Graphic with purple gradient and a circular shape in the background, which reads "Portal—noun. 1. gate, gateway 2. a way to get or do something". National Guild logo in bottom right corner

The National Guild for Community Arts Education underwent a Portal of Transformation. We see an urgent need to think critically about the way we work, and evolve to better serve community arts educators as they face today's challenges. This is a deep reflective time for our 85-year-old organization to create new practices and move into deeper alignment with our values and Racial Equity Principles. If you're interested in why we chose a portal as the metaphor to describe this part of our journey, you can learn more here.

Through the completion of our new strategic plan, we are holding off on our long-established programs to allow for:

  • Research, planning, and dialogue with our members and larger community.
  • A deep examination of all of the feedback we’ve received from our community over recent years.
  • Using what we’re learning and processing in the Portal to build new organizational policies, practices, programs, and a strategic plan that are human-centered, co-creative, and grounded in liberation. 
  • Investing in personal and professional development for our team.

We believe that all of us in the community arts education field should have opportunities to recharge, reflect, reconnect to our common purpose, and find better alignment with our values—and we believe this is possible if we work together to make deep shifts, one organization at a time.

What is the timeline of this process?

  • We officially entered the Portal on June 24, 2022, and will remain in this transformative period through the completion of our strategic planning process in fall 2023.

Can I still get in touch with the Guild?

What does this mean for membership?

  • As always, Guild members have access to our Resource Center, Guild member emails, and our Job Board during this time.

  • Guild membership is pay-what-you-can. If you have questions regarding your membership, please email membership@nationalguild.org.

  • New members have let us know that they joined because they're excited about the Portal! If you want to support this work, please continue to invest in the Guild, and invite people in your networks to become Guild members too.

Learn more

We are sharing transparently about what we're learning, unpacking, and creating in the Portal on the News section of our website, as well as through monthly email "Transmissions from the Portal".



You can also catch up with us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Upcoming events


Community Spaces (in person)

In fall 2022, the Guild launched an ongoing series of visits to communities across the country to connect with folks in the community arts education ecosystem and learn about new possibilities for us to support you. So far we have held Community Spaces in BostonSan Francisco, OaklandMemphis, and Chicago!

Portal Cafes (virtual)

Portal Cafes are virtual opportunities to have a deeper discussion about the learnings and practices that we are developing in the Portal. We want to hear about what you’re learning and trying out at your organization too! 

Deputy Director of Equity & Human Development Ashley Hare kicked us off with a rich discussion inspired by their post on liberatory hiring practicesMember Services and Data Systems Manager, Claire, held a conversation about data considerations; and Director of Finance & Administration Rangsey Keo led a conversation about solving tough problems by tapping into your creative potential to reset and become "un-stuck".