2018 Annual Convention: Ideas and Speakers Submissions

Thank you for proposing some ideas for the Americans for the Arts 2018 Annual Convention!

What makes for a new vision for the role of the arts in community life? Tell us the topics, concepts, theories, practices! Your ideas will directly inform the creation of 25-30 main conference breakout sessions representing the full breadth of what is concerning and exciting advocates today!

NEW VISIONS. The Annual Convention lands in Denver in 2018—a unique place, high up where the air is clear and the sun is bright. Denver is a place built on a history of collaboration and partnership, forged by the need to conquer the mighty mountain landscape that has instilled an idea of always meeting people where they are, with the skills you each have, to pursue new possibilities together. But like many major cities, it is also a place that is continuing to evolve. Shifts in industry and population are the order of the day, every day.

On a broad plain, backed by mountains, blue skies, and the full mythology of the West, Denver is a place where new visions can unfurl and flourish. Distance and height give an important perspective—a way of seeing things that encourages the long-view, the assessment of strengths and needs, the pairing of dreams with practicalities to build the path from vision to reality. With a horizon line so far away, it can be easier to focus on the ground in front of us—but Denver is a place that never lets you forget about the true enormity of the community, and of the driving force of creativity, and of the ability for historical and modern concepts to exist seamlessly, side-by-side.

In 2018, we’ll breathe deeply and cast out together to craft and consider new visions for our communities and our culture. In a country whose population demands ever broader respect for culture and community, ever deeper understanding of equity and engagement, ever more innovative ways of investing and partnering across sectors and communities, and ever more persistent communication of the impact and value that we bring to the table, how do we progress forward?

In Denver, let us come together and revel in possibility—to forge new relationships, new agreements, and new community visions for arts and culture, and for us all.

This year, we are also encouraging you to identify some people who you think might be impactful in discussing the ideas you propose. While we curate all of our sessions, and so can’t promise that any of your suggested people will end up in the final breakout, we found your suggestions extremely helpful last year, and about 30% of all of last year’s panelists came out of this process.


The deadline for submitting ideas and suggesting speakers is October 15, 2017.

Do you have more than one idea?  We love that.  You’re welcome to submit as many ideas as you’d like—but to gather as much information about each one as possible, we need you to do them one at a time.  Once you submit your idea you’ll be brought back to this page and can submit again.

Thank you and see you in Denver!

Click here to submit your idea and speaker suggestions!