Groundwork Call for Session Proposals

The open call for session proposals is now closed. Thank you for your interest in being part of the Groundwork: Healing for Community Arts Education virtual gathering. 

Prior to proposing a session, please do the following:

  1. Read the Groundwork Landing Page for a detailed overview of the program.

  2. Carefully read all of the proposal guidelines below, and preview the proposal form. 

  3. Review the National Guild's mission, vision, values, and our Racial Equity Guiding Principles and Policies.

  4. View our Youtube playlist which includes information about Groundwork, the proposal process as well as our "How-to Submit A Proposal" video

  5. Save the dates (October 18–November 5, 2021)! All session presenters will be assigned a date and time during the three-week program that works best within the overall agenda. We will do our best to work around conflicts if you are invited but cannot promise all accomodations can be met. There is a space provided on the proposal form to list any immovable date conflicts. We cannot accommodate any conflicts that are shared after the proposal deadline (July 27). 

Proposal Guidelines


Groundwork is designed specifically for people in community arts education, including teaching artists, arts administrators (from all departments), young creatives, and cultural workers as well as their community partners. 


  • Foster an open exchange of ideas for grounding our work as a field beyond the pandemic

  • Honor the expertise and creativity of diverse voices and perspectives in the field 

  • Generate a deeper commitment to embedded community practice, among community arts education practitioners 

  • Inspire action for personal and interpersonal change 

  • Spark and deepen relationships for ongoing support, knowledge-sharing, and collective transformation 

  • Reveal stories of community arts education as we transition from the pandemic 

Session Proposal Priorities

Priority will be given to proposals that reveal the genuine stories of practice in action, that do not shy from real talk, and demonstrate the truth and vulnerability that working in authentic relationship with community requires. We aim to model ways of being as well as actionable takeaways that participants may incorporate into their personal and community practices. 

Whose experiences we are centering in this space:

Young people (20 and younger)

Older adults (65 and older)

Black people

Indigenous people

Other people of color

LGBTQIA+ people

People with disabilities

Unhoused people

People impacted by policing and the prison industrial complex

All people who are most impacted by injustice

Session Formats and Content Tracks

Review Session Formats

The Groundwork gathering will include virtual learning opportunities that are designed to be reflective and spark dialogue and action. On the proposal form, you also will be asked to select a specific content area track for your session. See content track descriptions

Important Dates

  • Tuesday, July 13:  Session submission form opens. Watch Session Proposals Demystified recording. 

  • Tuesday, July 27: Session proposal deadline

  • Monday, August 16: Notification of session status 

  • Wednesday, August 18: Deadline to confirm participation if invited

  • Friday, August 20: Waitlisted proposals notified

  • Tuesday, September 7: Registration opens

Review Process

All proposals submitted by the deadline of July 27 will be reviewed by a Proposal Review Committee specifically assembled for the track that your session addresses. Each track’s Review Committee will be comprised of Guild staff and field practitioners with deep content experience. Please note: you may be contacted by a member of the Review Committee to further discuss your session proposal.


In exchange for presenting a session, all presenters will receive complimentary admission to all co-learning opportunities at the Groundwork gathering, and will have their bios, headshots, and session descriptions listed on our website.

"How-to Submit A Proposal" Video
In the video below our Director of Conferences and Learning, Ivy Young, walks through the proposal form process with our Learning & Engagement Manager, Jasmine Huff. Visit our Youtube playlist for more videos about the proposal process.