2018 Conference in Baltimore, MD

From November 14th-17th, 2018, the Guild welcomed 715 adult delegates, as well as 85 young artists, to our 81st annual conference. Delegates came from 400 distinct arts education organizations in 39 states, Washington, DC, Canada, South Korea, and the UK. More than 80 sessions were presented throughout the four days of the conference, many of which highlighted the host city of Baltimore; these included 2 keynote plenary sessions, 11 full-day learning institutes, and 8 learning sessions onsite at institutions in the Baltimore community, as well as 22 ninety-minute and 4 "deep dive" breakout sessions. 

All the sessions were designed to address critical, current issues in the field of community arts education. Many of the sessions were organized into 7 content tracks: Arts in Education, Creative Youth Development, Human Resources, Leadership Development, Organizational Health and Sustainability, and Social Justice, as well as "Lessons from Baltimore," which highlighted the unique cultural and social innovations happening in the city.



Or explore the archived 2018 conference website.

Conference Highlights

Opening Plenary: A Spotlight on Baltimore Artists

The Opening Plenary session featured several key Baltimore figures who are shaping arts and activism in the city. Artist, curator, and art historian Leslie King-Hammond, and who founded and currently serves as director of the Center for Race and Culture, shared a brief history of Baltimore’s arts and cultural community and the ARTivist movement it has inspired. Dr. King-Hammond then invited three local artist-activists- Kibibi Ajanku, Brayaira Simms, and Loring Cornish, who are making an impact and leading the way to a more hopeful and just future- to share their stories and have a conversation.

Our online resource center contains video excerpts of the plenary, including Leslie King-Hammond's introduction, Loring Cornish's speech, and the Q&A with all the artists.

Friday Plenary: Carlton Turner, The Art of Leadership

Friday's keynote speech, delivered by Carlton Turner, explored questions about leadership in the arts, like: What do we need in the quest for building strong leadership in the arts community? How do we think of leadership as a process for all arts participants and not just a program for a selected few? And what lessons can we learn from the teachings of civil rights leader Ella Baker to help us build a leader-full movement within the arts community?

Mr. Turner, whose own transformative approach to leadership speaks to several imperatives of the community arts education field, masterfully connected these questions to his upbringing, his family, his work, and the inspiring example set by civil rights leader Ella Baker. He emphasized the need to restore leadership practices that build trust and counter long-term, systemic inequities. 

Full and Education Affiliate Guild Members can watch Carlton Turner's full presentation here.

Shining a Spotlight on Baltimore

Baltimore is a dynamic, culturally vibrant, and unique city. The conference planning team strove to highlight local change makers and amplify the voices of community artists. In addition to the opening plenary, this was acheived through a series of community events, offsite sessions, and site visits.

On Wednesday evening, over 100 conference goers joined members of the community at "Standing Up: A Time Machine Thru Baltimore’s ARTivist Movement," hosted by the Arch Social Club. The event featured Baltimore poets, musicians, curators, and film-makers, and was catered by local chefs. Thursday's keynote, described above, served to further spotlight the Baltimore artist community. On Friday afternoon, over 40 conference-goers attended "Welcoming Our Newest Neighbors – Engaging Refugee, Human Trafficked, and Asylee Populations" and learned how Baltimore city- declared a “Safe Haven” for refugee and asylee populations- stands out as a shining example of how to use the culinary arts to support equity for and the inclusion of this population. 

Finally, Saturday's programming featured 6 site visits to Baltimore-based leading non-profits, Over 300 conference-goers attended these inspiring day-long sessions, learning valuable lessons and best practices from exemplar organizatinons doing work in the greater Baltimore Community. We are grateful to the American Visionary Art Museum and Creative Alliance, Dance and B'MoreJubilee Arts, Open Works, the Peabody Preparatory, and WombWork Productions for hosting powerful learning opporutunities for conference attendees.

2018 Conference Supporters and Sponsors

The 2018 National Conference for Community Arts Education would not have been possible without the support of our generous sponsors and supporters. Thank you to all who helped to make the conference a success!


Platinum Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Benefactor Sponsors

The Guild is currently seeking sponsors, exhibitors, and advertisers for our 2019 conference in Austin, Texas. Learn more about potential benefits, or get in touch directly with Adam Johnston at sponsorships@nationalguild.org or (212) 268-3897.