June seems like convention season in the arts world. There are lots of national arts organizations developing educational and networking programs for their constituents. If you are an arts discipline organization like a theatre or chorus or a service organization like a local arts agency there is a gathering for you next month.
Why choose the Americans for the Arts convention? Sure, it has workshops like other conferences and we cover topics like finding creative funding sources for your work, getting arts supportive local ballots passed, mapping your cultural ecosystem, serving diverse audiences, working toward equitable funding for the arts and much more. Naturally, it has receptions at amazing venues like The Andy Warhol Museum and the Mattress Factory. Yes, it has amazing award winning, game-changing speakers like Jim Messina, Manuel Pastor, Bill Strickland, Paula Kerger, Gary Knell, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Adam Goldman, Matt Arrigo, Tim McClimon and Edgar Smith. And there will be plenty of opportunity to hear from peers, colleagues and decision makers about how they are ensuring the arts are sustained and seen as core to building better communities.
We’ve picked an amazing city, Pittsburgh, for the convention where you can literally see the arts making a difference as you walk down Liberty Avenue. In return, Pittsburgh has the Three River Arts Festival, Gay Pride and baseball games taking place while we are there, June 14-16, so you can have the best of times.
There’s also lots to do before the convention even starts with in-depth programs for people involved in public art or emerging leaders in the arts and our first ever Arts, Entertainment and Cultural Districts. We can’t tell these stories in a session or two so these preconferences provide you with the chance to explore these topics more fully.
Yup, going to the convention costs money and there is never enough of that to go around. But spending time with people who “get” what you do every day, well that is worth every penny. And spending time with people who have new ideas for how to accomplish your goals is priceless. You’ve got limited dollars and hard choices to make. As you think about whether you can afford to attend an arts convention this June, I hope you will consider joining us in Pittsburgh June 14-16. May 31 is the cut-off date to get a discount on your registration.
I hope to see you there!