On June 16-18, more than 1,000 arts professionals, community leaders, artists, and students will gather in San Francisco to ask and answer the question: how can the arts be most impactful for our communities and our country? How can the arts best plan for success in today’s world?

The 2017 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention is not only the best professional development opportunity of the year, but your chance to get to know—and learn from—your colleagues from across the country.

Join us for 35+ sessions, 100+ speakers, 3 keynotes and 2 preconferences on pressing topics including leadership, public art, advocacy and cultural equity.

2017 Annual Convention News

Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 5:15pm

Annual Convention is right around the corner! Wondering how to get out and enjoy San Francisco in between sessions and networking? Take an ARTventure with us!

Choose from 10 tours in some of the Bay Area’s most cultural areas and neighborhoods—including Chinatown, the Castro, Oakland’s Uptown, and the Presidio—while exploring themes of urban renewal, Latino and queer arts, arts and the military, and (of course) the Summer of Love.

ARTventure tours are limited in capacity and will sell out! Learn more and register at convention.artsusa.org/artventures.

Monday, May 8, 2017 - 2:06pm

We couldn’t be more excited to announce that our Annual Convention keynote on Saturday, June 17 will be House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The 2010 Congressional Arts Leadership Awardee, Leader Pelosi has been an outspoken advocate for the arts in San Francisco and around the country, and she will share her thoughts on the role of the arts in today’s political climate! Her leadership helped secure funding to save nonprofit arts jobs in 2009 and she has advanced cultural policy throughout her career.

Leader Pelosi will be joined by Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch for a wide-ranging conversation and Q&A. Don’t miss this powerful and inspiring talk!

Leader Pelosi will appear unless federal issues or House schedules shift and require her presence in Washington, DC.

Monday, May 1, 2017 - 3:45pm

Rhodessa Jones
Americans for the Arts has announced the 2017 Annual Convention closing keynote from Rhodessa Jones, actress, writer, singer and teacher. Jones is the founder and director of the award-winning Medea Project, a theater program designed to use the arts to reduce the number of women returning to prison.

Jones will speak about her work, and hope for the future, and will celebrate the grit, perseverance, and power of the arts in the United States. She’ll be joined on stage by Debra Garcia y Griego, director of the Santa Fe Arts Commission and a strong artist advocate and leader in the local arts field.

Highlights from 2016 Convention

View photo highlights of 2016 #AFTACON sessions, speeches and parties on Flickr.



2016 Convention Livestreams

We live streamed 12 sessions at Convention this year, including keynote speeches, sessions on public art and arts advocacy in an election year, and a special concert celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Watch them all here!