Minneapolis, Minnesota

The 24th Midwest Arts Conference will descend on downtown Minneapolis from Wednesday, Sept. 7, through Saturday, Sept. 10. Attendees will include 1,000 performing artists, their managers, and agents (representing 4,000 artists and ensembles), along with performing arts presenters, venues, and arts administrators from throughout the United States and beyond.

The Conference serves as convenor each September for the 15 states represented by Arts Midwest and the Mid-America Arts Alliance – an area stretching from the Dakotas to Michigan, Nebraska to Ohio, and Minnesota to Texas.

In addition to networking and professional development sessions, the Midwest Arts Conference provides a forum for live performances and a Marketplace exhibit hall. The 2011 gathering, centered at the Hilton Hotel, 1001 Marquette Avenue, is the first hosted by Minneapolis since 1992; St. Paul hosted the 2001 and 2009 conferences.

The Délégation du Québec from Chicago will sponsor Wednesday’s opening reception at the Nicollet Island Pavilion, 6-8pm. IMG Artists will sponsor Saturday’s closing party at the Dakota Jazz Club, 5-6:30pm.

This year’s Marketplace exhibit hall will be staged at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Many Minnesota performing ensembles have paid for a booth presence: Ananya Dance Theatre, 701A; ARENA Dances, 121A; James Sewell Ballet, 901 and 929; Katha Dance Theatre, 128; Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, 839; Minnesota Sinfonia, 800B; Ragamala Dance, 901; Rose Ensemble, 106; Shapiro and Smith Dance, 921; Sossy Mechanics, 109; Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater, 339A; Theater of Fools, 906; and TU Dance, 739.

The Conference will present 18 artists and ensembles in curated, showcase performances at the Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Avenue, on Thursday and Friday evenings, including Minnesota’s Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater at 7:35pm on Thursday.

Numerous showcase performances will be produced independently throughout downtown on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings, with a majority staged in the Hilton Hotel’s ballrooms. All of these performances are free, and nearly all of them will welcome respectful audience members from the local community if space allows. All performances begin promptly at stated start times.

Independent showcases will be presented by Minnesota artists on this schedule:

Wednesday, Sept. 7 – 8:30pm: Ananya Dance Theater, full-length presentation of “Tushaanal: Fires of Dry Grass.” ADT shuttle will pick up conferees at Nicollet Island Pavilion at 8pm with return to Hilton Hotel at 10pm. Venue: Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Avenue South.

Thursday-Friday, Sept. 8-9 – 9:30pm: Shapiro and Smith Dance; 9:45pm: Ragamala Dance; 10pm: Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater; 10:15pm: James Sewell Ballet; 10:30pm: Zenon Dance Company; 10:45pm: TU Dance; 11pm: Sossy Mechanics. Venue: James Sewell Ballet’s Studio 2A, Hennepin Center for the Arts, 528 Hennepin Avenue.

Thursday-Friday, Sept. 8-9 – 9:30pm, 10:15pm, 11pm: ARENA Dances. Venue: Studio 5B, Hennepin Center for the Arts, 528 Hennepin Avenue.

Friday, Sept. 9 – 9:30pm: Rose Ensemble. Venue: Wesley United Methodist Church, 101 East Grant Street.

All events are subject to change.

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