Chicago, our 2015 host city, is a city built on power—a city that once forced a river to change directions, rebuilt from a devastating fire, and emerged as a focal point of political power, economic power, industry, and innovation in the center of the country.

It is a city curved on a massive lake, threaded with a necklace of parks, cultural venues, and enclaves of artists and entrepreneurs who are today powering a new, creative, diverse future. Into this mix the Annual Convention comes to celebrate the role of culture in one of the largest and most complex communities in the United States.

You don’t want to miss this!


2015 Annual Convention News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 2:12pm

You already know Annual Convention will bring together more than 1,000 arts professionals with 150 speakers and 45 sessions, but there's a whole lot more to look forward to this year. Here’s a list of top ten things to see and do while in Chicago at the 2015 Annual Convention!

1.    Explore approximately 300,000 works of art at theArt Institute of Chicago. Housed in eight buildings, totaling nearly one million square feet of space, The Art Institute's exhibits, galleries, lectures, and performances are touted as some of the best in the world.

2.    Be inspired by our lineup of keynote speakers: Theaster Gates, founder and creator of Rebuild Foundation and the Dorchester Projects; Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs; and Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

3.    Every visitor to Chicago must see the Millennium and Maggie Daley Parks, which feature Cloudgate, Jaume Plensa, Jay Priztker Pavillion, and Lurie Gardens.

4.    Wind down and let loose with your colleagues at the Opening Reception at the Museum of Contemporary Art!

5.    Experience the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Summer Series, at the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance, devoted to the work of artist and resident choreographer, Alejandro Cerrudo.

6.    Book your tickets to see a show on one of Chicago’s world-class stages, including the Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Second City, or one of the many other theatres around town.

7.    Immerse yourself in the cultural history of Chicago with a trip to the National Museum of Mexican Art and the DuSable Museum of African American History.

8.    While the Annual Convention will be the BEST event in town, it won’t be the only one. We’ll be sharing the city with a number of other artist groups including the Chicago Blues Festival, Wells Street Art Festival, and the Spring Awakening Music Festival.

9.    Think outside of the (room service) box! Get out and enjoy Chicago’s more notable dining options—Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse, Shaw’s Crab House, and The Gage—or veer off the beaten path and try a hot dog from Portillo’s or ribs from Carson’s.

10.    See Chicago from a whole new perspective with a bird’s eye view from the Willis Tower Sky Deck or on a boat cruise on the Chicago River!

Photo credit: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in Little mortal jump by Hubbard Street Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

Monday, March 2, 2015 - 4:39pm

Nominations for Americans for the Arts 2015 Annual Leadership Awards Are Now Open!

Nominate yourself or a colleague for one of six 2015 Annual Leadership Awards presented by Americans for the Arts. Presented each year in conjunction with Annual Convention, these awards recognize the achievements of individuals, organizations, or programs committed to enriching their communities through the arts.

Categories include the Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award, the Arts Education Award, the American Express Emerging Leaders Award, the Michael Newton Award, the Selina Roberts Ottum Award, and the Public Art Network Award.

The nomination deadline has been extended to midnight Wednesday, April 1, 2015! You must be a member of Americans for the Arts to submit nominations, nominees, however, are not required to be members of Americans for the Arts. Members must login to their Americans for the Arts Account to submit a nomination.

Each award has its own evaluation criteria. Be sure to visit the rules and regulations for each award before submitting your nomination. Visit the Annual Awards page for more information or to submit a nomination.

Questions e-mail or call (202)371-2830 for assistance.