Arts Midwest

Rating: 4.94 stars   17 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Race

Location: 2908 Hennepin Ave S Ste 200 Minneapolis MN 55408 USA

Mission: Arts Midwest promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives.

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

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Rating: 5 stars  

Arts Midwest is the leading regional arts organization in the nation funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, private foundations and individuals. The agency's programs not only have a positive impact on the member nine state region but expand throughout the entire nation with projects like The Big Read and Shakespeare in American Communities. I am delighted to serve on the board of this outstanding organization with an impressive and hard working staff. It's a great nonprofit headquarter in Minneapolis.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

Arts Midwest is the nation's finest regional arts organization funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, nine member state arts agencies and private funds. As the former director of the SD Arts Council, the most unique aspect of Arts Midwest programming is the wealth of expeceptional talent it helps to tour to rural areas of the Midwest. It's World Fest program tours outstanding performers from foreign cultures in multi-day residency situations.In many cases, audiences experience unique, global performing arts that they otherwise would never have the opportunity to see. Supporting Arts Midwest is highly encouraged.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

several rural communities in South Dakota as well as at Arts Midwest Arts Conference.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Arts Midwest has an exceptional, highly professional staff.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Top Notch Professionals at Arts Midwest were assigned to The Big Read, and for that we are most grateful. They made the grant experience understandable, and of the greatest value possible for our community.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

every single positive happening associated with The Big Read of Wharton, Ozick and Longfellow.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the one-on-one help I know I can count on from professionals, who clearly read "The Nordstrom Way."

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

people I would return to visit and consider friends I could call upon, and rely on, in future endeavors, even if not associated with Arts Midwest.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

teach other organizations how to really encourage small operations such as ours to apply for grants.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

As the development officer for a library district in New York State, I have worked with Arts Midwest for four years in connection with The Big Read. I have been extremely impressed by the level of expertise demonstrated by their staff and also very appreciative of their friendliness, patience and willingness to do all they can to support a client organization such as ours.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the effective, enthusiastic ways in which Arts Midwest encourages and supports those who are promoting the arts in their community.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The enthusiasm, friendliness and supportive attitude of the staff members.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

enthusiastic, friendly, supportive and obviously very committed to their work

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

promote the arts in every community in America.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I had the pleasure of working with Arts Midwest on The Big Read 2009. I serve as the public information officer for the Poughkeepsie Public Library District and it was my first experience with The Big Read so I definitely had a lot of questions and concerns. I found that Christine, Birdie, Angharad and the entire Arts Midwest staff to be extremely helpful and responsive. I was very impressed with how smoothly the initial Big Read Orientation event went, as there were close to 1,000 people in attendance, and it became obvious from the way we were greeted at the airport to the time we departed that a "well-oiled machine" was running the show. Their obvious enthusiasm for promoting literature through community involvement is contagious, and there was never a question too obvious or a concern too small for them, they were a wonderful partner in what turned out to be an unforgettable experience for me and the community I serve.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Helping me to fully appreciate the Big Read experience and reaching out to other organizations with similar goals.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them more support monies to increase staff and outreach efforts.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Their professionalism and commitment to the arts and fostering new relationships between stakeholders.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Caring, committed professionals whose enthusiam was contagious.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Change the world

Ways to make it better...

There was a follow-up gathering to go through our experiences and goals for the next year.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The shrinking support for arts in a tough economy

One thing I'd also say is that...

I am so grateful to the staff at Midwest Arts for their herculean efforts in trying to promote arts programs throughout the US--and beyond.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Arts Midwest is an outstanding organization. I have been engaged in numerous ways-- and have been personally and professionally enriched at every intersection with both their programs and their staff. Arts Midwest has given me industry connections that allowed a job transition across state lines (from Nebraska to Minnesota)to be much easier. I'm grateful for Arts Midwest and all it's programs and membership activities.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I've enjoyed attending the annual conference for the last nine years!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The staff and my fellow volunteers have been mentors for me-- and become valued colleagues and friends!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Arts Midwest provides many services to audiences, arts organizations and artists, through programs such as Arts Midwest World Fest, the Performing Arts Fund, the Midwest Arts Conference, The Big Read, the Arts Learning Exchange and many others. Services vary among programs and may include providing educational support to teachers and students; supporting arts services organizational staff through professional development; providing opportunities for regional arts and artists to step beyond where they are today. Most important is the collaborative leadership role taken by each member of the extraordinary staff at Arts Midwest in approaching their constituents, their work and new challenges. As Executive Director, David Fraher brings vision, creativity and compassion to his work and always thinks beyond...even when the next step is to confront the impact of today's economics on state arts agencies. "Beyond" keeps the focus on the new opportunities for the arts, artists and audiences. I have experienced Arts Midwest as an employee, a retiree, a volunteer and now, as a member of the board.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The diversity and depth of its work and support from small rural towns in the region to bringing arts presenters to international venues, like China to promote regional arts and to bring Chinese artists back to the small rural towns.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I was asked to join this board a few years ago. I am very inspired by this organization and what they have done for the Arts in a nine state region. I have been very impressed by the professionalism of each and every staff member. They are small in numbers but mighty in delivering great services and programs to many artists and art organizations.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being a board member, seeing the way they operate and how they operate first hand.They are serving a much needed demand in the arts field. They also pull in international performing arts troupes who work hand in hand with local communities.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the work they do is priceless.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very professional and very qualified in their particular areas. They are also very flexible and ready and willing to help in other areas as needed. Real teamwork!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

WOW...it could really change the way people view the arts. They are vry good with maximizing their resources.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

We are a grantee under the Shakespeare for a New Generation program. I have found Arts Midwest responsvie, friendly, interested in all program results-not just the rave reviews. Reminders are friendly, materials very professional and timely.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

managing the Shakespeare for a New Generation program for the NEA.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

Rating: 4 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

We have benefitted great from Arts Midwest and their work with the Performing Arts Fund and with The Big Read Program. We have been a part of the Big Read program for four years in a row. We're hoping for a fifth.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The Big Read Program and the Performing Arts Fund. We were able to do so much with reading and arts outreach and education.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find them a new home. Their location is kind of weird but maybe it works better for them.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

They are SO ORGANIZED.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

VERY helpful

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Do TONS MORE PROGRAMMING in the upper midwest.

Ways to make it better...

I had done the final reporting earlier.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The amount of work to do all of the reporting.

One thing I'd also say is that...

We would ALL benefit from this.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I found out about Arts Midwest because of their annual conference. What a beautiful thing! - both the conference and my serendipitous discovery of it. It seems like an oxymoron, but Arts Midwest has this arts conference thing down to a science. They are efficient and organized. They listen to feedback and adjust as (or if) appropriate. Being my first arts conference experience, they spoiled me. Subsequent conferences hosted by similar organizations have not met the benchmarks set by Arts Midwest in terms of organization, information sharing, caliber of participants, etc. By their cooperation with and connection to both artists and presenters, I can only guess at the thousands of dollars saved by communities throughout their nine-state region. With Arts Midwest as the catalyst, fine and performing arts centers in communities large and small can bring the highest caliber of talent to their audiences. This is accomplished perhaps most immediately through the funding programs made available through AM. Also important, though less direct, are the educational workshops, seminars and round-table discussions at the conference. AM invests in career development for those willing souls who work at keeping the arts alive for the rest of the community. And then, by the showcases at the annual conference, they allow presenters to catch a 15-minute live audition by some amazingly talented artists which they might otherwise never get to see. Sure, they receive press kits all the time, and they might occasionally make a talent scouting trip to some other venue to assess one performer or performance. But the Midwest Arts Conference lets them scout dozens of performers in one extended trip. These are just the obvious strengths of Arts Midwest's annual conference. I haven't even begun to mine the wealth of knowledge and cooperative spirit that I'm sure they bring to all their other programs. I'm sure that it takes a substantial budget to maintain the programs and to retain the knowledgeable staff. But when I think of how they help the community theaters and restored opera houses and other shoestring budget places bring world-class talent to their stages, I know that the world is getting a bargain in the Arts Midwest states. Please support Arts Midwest with whatever time, effort, funding or skill you can, because especially in times like these, "the show MUST go on."

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

finding and connecting with quality venues to match with my quality artists. This is especially hard for independent artists to do. The Midwest Arts Conference hosted by Arts Midwest provides almost a clearinghouse where talent can be matched with venues.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find more funding in order to expand their grant programs.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the people are so helpful.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

top notch!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

maybe have a separate conference - and make it national, not regional, but held in the AM region - for 200-500 seat houses? AM knows how to do it, and that market could use the help.

Ways to make it better...

perhaps if there had been a New Colleague Pre-orientation via video conference or some other means perhaps a week before?

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

(same as most organizations and individuals these days) the economy.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I wish I had been ... smart enough? brave enough? to invest in participating in the conference sooner.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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