For nearly 60 years, Americans for the Arts has convened an annual convention for arts and community leaders to network and discuss strategies for building stronger towns, counties, and cities through the arts. As our professional field has grown, so has our gathering. What started as a small group of 45 people in 1955 has now grown to nearly 1,000 each year.

Together we’ve shared the successes and challenges of using the arts as core to community development, and we’ve heard expert advice from an impressive list of keynotes including Ben Folds, Richard Nixon, Harry Chapin, John Lewis, Tony Kushner, Arianna Huffington, and Robert Redford. Our Annual Convention is also an opportunity for peer groups interested arts education, cultural diversity, emerging leaders, public art, and more to meet each year to connect and share their work.

Boston is a city with a rich history and proud tradition of revolutionary transformation that is now reinventing itself as a center for technology, education, and development. As art and culture in America comes to a similar crossroads, Boston—the foundation of democracy—provides the grounding to explore a future where all voices may be heard, and where we learn from our past to serve as leaders of the changes to come. Join us this June to reflect on where we’ve come from and map out where we’re going, as we march toward healthier, more vibrant, and more equitable communities created through the arts.

This year’s Annual Convention explores the role of the arts in creating and sustaining healthy, vibrant, equitable communities. It is organized around five core themes:

Driving Change: How can the arts fuel revolution?
Empowering People: What does it take to empower individuals?
Owning Equity: How do we learn and lead in the pursuit of equity?
Crossing Divides: Where and how can the arts permeate and impact other parts of civic life?
Building Skills: What are the primary skills needed to succeed in the arts today?

Looking for additional information? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page or take a look at our Past Highlights page.