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2015 Conference Registration is Now Open!

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Jul 15, 2015

Registration is now open for the 78th Annual Conference for Community Arts Education in Philadelphia, PA from November 11-14. Join more than 600+ leaders from across the country—staff, teaching artists, trustees, students, and our partners in other sectors—as we explore innovative ideas and practical strategies for growing programs, increasing impact and participation, securing financial support, and ensuring equity. 

The conference will be held November 12 - 14 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown with site visits and special events at notable community arts education locations throughout the area, and pre-conference institutes on leadership, arts education partnerships with K-12 schools, storytelling, teaching artist development and social justice on Wednesday, November 11. Special discounted early registration pricing is available until August 20. 

Key sessions include:

  • Keynote Address by Rich Harwood: Reclaiming Main Street: How We Can Authentically Do Good (Nov. 12): Each of us as arts education leaders comes to our work with the urge to do good, inspire individuals, and enrich the civic life of our communities. But as we try to get things done, we often turn inward to focus more on our own organization at the expense of turning outward to the people we serve. In this thought-provoking keynote, Harwood will discuss how the key to greater impact is to move beyond the walls of your organization and align your vision, goals, and key services with the aspirations of your local community.
  • Keynote Address by Shawn Ginwright: A Love Note to Justice: Building Hope and Healing in Urban America (Nov. 13): Ginwright’s  bold and nuanced keynote proposes a new movement of healing justice to repair the damage done by the erosion of hope resulting from structural violence in urban communities. Drawing on ethnographic case studies from around the country, he emphasizes the need to place healing and hope at the center of our educational and political strategies. In his talk he will share how "teacher activists" in community organizations and stressed schools are employing healing strategies to help their students become powerful civic actors.
  • Board Development Institute: Strengthening Trustee Effectiveness (Nov. 14): This highly interactive, full-day institute, led by board development expert Susan Meier, will provide your leadership team with fresh ideas, concrete tools, and effective practices for strengthening board-staff dynamics, developing a healthy board culture, and engaging collectively in more meaningful, consequential work. Designed for teams of two ideally comprised of the executive director and an experienced or new board leader.
  • Annual Awards Luncheon (Nov. 14): The National Guild will honor Kwayera Archer-Cunningham with the 2015 National Service Award for lifelong dedication to youth and family development, community building, and social justice as founding president and chief executive officer of Ifetayo Culutral Arts Academy; her service to the field as a former Guild trustee; and her commitment to mentoring future arts education leaders through the Guild’s Community Arts Education Leadership Institute. Our 2015 National Leadership Award recipient is TBA.  
  • Teaching Artist Development Preconference and Track: This year's teaching artist preconference and main conference track will provide a rare opportunity for teaching artists and those who care about advancing the field – employing organizations, funders, organizations, that train teaching artists, and others – to work together to draft an action plan for advancing the teaching artist field.

Staff, faculty, trustees and teaching artists at arts education organizations and programs--and their partners in other sectors--are encouraged to attend the Conference for Community Arts Education. For registration, program details, and financial aid, visit

Major supporters include the National Endowment for the Arts, William Penn Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Aroha Philanthropies. Additional support is provided by Barthelmes Foundation, Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation, ASAP, and Active Network.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.