Past Conferences

Click on a thumbnail image to view a PDF version of that year's conference program book.

The 2019 Conference marked the first time the conference was held in Austin, TX. Favianna Rodriguez and Amir Whitaker gave keynote addresses. We worked closely with Austin- and Texas-based leaders, Guild Members, artists, and community members to ensure that our 500+ conference-goers had a chance to experience what Austin has to offer, including Halloween and Día de los Muertos celebrations.

Over 750 delegates gathered in Baltimore, MD for the 2018 Conference. The conference intentionally spotlighted Baltimore-based artists like Loring Cornish and Leslie King-Hammond. Highlights included the first-ever National Young Artists' summit, planned for and by young artists from across the country, and a community event at the Arch Social Club—a historically-owned black theatre—that celebrated local artists of color.

The 2017 Conference was hosted in San Francisco and Oakland, CA and included almost 250 delegates (out of 700+ total) from the state of California. Keynotes included "hope dealer" Hasan Davis's "The Art of Justice" and Stanford professor Bill Burnett's "Designing Your Life." 

The 2016 Conference brought together over 650 arts educators in Chicago, IL. Author and UGA professor Bettina Love was a hit, inspiring delegates with her keynote entitled "Who’s Got the Power: Art, Resistance, Hip Hop Civics, & Joy".

The Guild was in Philadelphia, PA for our 2015 Conference for what was the largest conference to date, bringing together almost 800 delegates. Highlights include Shawn Ginwright's memorable "A Love Note to Justice: Building Hope and Healing in Urban America," as well as a community conversation "Everyone' Right to Arts and Culture," hosted at the Philadelphia Clef Club and sponsored by the city's Office of Creative Economy,

The Guild came to Los Angeles, CA for the 2014 Conference and  was treated to a keynote from Kevin Kirkpatrick—"Building Public Will for Lifelong Arts Learning"—that suggested a realistic path forward for arts education advocates. The actor Tim Robbins received the Guild's Leadership Award for his work with "the Actors' Gang" Prison Project.