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“Art-tinis” and Artful Conversations at AFTACON

Posted on: Jul 10, 2018

For over 50 years, Americans for the Arts has organized an annual convention for arts and community leaders to network and discuss strategies for building stronger cities through the arts. This year the annual convention (AFTACON) was held in Denver, Colorado from June 14-17 – a perfect destination for artful conversations where creativity and innovation can be found everywhere!

Thousands of arts professionals from across the nation traveled out west for four days of sessions, workshops, and events that were focused on exploring the role of the arts in creating and sustaining healthy, vibrant, and equitable communities. The attendees were able to reenergize and affirm their passion for the arts through meeting with other professionals in the field, and hearing from more than 100 arts leaders. 

To kick-off the convention, on Friday, June 15, 2018 a grand opening reception took place at the McNichols Civic Center, which is a contemporary hub for arts and culture for the people of Denver. The hosts facilitated a spectacular evening as guests mingled, sipped “art-tini’s” and enjoyed a diverse sampling of Colorado’s offerings. This event served as a great opportunity for guests to reconnect with colleagues, and to generate excitement for the conference.

During the weekend, attendees had the opportunity to learn about various arts and community organizations across the country through browsing the vendor-booths at Centerstage. The Arts Action Fund (AAF) had a table set-up from Friday-Sunday, displaying some free merchindise and other materials that offered visitors information on how to join our movement. We are happy to report that over the weekend we gained 164 new members and raised nearly $2,000 for our general PAC fund! Representatives from AAF were also able to share some success stories and report on new developments during a couple of sessions having to do with the new Louise Slaughter Fund, and the potential funding increase for the NEA and NEH in FY2019 -- among other updates.

Through AFTACON, the Arts Action Fund was given the opportunity to spread the word on the importance of arts advocacy, gain new members, and raise money for our cause. We can’t wait to participate in next year’s convention!