We know that local arts professionals are committed to expanding their professional skills and knowledge, but can't always travel to meetings and presentations. In response, the Local Arts Network has develops high-quality, online professional development webinars focused on topics specific to local arts leaders. From basic local arts management to successful ways to engage businesses in the arts, local arts leaders can engage in these discussions both live and on-demand. All webinars are free to Americans for the Arts members.

Annual Convention

Every year, Americans for the Arts hosts the largest gathering of arts and community leaders at our Annual Convention. The Local Arts Network ensures that local arts leaders connect and discuss strategies for building stronger towns, counties, and cities through the arts—learning both from field experts and each other. As our professional field has grown, so has our convention. What started as a small group of 45 people in 1955 has now grown to more than 1,100 local arts professionals each year.

Local Arts Agency Executive Leadership Forum

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 designed to create opportunities for professional growth and renewal through peer exchanges. Attendees discuss a specific challenge or opportunity and receive ideas, insights, and strategy suggestions from their peers. This event is by invitation only and is limited to 15 participants.

Apply to participate in the Forum.

Blog Salons

The Local Arts Network encourages local arts leaders to contribute to its blog salons—a modern take on the “old fashioned” salons, where arts professionals used to convene in person to share tips and trends. These online salons feature experts from the field who blog on a specific topic. Previous blog salons include:

  • Cultural Districts: This blog salon was devoted solely to arts, entertainment, and cultural districts and reflected current trends in development of districts.
  • Economic Development Trends: This blog salon featured ways communities and their arts economic development strategies are being harnessed to create the 21st century creative community.
  • Collaborations & Audiences: This blog salon focused on trends in local arts and ways the arts community is changing based on community needs.

Local Arts News (LAN)

The LAN is a bi-weekly newsletter with the latest news and trends in local arts development including economic development, creative economy, board development, rural and small communities, fundraising, philanthropy, and opportunities for local arts professionals. The LAN is available to Americans for the Arts members.
The LAN is also a listserv that provides a platform for questions to and from the field about tools, resources, and professional development.

Other Services and Trainings

We also offer unique in person or online professional development opportunities including topic driven trainings at our annual convention preconferences, online classrooms, and regional trainings. Get more information.