Annual Convention News

Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 6:42pm
Marc Morial

Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League and one of the country’s preeminent civil rights leaders, will launch the 2018 Annual Convention with an inspiring opening keynote. As president of the Urban League, our country's oldest and largest community based organization, Morial has used his platform to push for economic and political empowerment, combat racial discrimination, and support policies that encourage greater equity. Before his time at the Urban League, Morial was mayor of New Orleans, where he put in place a series of anti-crime measures and reformed the police department, setting in motion a precipitous drop in violent crime in the city.

In this inspiring opening keynote, hear Morial’s thoughts on what artists and arts organizations need to do to transform the country into the equitable vision we dream it can be.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - 10:48am

Americans for the Arts is pleased to offer a number of full ride and general scholarships to members interested in attending the 2018 Annual Convention in Denver June 14 -17.

Scholarships are available for emerging and mid-career leaders, practicing artists, leaders of color, leaders with disabilities, for each of our three preconferences, and more. Visit the Scholarships page for a full list of opportunities!

The deadline to apply is Friday, March 2 at 11:59 PM (EST). Applicants to Americans for the Arts scholarships must be current members. (Not a member? You can join now to become eligible for scholarships and other Convention discounts.) Individuals may apply for multiple scholarships but finalists will only be awarded one.

For questions regarding scholarships please contact Dennis Barrett at  For questions regarding your membership status, please contact or call (202) 371-2830.

Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 11:07am

It’s time to book your plans for the Americans for the Arts Convention Attendees2018 Annual Convention! Arts and community leaders from across the country will gather in Denver, June 14-17, to discuss pressing issues around public art, community development, education, advocacy, and equity. With ample outdoors opportunities, a health food & localvore movement, a booming wellness & healthcare industry, and, of course, a culture bursting with art, the Mile High City is an ideal setting for important conversations and a good dose of creative fun.
•    100+ speakers at more than 30 sessions
•    3 keynotes
•    Preconferences on public art, creative youth development, and equitable investment
•   10 ARTventure tours across Denver
•    Parties at top cultural venues
•    And more!
Register today and save up to $150 with our special Early Bird registration rate—the deepest discount we offer for Annual Convention! Early Bird registration ends Wednesday, April 11, 2018 and is available online, by fax, or by mail.

Friday, January 19, 2018 - 12:33pm

We can’t wait to see you in Denver at #AFTACON—but until then, we’d love to see you online! Whether you’re planning to attend or still thinking it over, you can get social with us and other arts professionals in our Annual Convention 2018 Facebook event. We’ll be sharing news, announcements, and exclusive content leading up to and during Convention, and we don’t want you to miss out.

Just let us know whether you’re “going” or “interested” on the event page, and you’ll get the latest Convention news. Plus, you can post your own thoughts and e-meet other attendees. Don’t forget to share the event and invite your network—after all, Convention is more fun with friends!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 10:25am

Believe it or not, the big blue skies of Denver, site of the 2018 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, are just around the corner! And now it's time to submit your session and speaker ideas!

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!

CLICK HERE submit your ideas between now and October 15!

Friday, June 30, 2017 - 10:11am

Our thanks to the city of San Francisco for being a welcoming and dynamic host for the 2017 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—check out our highlights from the weekend. You’ll find:

  • A selection of nearly 5,000 tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram posts posted during #AFTACON;
  • Footage from 11 recorded sessions, including keynote speeches, sessions on public art, community activism, and more;
  • Sessions slides; and
  • Some of our favorite photos from San Francisco.

And save the date for the 2018 Annual Convention, June 15 -17, in Denver! We can’t wait to see you there!

Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 10:57am

2017 Annual Convention T-shirtShow your Americans for the Arts and Convention pride all year long with this awesome T-shirt!

Get yours here! But hurry, they won’t be around for long.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 2:49pm

There are only a few days left to register for the 2017 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Francisco! Online registration closes on Friday, June 2 at 11:59 PM ET. Don’t miss out on the best professional development opportunity of the year and the chance to connect with more than 1,000 arts and community leaders from across the country.

When you register for Annual Convention, you can experience 4 keynotes, 38 sessions from 100+ speakers and 2 preconferences on racial equity and public art.

If you miss the online registration deadline, there's still a chance to register on-site during the conference for an additional $75 fee. Check out the online schedule to find daily registration times.


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

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.