Thank You Denver!

Our thanks to the city of Denver for being a welcoming and dynamic host for the 2018 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention! If you’re missing it as much as we are—or you missed out and didn’t get to join us—here are some highlights from the weekend.

Visit our 2018 Annual Convention wrap-up page and you'll find:

  • A collection of your in-the-moment reactions through #AFTACON tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts;
  • Footage from recorded sessions, including keynote speeches, sessions on public art, arts and economic prosperity, community activism, and more;
  • Sessions slides;
  • Some of our favorite photos of keynotes, sessions and networking events

Annual Convention News

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 10:47am

Across the country, artists are activating—they're using their mediums to tell new stories, to raise up their voices, to make people think. Saturday's Morning keynote will feature artist Tanya AguiƱiga, recipient of the Americans for the Arts' 2018 Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities, and social entrepreneur and artist-activist Sol Guy discussing the power of this moment, ways nexus organizations can support creative voices, and the new opportunities to come.

On June 14-17, join us in Denver for the 2018 Annual Convention to hear from Tanya and Sol and more than 100 arts leaders over 4 keynotes, more than 30 sessions and networking events across Denver!

Saturday Keynote Speakers

Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 9:02am

This year’s Closing Keynote features three innovative artists transforming their industries and communities with new ideas, perspectives, and visions for the future. Join us at the 2018 Annual Convention to hear from these three exciting speakers!

  • DJ Cavem, vegan chef/hip hop artist-activist, uses music to connect young people to organic gardening and environmental activism
  • Camila Chiriboga, fashion designer and founder of veº,  is redefining fashion with accessible technology. from self-navigating shoes for the blind to hidden pockets for dialysis machines and medication
  • Virginia San Fratello, architect and educator, develops 3-D printed building materials made from waste products like tires, salt, and sand.

Closing Keynote Speakers

Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 8:41am

Before the main Convention schedule begins on June 15, you can attend one of three preconferences on specific topics of importance to the arts field. Preconferences begin on Thursday, June 14, and include an exclusive Precon Party at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Make sure to add one to your Convention experience when you register!

Public Art in Times of Change

Public art is a focal point of dialogue and change. Public Art Preconference attendees will learn what it means to work with communities in changing times, reflect on who is represented in current and historical public art, and explore how to connect with new audiences.

Creative Youth Development

Creative youth development (CYD) unifies a longstanding community of practice that intentionally integrates the arts, humanities, and sciences with youth development principles, sparking young people’s creativity and building critical learning and life skills. The Creative Youth Development Preconference will feature successful programs and aims to advance CYD to new levels of sustainability and success.

Practicing Cultural Equity in Local Arts Agencies

This interactive workshop follows up last year’s preconference on racial equity in local arts agencies, and is designed for anyone who is working at a local arts agency or nexus organization and wondering, “How do I make sure I’m considering equity in my work?”—whether the work involves grantmaking, professional development, space sharing, or advocacy.





Convention Livestreams

Highlights from 2018 Convention

View photo highlights of 2018 #AFTACON sessions, speeches and parties on Flickr.