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River's Edge Trail Great Falls - by Emily Wolfram

41st MPAC Conference

October 13-15, 2023 in Great Falls, Montana

Missouri River Trail, Great Falls (photo: E. Wolfram)

Annual Showcase & Conference

October 13-15, 2023

Mansfield Center for the Performing Arts
2 Park Dr S, Great Falls, MT 59401

MPAC’s Annual Showcase and Conference is an annual 3-day event during which over a hundred performing arts professionals gather to plan performances, network, learn, and develop lasting relationships that extend into communities around the state.


Each year, the event is attended by presenting organizations from throughout Montana and nearby states, as well as artists, agents, and arts advocacy and service organizations. MPAC's annual conference features juried showcase performances by approximately 17 different artists, a trade-show style exhibit hall (Resource Room), networking events, and professional development workshops. The showcase and conference events are designed to be a collegial and practical means of networking and block-booking. Events are organized to provide ample time and opportunity to meet and foster conversation between presenters, artists, and agents.

New for October 2023:

  • Fall date for easier travel and new location near a local airport

  • 5-minute pitch session—promotional opportunity for non-showcasing artists and agents

  • New workshops (topics TBD)

Graphic of the state of Montana with location pins

Our conference is growing

 We welcome new presenting organizations, artists, agencies, and vendors to our network.

Join us!


Contact us about coming to our conference and joining our community!

Conference highlights:​

The Showcases

The showcases are the main event of the conference as they give artists the opportunity to promote their programs to a large number of presenters. Likewise, the showcases give presenters the chance to sample a wide variety of live performances to consider booking for future concerts and live events. The conference also facilitates block-booking meetings so that presenters can coordinate tour dates, saving time and money for both venues and artists.

Presenter community and block-booking meetings

This conference event is for presenters only. During this time presenters gather to discuss possibilities for ​the next season(s). The Sunday morning meeting is typically when they see if there is enough interest in specific artists to form a tour. 

The Jam Session

A game changer for booking interest

A perennial conference highlight is Saturday night's Artist Jam Session, which offers a chance to visit with other attendees and enjoy artist performances in an informal setting. Performers are invited to take the stage in a spirit of spontaneity and collaboration and jam with other artists. This event is well-attended by presenters and the experience at "The Jam" has a significant impact on the discussion at the block-booking meeting the following morning!

Musicians performing at a Jam Session in a bar


Presenters are the captive audience

Artists and Agents: if you are accustomed to the classic Exhibit Hall or Resource Room vibe of patiently waiting at your booth waiting for someone to approach you, this is your chance to literally turn the tables and be the one on the move.  Each presenting organization is assigned a table or booth where they display information about their venues and communities. Artists and agents have a chance to approach the presenters, start conversations, and ask questions. There is a "best presenter table contest" during this event so presenters bring treats or cookies and really go all-out to show you their best!

Other Perks

  • WESTAF TourWest grant workshop and individual consultations with WESTAF staff.

  • Resource Room (exhibit hall) for artists, agents, and vendors

  • Catering by Chandee Bomgardner! Again!

The Montana Performing Arts Consortium annual artist showcase and conference relies on grant support from Montana’s Cultural Trust, the Montana Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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