Before the main Convention, attend one of two preconferences for an additional in-depth learning experience around a specific topic. The preconferences take place Thursday, June 14 and Friday, June 15.

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 consider how to connect with new audiences. We will explore the role public art is playing throughout the country, investigate current public art issues and trends, and explore Denver’s public art.

New this year, we will spend extended time visiting different locations throughout Denver to get a firsthand look at the ways public art is being used to connect with the community. Attendees will be able to select one of three uniquely designed tours that explore how national topics are playing out in the Denver public art scene. These tours will allow you to connect with both attendees and local area practitioners who will provide personal knowledge of their work and the impact it has on their community.

Attendees will also participate in three breakout sessions, have lunch with experts during moderated roundtables discussions, hear from the 2019 PAN Leadership Awardee, and engage in a newly-formatted PAN Year in Review session. 

Public Art Preconference attendees will also have two additional opportunities to network, including the annual Wednesday night dine-arounds—hosted by local public art professionals and PAN Council members—and the Thursday evening Preconference reception where they can mingle with attendees from all three preconferences.

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.

The Preconference will be framed around models of effective practice identified through research related to the Creative Youth Development Toolkit, a project which is crafted through the Creative Youth Development National Partnership (including partners such as the National Guild for Community Arts Education, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards).

Participants will self-select and examine effective models of practice in the following areas: Program Development, Program Evaluation, Preparing Artists & Educators, Working With Youth, Working In Social Justice, Funding & Partnerships, and Policy & Advocacy. Following deep dives into effective practices within CYD programs, participants will be guided through a “futures-oriented” process—where they will envision the possible, probable, and preferable futures of the field—discussing how they can effectively advance their own CYD community of practice in their local context.
Throughout the Creative Youth Development Preconference, young people will be featured in numerous roles as participants, facilitators, performing and teaching artists, and keynote speakers.

Equitable Investment in the Arts: Grantmaking and Beyond

Thousands of creative organizations are missing out on the arts field’s investment—many from communities historically disadvantaged by the nonprofit funding model. Equitable Grantmaking Preconference attendees will work with experts and experimenters brainstorming both immediate action steps to take back home and a long-term vision for how we invest in communities through the arts.

In an arts landscape where more and more creative enterprise is happening outside the nonprofit structure—and in a moment when the inequities of our public and private grantmaking systems are being laid bare—how can we expand our definition of “investment” to ensure a strong future for the full spectrum of the arts and culture field? In this highly interactive preconference, join your peers and people working on the frontlines of an expanded definition of investment in the arts to learn about the challenges of our current systems, the possibilities of new systems, and a path forward for investing money, time, and capacity more equitably in our cultural ecosystem.