2022 Annual Convention

2022 Annual Convention

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    Onward Together

    What comes next for the field, for creative workers, and for the country? How do we progress with humility but also with fortitude? How do we work to fix inequitable systems within our field and also help a country in need of healing to heal? In this keynote, poet and Kennedy Center Vice President and Artistic Director of Social Impact Marc Bamuthi Joseph brings the Convention to a powerful, lyrical close meditating on these and other questions of what it takes to truly go onward together. Following Bamuthi's remarks, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Nolen V. Bivens summarizes the last three days and sends you on your way! All of this preceded by Rogue Collective, a tech-infused string quartet like nothing you've ever seen!

    Speakers:

    Marc Bamuthi Joseph, poet, Vice President and Artistic Director of Social Impact, Kennedy Center
    Nolen V. Bivens, President and CEO, Americans for the Arts

    Artistic performance by Rogue Collective

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    Social Justice as a Foundation for Engaging the Community

    This session is a discussion about the value and impact of social justice initiatives as a forum for activation in at the local level. What is relevant to people today? How can arts audiences be more connected? How do we deepen relevancy to the arts organizations? Join this interactive dialogue to explore how you and your organization can more deeply connect your arts-related work to broader social justice movements.

    Speaker:

    Donna Walker-Kuhne, President, Walker Communications Group

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    Advocacy for What Matters (to You)

    Ever wonder how to get in front of your elected officials and successfully bring your agenda to life? This session is a crash course in meeting with elected officials with clarity, confidence, and your agenda. Attendees will focus on the process, practice, and simple tools to support your work in your community. Bring your ideas, pitches, or sketches of what you and your community want/need, and we will talk in real terms and real time about how to get on the agenda and get results. This session will cover how to find who to speak with, how to get on their calendar, how to frame your ask, and how to close (aka how to get what you want/need).

    Speakers:

    Shani Harris-Bagwell, Consultant, Bagwell Consulting

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    Culturebearers Transforming Communities

    What could two dance artists - Charya Burt, a classical Cambodian dancer and Christopher "Mad Dog" Thomas, a Chicago Footwork street dancer - possibly have in common? Besides being culture bearers and innovators of their forms, they are fiercely committed change makers in their communities. Selected as co-recipients of the 2022 Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities, don't miss this conversation about how these radically different dance forms function as cultural grounding in their communities. Hear how both work as teaching artists with youth and community members to heal generational trauma resulting from the Cambodian genocide and issues of violence, policing, and environmental racism in Chicago. Be uplifted by a fascinating “dance dialogue” where Charya and Mad Dog explore the meaning behind their movement. Moderated by Roko Kawai, dancer, choreographer, and youth worker.

    Speakers:

    Charya Burt, Cambodian Classical Dance master and choreographer
    Christopher "Mad Dog" Thomas, Chicago Footwork street dancer
    Roko Kawai, dancer/choreographer, youth worker

    Artistic performance by Charya Burt and Christopher "Mad Dog" Thomas

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    We Are Bound: What Is Needed to Improve Treatment of Creative Workers

    COVID-19 devastated the creative economy and hit creative workers particularly hard. But the truth is that all that devastation was in part the product of chronic and systemic inequitable treatment of creative workers by public policymakers, cultural organizations, and funders—often unknowingly (and/or unwillingly) abetted by creative workers themselves. In this session, learn about We Are Bound, a multi-part research, policy, and sector transformation project that questions why the creative sector is in constant need of relief, how public policy can be shifted to improve support for independent workers, and what steps the cultural sector needs to take to equitably care for the humans that make up its backbone.

    Speakers:

    Lisa Yancey, President, Yancey Consulting
    Raquel Farrell-Kirk, Art Therapist/Researcher, American Art Therapy Association
    Stacey M. Kesten, Ph.D., Co-Founder & Principal Consultant, Collaborators Consulting Group
    Clay Lord, Vice President of Strategic Impact, Americans for the Arts

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    Principles and Purpose of Trauma Informed Arts & Organizations

    The global refugee crisis and COVID-19 are leaving an indelible mark on the 21st century. Leaders tasked with nurturing the well-being and equitable empowerment of communities are increasingly highlighting the impact of trauma-causing events such as the pandemic, refugee crisis, and systemic oppression on communities, artists, and organizations. Events such as the pandemic have changed the purpose, design, and delivery of the arts, opening a path for art, arts education practices, and organizations to address the social and cultural challenges communities and individuals face. The arts are increasingly moving into positions of social activism and creative facilitation by working within communities to mitigate trauma, foster empathy, and nurture intercultural competence. This session will investigate how trauma informed arts practices and organizations honor the diverse experiences individuals bring to the arts; ways the arts can nurture growth, equity, and diversity; the impact of primary and vicarious trauma; and how the arts are used as tools of recovery and resiliency.

    Speakers:

    Dr. Kyna Elliott, Ph.D., Executive Director, Global Arts Creative

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    Hopes, Dreams, and Goals as Part of the Americans for the Arts Strategic Realignment Process

    Americans for the Arts staff and board members, supported by Hope Nation and Arts Consulting Group, will share the steps we are taking to strategically realign the organization and plan for the future and will lead a fun, arts-centric collaborative process with attendees to look toward the future, map the hopes and dreams of the field, and celebrate our shared, ongoing transformation. Using the frames of Appreciative Inquiry, attendees will have the opportunity not only to weigh in on the future form and function of Americans for the Arts, but to share their own hopes, dreams, and goals for their organization and community.

    Speakers:

    Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, Chair, National Endowment for the Arts (pre-recorded remarks)
    Michelle Boone, President and CEO, Poetry Foundation; member of the board, Americans for the Arts
    Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research, Americans for the Arts
    Daniel Fitzmaurice, Chief of Staff, Americans for the Arts
    Heather Flanagan, Senior Coordinator, Leadership Alliances, Americans for the Arts
    April Harris, Creative Forces Project Operations and Federal Grant Administrator, Americans for the Arts
    Ruby Lopez Harper, Vice President of Equity and Local Arts Engagement, Americans for the Arts
    Laura Martin, Executive Office Manager, Americans for the Arts
    Marissa Shadburn, Senior Coordinator, Creative Community Advancement, Americans for the Arts
    Genna Styles-Lyas, AEP6 Director, Community Engagement & Equity, Americans for the Arts
    Adrianne Troilo, Vice President, People & Culture, Americans for the Arts
    Patricia Walsh, Director, Creative Community Advancement, Americans for the Arts

    Artistic presentation from Coral Morphologic

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    The Future of For- and Nonprofit Arts Relationships

    The COVID-19 pandemic brought a unique and unprecedented opportunity for the for-profit entertainment industries and nonprofit arts and culture institutions to come together to collectively advocate for and secure relief funding for their live entertainment related businesses, organizations, artists, and creative workers. As the field moves into a new world, what's next? CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act), SVOG (Shuttered Venue Operating Grant), and ARPA (American Recovery Plan Act) funds largely dissolved existing dividing lines of eligibility. Are these relationships rooted, or did they arise solely in a time of crisis? Is there a future where the nonprofit and for-profit arts worlds are linked? In this session, attendees will hear from a local music venue owner, an advocate for cross-sector relief, and national for-profit business associations to explore where creative economy partners can go from here.

    Speakers:

    Frank Cullen, Jr., Vice President, Global Innovation Policy Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
    Audrey Fix Schaefer, Director of Communications, I.M.P. / VP of the Board of Directors, National Independent Venue Association
    Taneshia Nash Laird, President and CEO, Newark Symphony Hall

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    Disrupting Philanthropy by Watering the Seeds of Creativity

    This session will share the path, process, and lessons learned over an 18-month timeframe in redistributing $2.7 million to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists, culture bearers, and organizations. The Waterers are disruptors of philanthropy that stemmed out of Local Control, Local Fields, an initiative of ArtPlace America and people-powered process, led by grassroots Assemblies in six geographies, which shaped the use of a funding pool to further strengthen their local creative place-tending field of practice. The Upper Midwest Assembly entrusted the Waterers to steward funds for Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the 23 Native Nations as colonized into 3 states by scores of treaties, centering BIPOC creatives as leaders. This session explores the Waterers’ gift-making strategy, including nuances and complexities of this region and in investing in small, local, and the non-colonial, as well as embracing a vision for transformative impact and lasting change.

    Speakers:

    John Davis, Leadership Team, Waterers.org
    Michelle Dubray, Leadership Team, Waterers.org / Director, Pinto Horse Woman Consulting

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    Transforming Cultural Impact through Social Innovation

    The year 2020 was marked by a flurry of new and renewed commitments to social justice across organizations in the cultural sector. Institutions of all sizes took an interest in engaging new communities with a focus on people from Black communities, Indigenous communities, and other communities of color. Subsequently, those working across the sector have found themselves lacking the tools, systems, and understanding necessary to achieve the goals of engagement and impact. A new, more equitable and innovative approach to cultural impact is needed. A social innovation mindset and practice can support institutions looking to grow and sustain an authentic commitment to community. This session offers a tangible framework that sets the stage for active listening, systems interventions, intentionality, and impact measurement.

    Speakers:

    Dr. Karisa Antonio, Director of Social Innovation, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
    Claudie Mabry, Director of Social Innovation, Kaufman Music Center