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.
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.
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.
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.
As the Executive Director of the North Dakota Council on the Arts I see first hand what an impact Arts Midwest makes across the region. Specifically, Arts Midwest World Fest allows rural communities to participate in rich global arts experiences, experiences that would normally be far too costly for rural North Dakota to afford. Arts Midwest is well recognized regionally, nationally and internationally for its work with global projects, specifically music and literature. The NEA has repeatedly relied on Arts Midwest to manage national programs such as Shakespeare in America and The Big Read. The leadership of David Fraher and Susan Chandler is without equal. Their partnership is outstanding and has resulted in an organization and staff that the entire region is proud of.
Arts Midwest is one of the best organizations I have ever experienced. Under the outstanding leadership of David Fraher, Executive Director, and his excellent staff, Arts Midwest manages many important national and regional initiatives. I have worked directly with David and the staff as a board member and am impressed with the ability of the organization to meet the challenges of numerous arts initiatives and manage them effectively. They have expanded ArtsMidwestWorldFest, which I initiated before turning it over to Arts Midwest. It has become a model for cultural exchange that enables underserved Midwestern communities to interact with young, inspiring, international artists in student workshops and performances; community outreach activities; and public performances. Shakespeare in America and the Big Read, two superb national initiates of the NEA, are managed by Arts Midwest. Other arts organizations would benefit from looking at Arts Midwest as a role model.