Monday, May 10, 2010

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Washington, DC — May 10, 2010 — Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts, will hold its Half-Century Summit and Annual Convention in Baltimore, June 25 –27, 2010. This is the largest gathering in the nation of arts leaders and their partners in creative business, education, and government. The Half-Century Summit will celebrate the accomplishments and advances of the arts over the last 50 years and bring together leaders from the across the country to learn, connect, and discuss how to keep the arts relevant throughout the U.S. over the next half century.

Attendees will hear from 150 dynamic and inspirational speakers addressing how we all can build a vibrant future for the arts in America. Americans for the Arts and its local host, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, have also arranged for a special appearance by Baltimore icon John Waters. He will perform his one-man show, “This Filthy World,” at the CENTERSTAGE Theatre on June 24 at 10:00 pm. A limited number of public tickets are available through the CENTERSTAGE online box office. Ticket price is $63.00.

All convention keynotes, visionary panels, and sessions will take place at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel.

Each day of the Half-Century Summit will feature a major keynote session featuring some of the most innovative thinkers in the arts today:
Opening General Session — Friday, June 25 at 12:00 pm
Keynote speaker:     Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post
Special remarks:     Robert Redford, legendary actor, director, and honorary chair of Americans for the Arts’ 50th Anniversary celebration

“A Look at America’s Future” Keynote — Saturday, June 26 at 10:30 am
Keynote speaker:     Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts

“The Role of Artists in Society” Closing Keynote Panel — Sunday, June 27 at 2:00 pm
Moderator:     Liz Lerman, founding artistic director of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange
Panelists:     Peter Sellars, renowned theater, opera, and festival director & Vijay Iyer, acclaimed jazz pianist and composer
The Half-Century Summit will also include a series of visionary panels that address critical issues around the future of the arts. The eight panels are:

June 25 Visionary Panels

2:30 pm — The Future of Arts Education
Moderator:     Chris Tebben (Grantmakers for Education)
Panelists:    Eric Booth (Teaching Artist and arts consultant), Jillian Darwish (Knowledge Works), Carrie Fitzsimmons (ArtScience Labs), James Shelton (U.S. Department of Education)

2:30 pm — Technology's Impact on the Future of Traditional Delivery Systems of the Arts
Moderator:     Rich Mintz (Blue State Digital)
Panelists:     Mike Doernberg (ReverbNation), Elena Park (Metropolitan Opera), Tim Svenonius (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)

4:30 pm — Public Value & Public Sector Support for the Arts
Moderator:     Olga Garay (City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs)
Panelists:     Tom Cochran (The United States Conference of Mayors), Minnesota State Senator Richard Cohen, Rachel Goslins (President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities)

4:30 pm — New and Emerging Business Models
Moderator:     Adrian Ellis (Jazz at Lincoln Center)
Panelists:    Ben Cameron (Doris Duke Charitable Foundation), Clara Miller (Nonprofit Finance Fund), Adam Huttler (Fractured Atlas), Shay Wafer (August Wilson Center for African American Culture)

June 26 Visionary Panels

2:00 pm — The Future of Leadership
Moderator:     Edward P. Clapp (20Under40 Project)
Panelists:     Andrew Taylor (University of Wisconsin Madison), Russell Willis Taylor (National Arts Strategies), Phoebe Eng (Creative Counsel), Leslie Ito (California Community Foundation)

4:00 pm — The Future of Private Sector Support
Moderator:     Janet Brown (Grantmakers in the Arts)
Panelists:     Jonathan Spector (The Conference Board), Beth McGuire Ree (Target), Michael Marsicano (Foundation for the Carolinas)

June 27 Visionary Panels

10:00 am — Cross Cultural Expression
Moderator:     Abel Lopez (GALA Hispanic Theatre)
Panelists:     Sally Al-Daher (Arab Cultural and Community Center), Joaquin Alvarado (American Public Media), Tarell Alvin McCraney (playwright and actor), Maribel Alvarez (University of Arizona)

10:00 am — Shifts in Individual Engagement in the Arts
Moderator:     Doug McLennan (Arts Journal)
Panelists:     Melanie Joseph (The Foundation Theatre), Diane Ragsdale (The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Patrice Walker Powell (National Endowment for the Arts)

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, DC, and New York City, Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Visit us online at

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