Register Today Online At Americans for the Arts’ Website to Join the Conversation

Thursday, October 13, 2011

press releaseContact:
Catherine Brandt

Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education, is hosting a Creative Conversation webinar titled, "Community Engagement in the Arts," from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST on October 25, 2011. The conversation is open to both Americans for the Arts’ members and nonmembers. Those interested in attending the webinar can register for it here.

The webinar will address how communities can leverage their local arts resources to engage residents and increase participation in community events. Conversation participants will see examples of how arts leaders are getting creative with community engagement and connecting the arts with larger community initiatives. In addition, they will have the opportunity to discuss ideas for enhancing engagement in their own community as well as the myriad opportunities and challenges arts organizations experience when they collaborate with their local community leaders. Joanna Chin, program coordinator, Animating Democracy at Americans for the Arts will moderate the conversation. Presenters include:

  • Ben Fyffe, Cultural Programs Supervisor, City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs, El Paso, TX
  • Michael Killoren, Director for Local Arts Agencies and Challenge America Fast-Track, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC 
  • Camille Maxwell, Real Estate Development Director, Northeast Shores, Cleveland, OH
  • Jon Pounds, Executive Director, Chicago Public Art Group, Chicago, IL

"Community engagement has long been an important topic at Americans for the Arts, and is rooted in the history of our field,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts.  “Local arts agencies and organizations are most successful when they are in alignment with their community, acting as an equal partner in all decision making. We have chosen to focus our national Creative Conversation on community engagement, in the hopes of sparking new conversation in local communities across the country."

Americans for the Arts’ Creative Conversations program brings together local arts and community leaders to discuss challenges and issues regarding the arts in their communities and generate increased energy around the grassroots movement to elevate the profile of the arts in America. Creative Conversations are part of National Arts and Humanities Month, the nation's largest collective annual celebration of the arts.

Those interested in attending other Creative Conversations can click here and click on Emerging Leaders. An interactive map detailing where Creative Conversations are taking place across the country is available here. Visit the website in November to read summary reports of the events and learn what next steps to take in your community.

National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is coordinated by Americans for the Arts and is designed to encourage Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of active participation in the arts and humanities. This month-long celebration grew out of National Arts Week, which Americans for the Arts, along with the National Endowment for the Arts, began in 1985.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. 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. Additional information is available at