Every June, more than 1,000 arts education professionals, emerging arts leaders, public art professionals, directors at local arts agencies, regional theater managers, artists, and other local arts professionals of all disciplines attend Annual Convention to network and discuss strategies for building stronger towns, counties, and cities through the arts. For 50 years, we’ve been sharing the successes and challenges of using the arts in community development, and we’ve heard expert advice from an impressive list of keynotes along the way—including Richard Nixon, Harry Chapin, John Lewis, Tony Kushner, Andrew Zolli, James Carville and Mary Matalin, and Robert Redford.
No matter what you’re looking for, there is something for every art professional at our Annual Convention. We typically offer three preconferences a year on varying topics, and more than 50 discussion, innovation, and workshop-style sessions led by expert presenters from all over the country.
Our recent 2015 Annual Convention in Chicago, IL—a city built on power that once forced a river to change directions, rebuilt from a devastating fire, and emerged as a focal point of political power, economic power, industry, and innovation in the center of the country.—offered fantastic tools for arts professionals and included the following preconferences:
- Cultural Equity Preconference
- Arts Leadership Preconference
- Public Art & Placemaking Preconference
The 2015 Annual Convention took place June 12–14 with preconferences on June 10–12. See highlights from the convention at http://convention.artsusa.org.
Arts Advocacy Day brings together a broad cross-section of America's cultural and civic organizations, along with more than 500 grassroots advocates from 40 states across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts. This event is open to anyone who cares about advocating for increased national funding for the arts and culture in the United States—from local arts leaders and students to Americans for the Arts’ members and individual artists.
The first day consists of an all-day advocacy training session. Participants learn how to address issues with their members of Congress and hear presentations from Americans for the Arts and other national arts organizations staff. The Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts & Public Policy follows the training and serves as a moment of inspiration. The next day, participants put their learning to the test and attend meetings with their legislators.
Americans for the Arts’ National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) designs an annual conference each year specifically for arts marketing professionals. The National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) Conference provides information, tools, and strategies to help local arts marketing professionals across the country design high-quality, cost-effective marketing programs that strengthen arts organizations. Our 2014 National Arts Marketing Conference: Powered by Community in Atlanta, GA focused on strategies necessary to revolutionize the way arts organizations engage their communities. In 2015, arts marketing professionals learned all about the future of arts marketing and innovative ways to engage different audiences in Salt Lake City, UT.
Americans for the Arts Local Arts Advancement Executive Leadership Forum is a high-level leadership program designed for CEOs, executive directors, and senior staff of local arts agencies. The Forum takes place in Sundance, UT and is an opportunity for retreat, reflection, and long-term planning specifically designed for the executive leaders of organizations advancing the cause of the arts at a local level - in particular local arts agencies, arts commissions, arts councils, and multi-arts service organizations.