self-identified Affinity Groups. The Conference will offer a virtual marketplace called Exhibit Hall 2.0 that will be available all day for one-on-one connections, as well as panel-selected and independently coordinated showcases.

The Conference has announced the Panel-Selected Showcase Artists. In its press release the Conference states in part: “Get ready to watch never-before-seen content as well as enhanced performance videos from a wide range of disciplines. From explosive flamenco footwork and gravity-defying acrobatics, to fiery violin dances and dynamic jazz featuring the works of Shakespeare, this year’s virtual Showcase is not to be missed.” The dance or dance related artists selected include Axis Dance Company, Chicago Dance Crash, Brook Smiley, Seffarine, Shelley Morningsong, and PUSH Physical Theatre. To see the full list of Panel-Selected Showcase Artists, click HERE.

The schedule for the Arts Midwest + WAA includes: Day 1: Invitation—Coming Together Again & Anew:

How do we process the last eight months? How do we heal?  Day 2: Motivation—Calls for Change: How are we doing? What are the challenges we’re facing?  Day 3: Inspiration—Response & Innovation:  How are we meeting the moment? How are we partnering and collaborating in this new virtual world? And Day 4: Reimagination—Building a New Future Together:How do I watch Panel-Selected Showcases at the Conference?

To watch the Panel-Selected Showcases one first has to register for the Arts Midwest + WAA 2020 Conference. Once that has been accomplished, you can tune in Tuesday, October 6th and Wednesday, October 7th to see the premiere. The performances will also be available after the initial viewing.

To register for the Arts Midwest + WAA 2020 Conference, click HERE.

To learn more about the Arts Midwest + WAA 2020 Conference, click HERE.

Written and compiled by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: Arts Midwest + Western Arts Alliance 2020 Conference Illustration – Courtesy of the conference.