Schedule

Thursday, June 25, 2020

9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Annual Convention and Public Art & Civic Design Conference
Workshop Icon Pre-Event Workshop

Advocating to key policymakers can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be.

Advocating to key policymakers can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. In this special pre-event workshop, Americans for the Arts’ experts will walk you through how to use your individual story, the latest research and data, and some easy tips and tricks to engage with decisionmakers at the federal, state, and local level. You’ll engage in interactive workshops and discussions with fellow arts advocates-in-training and practice your angles, pitches, and messaging. Learn the how-to’s of connecting with your elected officials, reaching out effectively, saying the right thing in the room, and maintaining these crucial relationships over time. Whether you are a community organizer, arts administrator, nonprofit leader, or a dynamic changemaker in your own right, “Anyone Can Be an Arts Advocate” will equip you to be the best advocate you can be.

Who should attend: This pre-event workshop is for new or new-at-heart arts advocates looking for the skills to talk to their local, state, and/or federal elected officials—whether that’s a member of the school board or your U.S. Congressperson.

Optional free add-on: Put Your Skills into Practice on Capitol Hill: All attendees of this workshop will have the option to head to Capitol Hill on Thursday afternoon after the workshop to put your new skills into practice. To join this Hill component, attendees must also participate in one additional, virtual, free pre-training prior to arriving in Washington, DC. More information about that pre-training will be provided following registration for the Workshop.

2:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Annual Convention and Public Art & Civic Design Conference
Workshop Icon Pre-Event Workshop

The Monument Lab considers what is an appropriate approach to monuments in the contemporary city. In partnership with Americans for…

The Monument Lab considers what is an appropriate approach to monuments in the contemporary city. In partnership with Americans for the Arts, Monument Lab will lead a preconference workshop to explore process, participation, and power in public art. In this moment of reinvention for the public monument, Monument Lab works with artists, students, activists, municipal agencies, and cultural institutions on exploratory approaches to public engagement and collective memory. Their methods include building prototype monuments, lead participatory open research initiatives, and convene memory workers in public spaces across cities with the goal to critically engage the public art we have inherited to reimagine public spaces through narratives of social justice and equity.

Who should attend: This workshop is designed for anyone working in public engagement and collective memory including public art administrators, artists, arts and culture leaders, placemakers and keepers, municipal agents, and more.

Learning Objectives:

  • Hear from a range of Monument Lab partners, fellows and other leaders from the field who will explore and engage participants around the central themes of the workshop
  • Learn about frameworks for municipal art offices and cultural organizations to explore new opportunities for process-based participation and outcomes for their work
  • Engage in a group charette through recent case studies from the field to seek breakthroughs while addressing inequities, parameters, and accountability measures
  • Be provided an opportunity for participants to identify exploratory pathways and actionable next steps in their own communities and within their own work.

Friday, June 26, 2020

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Affinity Group

Annual Convention
Affinity space icon Affinity Space

As part of Americans for the Arts' ongoing commitment to cultural equity, we invite attendees who identify as equity allies to this affinity group.

As part of Americans for the Arts' ongoing commitment to cultural equity, we invite attendees who identify as equity allies to this affinity group. Those not identifying as equity allies are encouraged to attend one of the other affinity groups taking place at various points in the conference, and/or the panel discussion "What Are Affinity Groups and Why Are They Useful?"

Learning Objectives:

  • Meet and engage with other equity allies working in the arts.
  • Cultivate a stronger understanding of what it means to be an equity ally in the arts and learn strategies to encourage systemic change towards equity.
  • Share issues and concerns, as well as advice and mutual support, related being an equity ally in the arts.

Annual Convention
Affinity space icon Affinity Space

As part of Americans for the Arts' ongoing commitment to cultural equity, we invite attendees who identify as people of color to this affinity group.

As part of Americans for the Arts' ongoing commitment to cultural equity, we invite attendees who identify as people of color to this affinity group. Those not identifying as people of color are encouraged to attend one of the other affinity groups taking place at various points in the conference, and/or the panel discussion "What Are Affinity Groups and Why Are They Useful?"

Learning Objectives:

  • Meet and engage with other people of color working in the arts.
  • Cultivate intergenerational understanding and learn strategies to activate a personal career support system.
  • Share issues and concerns, as well as advice and mutual support, related to the unique challenges of being a person of color in the arts.

Networking

Annual Convention and Public Art & Civic Design Conference
Interactive icon Interactive

First time at the Annual Convention, or simply want to meet new people in a casual, fun environment? Join us for the Newcomers and New-at-Heart…

First time at the Annual Convention, or simply want to meet new people in a casual, fun environment? Join us for the Newcomers and New-at-Heart Meet-and-Greet to find a conference buddy, meet rising talent, and get your energy going before the conference kicks off!

Learning Objectives:

  • Meet new people!
  • Learn more about what the Annual Convention is, who attends, and explore the schedule of events.
  • Pick up some new ice-breaker exercises to take back home.

Annual Convention
Interactive icon Interactive

Looking for a more low-key opportunity to meet some new people and talk about common interests? Get an early start on the Annual Convention by…

Looking for a more low-key opportunity to meet some new people and talk about common interests? Get an early start on the Annual Convention by joining the Convention Roundtables, where the topics run from serious to absurd to DIY, and you can find new friends without a single ice-breaker!

Learning Objectives:

  • Meet new people!
  • Connect with other people interested in common topics, learn and share.
  • Mix and mingle at your own pace, and start the Convention with a few new folks to say hi to along the way.

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

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Panel Icon Panel

Session description coming soon.

Session description coming soon.

Breakout Session

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Panel Icon Panel

Diversity in candidate identification, cultivation, and recruitment is a major topic in the arts and culture sector, yet many job seekers and…

Diversity in candidate identification, cultivation, and recruitment is a major topic in the arts and culture sector, yet many job seekers and employers continue to find the path difficult to navigate. Whether you are recruiting for your organization or seeking your next career transition, this session will help you address the challenges you may face with minimizing unconscious hiring bias, changing your organizational culture, and embracing opportunities for professional growth. This IDEAS-focused session will address these and many other important issues in a robust and interactive discussion format.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn simple techniques to remove unconscious (or implicit) bias during the recruitment process for hiring managers and board members.
  • Gain a practical framework to educate, discuss, and ultimately transform organizational hiring culture.
  • Know, as a possible job-seeker, your strengths and strategies to be best positioned for professional development and advancement.

Annual Convention
Lab icon Lab

Your board or commission minds the mission and drives formal and informal policy for your organization, which means that their biases and…

Your board or commission minds the mission and drives formal and informal policy for your organization, which means that their biases and privileges can crop up in all sorts of ways when you're trying to pursue equity. In this workshop, learn how to begin and continue supporting your board/commission in becoming allies and not just allowing but encouraging a "policy reset" that prioritizes equity and a new way of working.

Learning Objectives:

  • Hear the demographics and surface the power dynamics associated with the majority of today's arts boards/commissions.
  • Gain tools and worksheets for helping your board or commission members become more aware of power, bias, and privilege, and how that plays into policymaking.
  • Map out a series of next steps that you can use when you get back home to support a transforming in how your board/commission thinks and acts.

Annual Convention
Discussion Icon Discussion

In local, state, and federal departments of transportation, agriculture, education, military, health, justice, workforce development and more,…

In local, state, and federal departments of transportation, agriculture, education, military, health, justice, workforce development and more, untapped billions of dollars in prospective funding for the arts sits, just waiting for the right series of conversations, policy proposals, and research to cross the right desk. In this discussion session, hear examples of how those exchanges can happen, the time and patience involved in getting them to take root, and the challenges and opportunities that present themselves when the funds become more available.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about ways local, state, and federal peers have tapped arts funds in partnership with non-arts entities.
  • Discuss the challenges and opportunities of framing the arts as part of tackling non-arts issues.
  • Think about how you can identify the non-arts areas that are most pressing in your communities, and what models might allow for arts-inclusive policy solutions.

Annual Convention
Fishbowl icon Fishbowl

As ArtPlace America winds down its 10-year, transformative efforts in the arts and culture sector, gather to hear from the staff about what they've…

As ArtPlace America winds down its 10-year, transformative efforts in the arts and culture sector, gather to hear from the staff about what they've accomplished, what they're hoping comes next, and where they see the field going from here.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about the founding, activities, and goals of ArtPlace America.
  • Hear about some of the current and former strategies ArtPlace employed to drive conversation about creative placemaking.
  • Explore together what the next steps for the creative placemaking movement art as ArtPlace sunsets.

Annual Convention
Panel Icon Panel

Soft power is when people or organizations use things like arts and culture to attract and co-opt others, rather than coerce. It can be both…

Soft power is when people or organizations use things like arts and culture to attract and co-opt others, rather than coerce. It can be both lucrative and dangerous for arts groups and artists. How can arts agencies and cultural institutions navigate the opportunities and challenges connected to soft power goals?

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn what soft power is and why arts and culture are central to its success.
  • Hear how both arts agencies and cultural institutions have navigated soft power-related funding opportunities.
  • Explore how to keep clear of any controversies or antithetical outcomes from donors seeking soft power influence.

Affinity Group

Annual Convention
Panel Icon Panel

An Affinity Group is a group of faculty and staff linked by a common purpose, ideology, or interest—but what are they for? How do they work? What…

An Affinity Group is a group of faculty and staff linked by a common purpose, ideology, or interest—but what are they for? How do they work? What should you know before considering starting one in your organization or community?

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn more about diversity/equity/inclusion-related Affinity Groups and how they work, and how to make sure they're productive and positive components of your organization.
  • Discuss the concept of "white space" and other dominant frameworks that pervade most spaces, and how Affinity Groups address such frameworks.
  • Explore how to engage with those who find affinity groups uncomfortable.

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Breakout Session

Annual Convention
Panel Icon Panel

Racism is baked into the structure and model of foundation giving - including that of local, county, and state arts agencies.

Racism is baked into the structure and model of foundation giving - including that of local, county, and state arts agencies. In this session, participants will briefly learn the history behind the funding structures we have today, hear about session leaders experiences or aspirations in restructuring their general operating support programs, share their own experiences, and then be led through an exercise to get in the shoes of your community members.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the history behind the funding structures we have today.
  • Hear from session leaders (and one another) on their experiences or aspirations in restructuring their general operating support programs in their communities.
  • Through role play, learn about the barriers to change and how you might effectively negotiate these barriers with grantees, community members, and others.

Annual Convention
Panel Icon Panel

The traditional values at the center of Native communities are a touchstone for many people seeking peace, unity, and justice in these uncertain…

The traditional values at the center of Native communities are a touchstone for many people seeking peace, unity, and justice in these uncertain times. This session will provide a primer and tools for the uninitiated and a deeper dive for those with previous experience in cross-cultural collaboration, in a safe space for asking those difficult questions. Topics covered will include land acknowledgment and beyond; welcome to country/land; protocols for welcoming international Indigenous artists; indigenizing your concept of time; making place and indigenizing space; decolonization; and cross-cultural communication.

Learning Objectives:

  • Build knowledge about why and how to value and acknowledge the arts and culture of Indigenous people locally, nationally (Native Americans) and internationally.
  • Identify strategies to address challenges that affect inclusion and equity for Indigenous artists and their work.
  • Learn the core concepts of Indigenous protocol.

Annual Convention
Lab icon Lab

How do you get people who are not on your boat onboard when it comes to the usefulness, value, and impact of arts and culture on communities?

How do you get people who are not on your boat onboard when it comes to the usefulness, value, and impact of arts and culture on communities? In this workshop, learn to match what you have to what they need,use language that they understand, and back it up--and then go practice with a special "escalator pitch" session!

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn what framing science is and how it is applicable for the arts--particularly when it comes to the arts and other community issues.
  • Explore actual case studies and go step-by-step through why they succeeded or failed.
  • Map out your strategies for communicating the value of the arts in your community, and try them out on fellow participants.

Annual Convention
Discussion Icon Discussion

Arts organizations often come to businesses with their hand out asking for funding support instead of approaching them with mutually-beneficial…

Arts organizations often come to businesses with their hand out asking for funding support instead of approaching them with mutually-beneficial opportunity. In this discussion, explore how you can “flip the script” and meet prospective business partners where they are by speaking in their language, about their interests. Learn how help your corporate colleagues think about the arts as a way to meet their business goals, not just a place for charity.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to be more effective at engaging the corporate sector in your communities.
  • Learn about tools and best practice examples that spotlight exemplary innovative arts and business partnerships.
  • Explore how to adjust a pitch or ask into an approach focused around reciprocal benefit, partnership, innovation and their business goals.

Annual Convention
Interactive icon Interactive

Have a great project that you’re looking for funding to support? Small group conversations will introduce the basics of National Endowment for the…

Have a great project that you’re looking for funding to support? Small group conversations will introduce the basics of National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funding programs, the application process, and review criteria, including answers to the most frequently asked questions. Plus, pitch your idea to get specific feedback and guidance from NEA staff.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain detailed understanding of the various NEA grant opportunities, categories, and deadlines.
  • Interact with NEA staff in small groups to ask project-specific questions, hear answers to frequently asked questions, and pitch their project idea for guidance and feedback.
  • Leave ready to apply to NEA grant programs.

Annual Convention
Fishbowl icon Fishbowl

National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is a great way to dramatically increase the visibility of arts and culture in your community by…

National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is a great way to dramatically increase the visibility of arts and culture in your community by leveraging Americans for the Arts' NAHM programming. Creative Conversations, an Americans for the Arts program annually championed and provided with a theme every year by the Emerging Leaders Advisory Council during NAHM, is one easy and flexible way to amplify arts and culture, and create and strengthen connections within - and outside - of your arts community. In this session, you will learn how to host a Creative Conversation and how to integrate it into a complex NAHM campaign connected with Americans for the Arts channels. You will leave with your own draft of a NAHM campaign for your community. Workshop leaders will also briefly share their own experiences of successfully using Creative Conversations as a centerpiece of their NAHM programming.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn what a Creative Conversation is and how to host one.
  • Explore how to integrate Creative Conversations into a complex NAHM campaign connected with Americans for the Arts channels.
  • Develop a draft of a NAHM campaign for their community

Saturday, June 27, 2020

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Breakout Session

Annual Convention
Lab icon Lab

In this session, learn how you can use your individual story to engage with decisionmakers, what types of outreach are most effective, and how to…

In this session, learn how you can use your individual story to engage with decisionmakers, what types of outreach are most effective, and how to maintain relationships with decisionmakers and other stakeholders. Leave this session equipped to be the best arts advocate you can be.

Annual Convention
Lab icon Lab

How do we help our boards succeed in a time of heightened anxiety, when non-profit and government organizations are subject to greater public…

How do we help our boards succeed in a time of heightened anxiety, when non-profit and government organizations are subject to greater public scrutiny – and criticism – than many of us have seen before? In this session, two veteran non-profit leaders, Dave Lawrence and Karen Gahl-Mills, will facilitate a candid conversation about boards and uncertainty, with the objective of creating a set of tools for both non-profit executives and board members that can be applied to organizations and boards of all sizes. We will explore questions such as: What is the leader’s role in managing board anxiety? How can we help some of our most dedicated volunteers stay the course when they are faced with unpleasant public scrutiny? How can we, as non-profit leaders, empower our boards during times of crisis?

Learning Objectives:

  • How to better understand the dynamics at play when a board faces a challenge
  • How to objectively reflect on and interpret their own board challenges
  • How to construct and apply a set of practical tools to apply to future situations
  • Attendees will build a network of support that they can draw on in the future

Annual Convention
Panel Icon Panel

Food is viscerally associated with memories, place, traditions, and personal and collective history. For refugees and migrants, it can be a source of…

Food is viscerally associated with memories, place, traditions, and personal and collective history. For refugees and migrants, it can be a source of solace or a survival necessity, allow them to tell their own stories, and shift discussion from the system to the people. This session brings together a diverse group of panelists who have been involved with projects that use food and art to document refugee and migrant experiences, foster conversation, and connect people across generations and cultures.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the nuances of refugee/migrant experiences and the importance of art in healing, empowering, and connecting displaced communities.
  • See how food can be used as a source of artistic inspiration and cultural expression for refugee/migrant communities.
  • Learn how arts advocates and practitioners can develop culturally-relevant programming that helps to elevate refugee/migrant voices and stories.

Annual Convention
Panel Icon Panel

The majority of state legislatures are red. In this session, three veterans of arts advocacy in red states, as well as current and former…

The majority of state legislatures are red. In this session, three veterans of arts advocacy in red states, as well as current and former conservative elected officials, will teach attendees how and why it’s worth making their case for the arts to conservatives, and how to do it best.

Learning Objectives:

  • Expand your advocacy strategies and vocabulary.
  • Learn how to make “frenemies" and work with people who don’t want to be worked with.
  • Learn from current/past elected officials on how best to make your case for the arts.

Annual Convention
Panel Icon Panel

Chambers of Commerce are (or should be) important partners in making the case for arts and culture as both an economic and social impact driver. In…

Chambers of Commerce are (or should be) important partners in making the case for arts and culture as both an economic and social impact driver. In this session, hear examples of great partnerships between arts groups, agencies, and chambers of commerce, and explore how you can enhance your own!

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Breakout Session

Annual Convention
Panel Icon Panel

Arts organizations and artists have a crucial role to play in energizing people in their communities around registering to vote and getting to the…

Arts organizations and artists have a crucial role to play in energizing people in their communities around registering to vote and getting to the polls--particularly this year! In this session, learn about innovative arts- and creativity-based campaigns designed to encourage civic engagement, drive community dialogue, and get out the vote.

Annual Convention
Discussion Icon Discussion

Through targeted investment and engagement, funders and arts organizations can create opportunities for artists with disabilities and increase access…

Through targeted investment and engagement, funders and arts organizations can create opportunities for artists with disabilities and increase access to the arts. Join us for an interactive conversation on how funders and arts organizations have deepened their work with artists and audiences with disabilities in their communities, and how your organization can ensure that people with disabilities are a part of the work at every stage in the process.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn best practices for creating programs and funding opportunities that can improve access to the arts for people with disabilities in their community.
  • Explore how to bring people with disabilities to the table as part of your decision-making to make richer and more successful engagement and better overall outcomes.
  • Learn how to partner with organizations in the disability community to create the most meaningful engagement and a stronger impact on people with disabilities.

Annual Convention
Panel Icon Panel

The "creative economy" is a multi-faceted thing. Who's in, who's out? How many dollars does it generate--and when do those dollars start and stop…

The "creative economy" is a multi-faceted thing. Who's in, who's out? How many dollars does it generate--and when do those dollars start and stop being the result of "creativity?" What are the ingredients in a community that can foster a healthy, inclusive creative economy? How do you begin to measure impact? In this session, try to get some clarity!

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about different definitions, research studies, and indicators that can be used to define the creative economy.
  • Discuss challenges and opportunities that exist to define the creative economy, and where the arts fit into the puzzle
  • Learn about models and recommendations from creative economy practitioners, and how their viewing different issues related to definitions, economic impact and value, and supporting artists and creative workers.

Annual Convention
Fishbowl icon Fishbowl

The U.S., generally, is a practical nation--that's part of why economic and social impact, which ties so closely to practical and measurable outcomes…

The U.S., generally, is a practical nation--that's part of why economic and social impact, which ties so closely to practical and measurable outcomes, has so much traction. But how do we make sure that, in touting out usefulness and instrumentality, we keep focused on the art, too? Catch this debate/discussion about finding a balance.

Annual Convention
Panel Icon Panel

How can communities activate vacant storefronts using arts and culture? What barriers might they encounter and how can they overcome them? How can…

How can communities activate vacant storefronts using arts and culture? What barriers might they encounter and how can they overcome them? How can arts and culture projects in vacant storefront fit into wider community economic development strategies? In this engaging panel, panelists will share their experiences bringing vacant storefronts to life using arts and culture. They will share challenges, how they came to solutions, and how these efforts contributed to a larger community economic development goals.

Learning Objectives:

  • Experience a variety of ways communities have activated vacant storefronts using arts and culture.
  • Learn how community members have successfully navigated challenges to activate vacant storefronts using arts and culture.
  • Understand how communities activate vacant storefronts with arts and culture as part of a wider neighborhood revitalization effort to achieve multiple community economic development goals.

2:00 PM - 6:00 PM

ARTventures

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ARTventure Icon ARTventure

D.C. has a lot to offer in the ways of sight-seeing. During this tour, attendees will be provided with instructions for a self-guided tour that…

D.C. has a lot to offer in the ways of sight-seeing. During this tour, attendees will be provided with instructions for a self-guided tour that will take them to see some of the arts and cultural sites around the area.

Preparation: All tours will leave from the hotel. Transportation is provided to and from the hotel. Attendees should plan to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Tours will take place regardless of weather, so dress appropriately. Bring a camera or phone to capture and share your experience.

Annual Convention
ARTventure Icon ARTventure

Nationwide, states and municipalities use Arts and Entertainment Districts as tools to foster economic development-based engagement with the arts.

Nationwide, states and municipalities use Arts and Entertainment Districts as tools to foster economic development-based engagement with the arts. However, as arts venues are often featured as drivers of the development, artists are often left to face the pressures of gentrification with limited support. The Gateway Arts District in Prince George’s County is unique in being centered on artists and artistic production, with a small number of presenting organizations working in support of artists, rather than the other way around. Aimed at sustaining support for creative producers, the Gateway Arts District is also exemplary in leveraging a high concentration of artists who have worked closely with elected leaders to create enduring relationships that have lasting impact on the community. This tour will make four stops to visit seven independent studio groups to showcase the breadth of art being created in this compact area, including Washington Glass School, Otis Street Arts Project, White Point Studios, Red Dirt Studios, Brentwood Arts Exchange, Portico Studios, and Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center. Each has its own story about artists as stakeholders, establishing spaces, purchasing property, and leveraging public/private partnerships to create sustainability. Combined, the studio groups house approximately 75 studios that represent the entire arts ecosystem, from nationally-recognized artists to artists at the early stages of learning, who work and share influences in close proximity as one, diverse community.

Preparation: All tours will leave from the hotel. Transportation is provided to and from the hotel. Attendees should plan to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Tours will take place regardless of weather, so dress appropriately. Bring a camera or phone to capture and share your experience.

Annual Convention
ARTventure Icon ARTventure

Welcome to the Congress Heights neighborhood of southeast Washington, D.C.

Welcome to the Congress Heights neighborhood of southeast Washington, D.C. This tour will start with a visit to the largest, social-sector facility in the country—the Town Hall Education Arts and Recreation Campus (THEARC)—and the nonprofit, Building Bridges Across the River (BBAR), that manages the campus. You will also be introduced to BBAR’s varied facilities and projects including the Skyland Workforce Center, BBAR Farm, THEARC Theater and the 11th Street Bridge Park. During this tour you will learn about new models for collaboration, justice-centered community development, and the role of arts and artists in neighborhood planning. After a panel with BBAR staff and tour of THEARC, we will travel to the artist-led Congress Heights Arts and Culture Center to visit with southeast artists who anchor their work in social justice and activism. They will share their experience in working in a city that is undergoing vast economic and cultural displacement and the role that artists have to play in civic discourse.

Preparation: All tours will leave from the hotel. Transportation is provided to and from the hotel. Attendees should plan to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Tours will take place regardless of weather, so dress appropriately. Bring a camera or phone to capture and share your experience.

Annual Convention
ARTventure Icon ARTventure

A behind the scenes tour of Arts on the Block, a professional public art studio run by talented teens and career-starters interested creative jobs.

A behind the scenes tour of Arts on the Block, a professional public art studio run by talented teens and career-starters interested creative jobs. Try your hand at mosaic and chat with the studio crew and management team about the sparkle inside studio-based apprenticeships and youth-run enterprises.

Preparation: All tours will leave from the hotel. Transportation is provided to and from the hotel. Attendees should plan to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Tours will take place regardless of weather, so dress appropriately. Bring a camera or phone to capture and share your experience!

Annual Convention
ARTventure Icon ARTventure

In this tour, led by photographer Steven M. Cummings, you’ll be led through some of Washington, D.C.’s historically African-American neighborhoods…

In this tour, led by photographer Steven M. Cummings, you’ll be led through some of Washington, D.C.’s historically African-American neighborhoods that have experienced significant displacement and development. Cummings, whose Chocolate City RIP project has documented the transformation of these communities for 30 years, will share his photography portfolio and talk about the shifts in these communities—particularly the loss of formal and informal cultural spaces—and how the African-American community has responded.

Preparation: All tours will leave from the hotel. Transportation is provided to and from the hotel. Attendees should plan to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Tours will take place regardless of weather, so dress appropriately. Bring a camera or phone to capture and share your experience.

Annual Convention
ARTventure Icon ARTventure

Performing arts and theater in Washington, D.C. is a hidden gem often overshadowed locally by politics! On this walking tour, we'll discover the…

Performing arts and theater in Washington, D.C. is a hidden gem often overshadowed locally by politics! On this walking tour, we'll discover the city's vibrant and internationally renowned theatre community featuring the artistic contributions of women on stage and behind the scenes. Learn why Helen Hayes is the undisputed First Lady of the nation’s theater. Our walking tour visits sites like the historic National Theatre, revealing the decades of women’s contributions to the theatre community. We will celebrate the visionary artistic direction of the prophetic women of Arena Stage and continue through the downtown theater district examining how women continue to develop talent, keeping our theater provocative and edgy.

Preparation: All tours will leave from the hotel. Transportation is provided to and from the hotel. Attendees should plan to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Tours will take place regardless of weather, so dress appropriately. Bring a camera or phone to capture and share your experience!

Annual Convention
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DC Alley Museum is an outdoor collection of public art murals by artists Lisa Marie Thalhammer, Bill Warrell, Rozeal, Aniekan Udofia, Cita Sadeli…

DC Alley Museum is an outdoor collection of public art murals by artists Lisa Marie Thalhammer, Bill Warrell, Rozeal, Aniekan Udofia, Cita Sadeli Chelove, Stephen E Lewis, Craig Nelsen, Rose Jaffe, Billy Colbert and Kelly Towles. Guided by Bill Warrell, the walking tour will present these murals, which commemorate the history of artists in Shaw's Blagden Alley. What was once a haven for D.C.’s underground arts communities—home to artist studios and galleries—according to Washington City Paper has transformed into one of the city’s “bougiest” neighborhoods, replete with high-end restaurants, suave bars, a yoga studio, a juice bar, and a chic coffee shop enveloped by expensive condo buildings. Walking tour. Grab a cuppa and spend time with the artists and art of Shaw's Blagden Alley. Participants will learn:

  • How artists commemorate the history of artists in D.C.’s Blagden Alley
  • How the projects are funded
  • How artists collectives collaborate
  • The ramifications of gentrification

Preparation: All tours will leave from the hotel. Transportation is provided to and from the hotel. Attendees should plan to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Tours will take place regardless of weather, so dress appropriately. Bring a camera or phone to capture and share your experience!

Annual Convention
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Taking advantage of Rosslyn’s pedestrian-friendly character, the tour will also explore a robust network of spectacular and hidden public spaces…

Taking advantage of Rosslyn’s pedestrian-friendly character, the tour will also explore a robust network of spectacular and hidden public spaces.

Preparation: All tours will leave from the hotel. Transportation is provided to and from the hotel. Attendees should plan to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Tours will take place regardless of weather, so dress appropriately. Bring a camera or phone to capture and share your experience - remember #AFTACON!

Annual Convention
ARTventure Icon ARTventure

Nowhere but Washington, DC can you visit a whole row of embassies and see the art of their respective countries or regions. In this tour, explore…

Nowhere but Washington, DC can you visit a whole row of embassies and see the art of their respective countries or regions. In this tour, explore the cultures and creations of an international set of artists through the embassies and cultural institutes of America’s international partners.

Preparation: All tours will leave from the hotel. Transportation is provided to and from the hotel. Attendees should plan to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Tours will take place regardless of weather, so dress appropriately. Bring a camera or phone to capture and share your experience - remember #AFTACON!

Annual Convention
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The Creative Economy in booming in Washington, DC. DC is so much more than the political noise.

The Creative Economy in booming in Washington, DC. DC is so much more than the political noise. With a vibrant and entrepreneurial creative community, DC's Creative Economy has grown due to partnerships between artists, government, developers and small businesses coming together to get things done. Join us on an adventure that takes you to a vibrant artist studio and exhibition space established by a community of local artists, visit a market and entrepreneurial hub driven in collaboration with a developer and the creative community, visit DC's own film studio and soundstage facilities and learn about how DC's entertainment economy is growing.

Preparation: All tours will leave from the hotel. Transportation is provided to and from the hotel. Attendees should plan to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Tours will take place regardless of weather, so dress appropriately. Bring a camera or phone to capture and share your experience - remember #AFTACON!

2:15 PM - 3:45 PM

Breakout Session

Annual Convention
Lab icon Lab

In this session, two veteran non-profit leaders, Dave Lawrence and Karen Gahl-Mills, will facilitate a candid conversation about boards and…

In this session, two veteran non-profit leaders, Dave Lawrence and Karen Gahl-Mills, will facilitate a candid conversation about boards and uncertainty, with the objective of creating a set of tools for both non-profit executives and board members that can be applied to organizations and boards of all sizes.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify communities that are affected by your work, but whose values and priorities are different than yours.
  • Learn and practice iterative, inclusive project design.
  • Explore how to de-center traditional wester European ways of developing research/evaluation agendas.

Annual Convention
Panel Icon Panel

What does it take for agencies to educate, support, and advocate for artists at tables where the future of communities are being discussed? In this…

What does it take for agencies to educate, support, and advocate for artists at tables where the future of communities are being discussed? In this panel, explore this and other questions through the lens of the 2-year Artists @ the Community Development Table project.

Annual Convention
Discussion Icon Discussion

Parents are crucial advocates for arts education at all levels, but particularly locally.

Parents are crucial advocates for arts education at all levels, but particularly locally. In this session, explore a newly-unveiled advocacy guide for parents created with the National PTA, talk about the moblization power of parents, and think through how you can best use parents for arts advocacy in your community.

Affinity Group

Annual Convention
Affinity space icon Affinity Space

As part of Americans for the Arts' ongoing commitment to cultural equity, we invite attendees who identify as LGBTQIA to this affinity group.

As part of Americans for the Arts' ongoing commitment to cultural equity, we invite attendees who identify as LGBTQIA to this affinity group. Those not identifying as LGBTQIA are encouraged to attend one of the other affinity groups taking place at various points in the conference, and/or the panel discussion "What Are Affinity Groups and Why Are They Useful?"

Learning Objectives:

  • Meet and engage with other people who identify as LGBTQIA working in the arts.
  • Cultivate intergenerational understanding and learn strategies to activate a personal career support system.
  • Share issues and concerns, as well as advice and mutual support, related to the unique challenges of being an LGBTQIA person in the arts.

4:15 PM - 5:45 PM

Breakout Session

Annual Convention
Discussion Icon Discussion

Community foundations, by definition, cast a wide lens when it comes to how they can help a community thrive--and in the right circumstances, arts…

Community foundations, by definition, cast a wide lens when it comes to how they can help a community thrive--and in the right circumstances, arts agencies and organizations can successfully collaborate to make sure arts and culture are a crucial part of addressing broader social goals. In 2017, the Barr Foundation partnered with five Massachusetts community foundations to launch a ten-year initiative that enables these partners to act more strategically by building new capacity and initiatives that are catalyzing new leadership, energy, and resources in their communities. Presenters will discuss their efforts to shift donors from check writing to strategic philanthropy, elevate the arts as a programmatic focus, more effectively engage their diverse communities, expand and change their approaches to grantmaking, and assume a more ambitious role as civic leaders. In this session, learn more about what such a collaboration can look like and how it can succeed.

Annual Convention
Panel Icon Panel

Participatory arts programs for veterans are making a difference in veteran lives and the lives of their families & loved ones. This panel will…

Participatory arts programs for veterans are making a difference in veteran lives and the lives of their families & loved ones. This panel will present several programs that research has shown to positively impact participants. Community dance, music making, comedy/improv, and song-writing program leaders will share the outcomes of their research and what they’ve discovered works in assisting veterans in their journey to wholeness

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify evidence based participatory arts programs and discuss specific examples of life enriching experiences.
  • Cite elements in each arts program that panelists believe have led to their success in uplifting veterans/families/loved ones.
  • Identify potential collaborations with community arts programs for veterans and their loved ones.

Annual Convention
Panel Icon Panel

Innovations at the intersection of cultural and community development policy can create the conditions for successful creative placemaking work. Hear…

Innovations at the intersection of cultural and community development policy can create the conditions for successful creative placemaking work. Hear how seven state-level policy strategies have addressed current gaps, increasing the efficacy and equity of creative placemaking at the local level.

Learning Objectives:

  • Take home tangible strategies and tactics to engage state agencies and lawmakers around how the arts improve places for low and moderate income and POC communities.
  • Come away with ideas and relationships that will connect you with the field of community development.
  • Inform the Creative Placemaking State Policy Framework developed by NACEDA and NASAA and apply the framework to your own state.

Annual Convention
Lab icon Lab

Oftentimes the largest messaging platform that any organization has are the websites and digital platforms in which its programs, opportunities, open…

Oftentimes the largest messaging platform that any organization has are the websites and digital platforms in which its programs, opportunities, open calls and informational meetings take place and yet these interfaces are often the most overlooked resource when it comes to considering deep messaging about access, equity, belonging and diversity. The ultimate marketing tool, our websites and platforms can easily reflect our mission and vision and be welcoming and inspiring spaces for everyone we intend to serve or if we are not paying attention, these spaces can inadvertently send messages to our communities that run counter to our goals. Moving beyond compliance, this session presents the idea that our applications and the platforms we use to communicate can serve multiple diversities and do it well without requiring huge financial investment or special knowledge. As long as we know how to identify and mitigate the intellectual, psychological, emotional and physical reactions that can occur in response to language, timing and placement, we can effect major change. Like tourists with fresh eyes, we will break up in teams and take a tour of an email blast, a website and its distribution method using an equity lens. We will survey both the tools and the platforms taking inventory of the key features, recording not only what we read and experience but also how this makes us feel. The results will then be shared across the groups and with we will then turn our collective imagination towards creating SMARTIE (see below) goals aimed at identifying implicit bias and removing barriers. The aim of this session is to give participants practical ideas about how to address issues within our applications and digital platforms that negatively affect our work focused on building a more diverse, equitable, accessible and inclusive process and community. The combination of prompts, questions, examples and conversation will help participants develop ideas that are appropriate for them and the context in which they work.

Learning Objectives:

  • Activate kinesthetic awareness in order to expand their understanding of the intellectual, psychological and physical reactions to language and digital distribution platforms.
  • Learn how to apply a cultural equity audit tool to digital messaging and platforms.
  • Use an equity framework to support the creation of smart goals capable of transforming the experience of their websites, messaging and digital platforms into active extensions of their mission and vision.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Breakout Session

Annual Convention and Public Art & Civic Design Conference
Panel Icon Panel

Climate change has shifted into climate crisis. We are now increasingly aware that the actions taken thus far are not working. Weather extremes…

Climate change has shifted into climate crisis. We are now increasingly aware that the actions taken thus far are not working. Weather extremes are more common. Legislature is changing. Activists are growing in number. Many communities are launching new rounds of climate action planning and mobilization. It is a reality we can no longer escape, and systemic-level changes need to happen now. And although we do not have immediate solutions, we must act with courage and compassion. Equity must be at the center of our climate crisis action – systemic injustice and institutionalized racism have caused people of color to bear the greatest cost of climate change. The role of artists and cultural leaders is to tell this story by going to the heart of the issues at hand. Efforts focused on the more tangible and tactical factors—installing more solar, putting in more bike lanes, even managing land to capture more carbon -- are important parts of the solution, but we need to look deeper into our cultural narrative. This panel discussion is a deeper dive into the experiences of three artists invited to work with communities to make change. The discussion will specifically focus communal conversations and outcomes illustrated through public artworks, and is not a conversation about individual projects and experience, but a collective and collaborative one. Proposed participating artists include: Matthew Mazzotta, Benny Starr, Mary Mattingly, Grandmother Nancy, and Jason Bregman – Michael Singer Studios. The panel would be faciliated by Mandy Vink, AFTA PAN Council member.

Learning Objectives:

  • Hear unexpected and encouraging perspectives in climate commitment and climate crisis conversations, specifically how artists are conversing with, engaging in, and responding to this critical topic.
  • Engage in conversations about how climate change impacts us ALL and howartists and cultural leaders can be at the forefront of a systemic and equitable change, which considers how positive changes will only be successful if they equally impact us ALL.
  • Have access to practices that push traditional boundaries of public art in response to climate commitment.

Annual Convention and Public Art & Civic Design Conference
Discussion Icon Discussion

In this hands-on workshop, a seasoned evaluator demystifies the process of planning for evaluation. Participants will gain concrete insights from…

In this hands-on workshop, a seasoned evaluator demystifies the process of planning for evaluation. Participants will gain concrete insights from two recent and very different evaluation planning efforts. Through small group work, participants will also swap successes and challenges with their own evaluation planning efforts. Attendees will leave with know-how to get them off on the right foot with understanding what difference their efforts make, how, and why.

Learning Objectives:

  • Examine two very different examples of real-world evaluation planning efforts.
  • Learn what a theory of change is, how to translate their goals into researchable evaluation questions, and common pitfalls of data collection to avoid.
  • Discuss the concept of equitable evaluation and reflection questions and resources to deepen that work.

Annual Convention and Public Art & Civic Design Conference
Lab icon Lab

Using the new “Work. Shouldn’t. Suck.” organizational design game, this interactive session dives into “The How” of creating diverse, inclusive,…

Using the new “Work. Shouldn’t. Suck.” organizational design game, this interactive session dives into “The How” of creating diverse, inclusive, and/or equitable workplaces where people can do their best work and thrive. Part presentation, part game play, participants will go on a creative world building adventure to explore practical, people-centric approaches, concepts, and frameworks that you can start using immediately your own organization and life. Discussions will delve into workplace components like transparency, alignment, and accountability; resilience & self-care; hiring and retention, and how these components can come together to create thriving teams and organizations.

Learning Objectives:

  • Dissect the monolith of "organizational culture" to identify its component parts.
  • Imagine team cultures that support the type of place your organization strives to be.
  • Walk away with practical ideas, tools, and frameworks that can be used immediately to help you in your own team crafting.

Annual Convention and Public Art & Civic Design Conference
Discussion Icon Discussion

As the local arts and public art fields continues to grow, more and more artists are engaged in communities and across non-arts sectors.

As the local arts and public art fields continues to grow, more and more artists are engaged in communities and across non-arts sectors. In this session attendees will hear from experts on the best ways to advocate for artists rights when incorporating artists into community development projects.