PLATICÁS (Conversations): During Lunch Break

Please note lunch is not proivded. See Platicas station for a list of quick bite options.


Visual Arts Networking: 1:15pm - 2:30pm Second Floor, WestMore Central

Organizers: Mike Barclay, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art

Individuals working for visual arts organizations, visual artists, and/or those interesting in meeting others working the visual arts, let’s meet and talk about successes, challenges, favorite artists and spaces. Join this informal session to talk all things visual arts!


IDEA FORM SESSIONS| 2:30 - 4 p.m.


Joining Forces - a national conversation about racial justice, disability justice and trans justice in the Performing Arts

Organizers: Robin Anderson, AXIS Dance Company and Sean Dorsey, Sean Dorsey Dance & Fresh Meat Productions

Let’s JOIN FORCES! Presenters, artists, programmers, cultural leaders, activists, funders, audiences and lovers: join us for a conversation about building solidarity as we fight for racial justice, disability justice and trans justice in the performing arts. What does creating “access” really mean? How do we move beyond a “diversity” framework with its accompanying check-boxes and tokenism? How do we invest in truly empowered leadership? How do we get white people to stop opting out of conversations about racial justice and white supremacy / get able-bodied people to stop opting out of conversations about disability justice / get cisgender people to stop opting out of conversations about trans justice? Solidarity and joining forces is part of the answer. Let’s talk about it! Cookies will be provided. *If you require access accommodations please write or phone Robin Anderson (robin@ or 510-625-0110) by Dec. 3.


Performing Artist/Presenter Dialogues in a Time of Crisis

Organizers: Michael Sakamoto, University of Iowa & Ananya Chatterjea, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

In this time of acute upheaval, oppression, violence, global threats and other crises, the social meaning and sense of identity of our dance, theatre, music, and performance art are as impactful as ever. For better or worse, audiences are primed for the work we present on stage and the experiences we provide off stage in community and educational settings. In response, this collective idea-sharing and brainstorming session is designed for performing artists and presenters asking vital questions and searching for collaborative answers: What are the urgencies facing performing artists and presenters in our historical moment? What movements, images, sounds, and stories are engaged artists called to create, and how do presenters see their roles and responsibilities changing? What solutions are we capable of embodying for audiences, and how can artists and presenters innovate together to nurture and transform the performing arts landscape? For two hours, we will identify the most pressing issues for participants in the room, and then work on each in breakout groups, making safe spaces of difference, revealing her/histories, sounding out positive and proactive measures, and composing and choreographing responses as well as simple nuts and bolts gestures. Each group will then present their “solution,” and we’ll finish with final individual or group commitments to some form of implementation.

Racial Equity and Arts Grant-Making in Greater Pittsburgh

Organizer: David Pankratz, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council

This panel explores how the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, working with an ALAANA-majority advisory committee, documented how public and private arts funds have been distributed by race over time and devised recommendations to make future grant-making more equitable. 


Indigenous Roundtable

Organizer: Andre Bouchard, Walrus Arts Management  and Consulting, LLC

Across the performing arts industry, significant efforts are being undertaken in response to the groundswell of Native artists that are emerging into the presenting and touring world. Join the conversation, anchored by Indigenous performing arts professionals, about how to decolonize space and successfully build cultural bridges. 


Socially engaged art making and the next generation

Organizer: Rebekah Lanae Lengel, National YoungArts  Foundation

This forum will explore emerging artists who are using a multidisciplinary approach to incorporate activism and social commentary in their art making process. By deliberately creating work that is both devised by them, and viewed by the audience through the lens of social activism, these artists are redefining how a generation views and experiences art.


Dance and Art in the Sonoran Desert

Organizer: Yvonne Montoya, Safos Dance Theatre

This presentation discusses the strategies that three Latina artists/arts administrators have developed over the past two years in leading culturally responsive projects and programs throughout Arizona. Focusing on peer-to-peer learning, horizontal leadership and working within distinct levels at organizations and institutions, the artist-centric programming they lead is promoting new models of equitable engagement with artists of color. The panel will address the challenges faced by Latinx artists working and living in both urban and rural communities within Arizona and the successful methodologies that have resulted in dialogue and knowledge-sharing with national and Bi-National artistic communities. The panel will consist of a current high ranking woman leader, a millennial curator/presenter, and a mid-career female touring artist, along with a moderator. Focusing on dance and the visual arts in Arizona, panelists Yvonne Montoya (Safos Dance Theatre), Gabriela Muñoz (Arizona Commission on the Arts), and M. Jenea Sánchez (Border Arts Corridor) will speak openly about the challenges and opportunities of collaborating across 3 different cities to serve and collaborate with artists in communities that have been historically marginalized and isolated. 


White Allies, Owning the Challenge of Change

Organizer: Keryl McCord, Equity Quotient, LLC

A lively session designed by seasoned facilitators and trainers, to challenge white artists, allies, and organizers, to own the challenge of change to dismantle racial and cultural inequities, by working within their communities, networks and families.


Building a Code of Ethics

Organizer: Michèle Steinwald, Program Director, Momentum: New Dance Works; Interim Managing Director, Brownbody

Panel: Emily Marks, Collaborator/Memphis Performing Arts Coalition; Dipankar Mukherjee, Artistic Director/Pangea World Theater; Laura T. Fisher, Co-Founder/Not in Our House; Nia Benjamin, Committee Member/Philadelphia Theatre: A Code of Ethics; Video contribution from Taja Will, Facilitator/Diversity & Inclusion Committee at Earthdance

Following the #MeToo movement and addressing aesthetic biases based in racial prejudice, communities of practice are building their own explicit codes of ethics to hold themselves and others accountable in response to this time of exposing the perpetrators in our field. Session will include case studies and calls for action.


LANE: See leaders. Make Change.

Organizer: Sage Crump, LANE Program Specialist, NPN

Leveraging a Network for Equity (LANE) is an NPN initiative designed to recognize and remediate the historical inequities in funding for arts organizations of color and rural organizations. Now at the midway point of its journey, the members of LANE’s Beta Cohort will share lessons individually and collectively. Cohort members include: Coleman Center for the Arts (York, AL), Hayti Heritage Center (Durham, NC), La Pena Cultural Center (Berkeley, CA), Pangea World Theater (Minneapolis, MN) and Native American Development Institute / All My Relations Arts (Boston, MA). 




PEER-2-PEER SESSIONS| 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.


IDEA in Motion: Co-creation and an inclusive practice of engagement

Organizers: Michele de la Reza & Peter Kope, Attack Theatre

IDEA in Motion: Interpretive, Divergent, Equitable and Accessible. What happens when audiences are a critical part of the creative process? Attack Theatre joined by Zena Ruiz (visual artist and Arts and Culture Manager, Children's Museum Pittsburgh) and Cecile Shellman (Cultural Resource and Museum Consultant) share an IDEA as a performative metaphor and guiding philosophy for: Interpretive Engagement, Divergent questioning, Equitable practice, and Accessible program formats. By developing an artistic practice that models and emphasizes co-creation, inclusion, and interactivity on and off the stage, Attack Theatre cultivates shared experiences with its audience. We’ll facilitate a conversation through performance, dialogue, and physical explorations. This session will explore strategies for inquiry-based interactions with audiences in both performance and educational settings, and brainstorm opportunities and challenges when artists share creative control with their audiences as a deliberate part of a transparent artistic process.


The IMAGINARY Workshop

Organizer: Lida Winfield, Performing Artist

This interdisciplinary hands-on, feet-on workshop will focus on using our bodies, voices, and stories to explore our imaginations and perceptions of ourselves, others and our world.  The IMAGINARY workshop investigates our real and imagined perceptions of each other and the impact these impressions have.  How does what we imagine impact or dictate our potential?  What do we have in common?  How are we different from each other?  How does imagination contribute to our fears?  This playful and thought-provoking workshop will be welcoming to all bodies, abilities and backgrounds. Lida Winfield’s IMAGINARY received an NPN Creation Grant. This is a companion workshop to the performance. 


Creating Sustainable Arts & Culture Organizations

Organizers: Meghan Rutigliano & Namiko Uno, Burning Man Project

This session aims to meet artists at the nexus of creation, administration, and community engagement. Join us in this peer-to-peer discussion about creating sustainable arts and culture organizations. Our time together will be shaped by YOUR questions and hot topics.  Some questions to consider together might include:

• What are the best strategies and frameworks for staying artistically nimble and effective in the long-term?

• Might a legal entity, such as a 501(c)(3), be worth creating to support your work, and is this the best support system for you?

• For established organization leaders: what expertise do you have to share with emerging artists and administrators?

• How do you sustainably scale your work and continue to build an audience and network around your artistic vision?

• What are some best practices for forging partnerships with other artists and organizations?

Our highly participatory workshop, inspired by the World Cafe approach, will be hosted by Burning Man community leaders from Washington, D.C. Baltimore, San Francisco, and New York City along with Pittsburgh local Regional Contacts. We welcome all levels of experience to join us in this co-created workshop. We’re excited to share with you!


Mapping the Transgressive Body

Organizer: Jaamil Kosoko, Princeton University

How do we as movement practitioners and artist-citizens train and strengthen the mind and body to resist oppressive structures and systems? How might tools of self care, personal meditation, and psychic choreographic systems support and prepare us for site based and/or theatrical radical performance making? How does the teaching of theory promote new systems for intellectual simulation and understanding? Centering an interdisciplinary approach to live performance making, this creative lab will consider how we as artist-citizens strengthen the mind and body to resist normalized structures of performance to release, activate, and translate unknown, foreign, and/or vulnerable materials into live radically staged actions. Participants will conduct research, view and critique live performance and create cosmologies of their creative influencers. Please bring creative material and specific questions you want to unpack during this workshop. 


PLATICÁS (Conversations): During Lunch Break

Please note lunch is not proivded. See Platicas station for a list of quick bite options.


Rockin’ The Rural: 12:30pm – 1:30pm Second Floor, Washington

Organizers: Krys Holmes, Myrna Loy Center & Shoshanna Bass, Sandglass Theater

Gather at 12:30 to talk about rural culture, challenges, values, and ways of being. Are you a rural arts organization? Are you an artist about to visit a rural space? Are you an artist living in a remote landscape, wanting to meet others and share resources? Let’s talk about the culture of the rural: Things work differently here. Please join if you are rural, are about to go rural, would like to be rural, or just envy us because it’s quiet out here.



SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2018 | 1:30 - 3 p.m.

Live with Art Accordingly Podcast

Organizers: Quanice Floyd and Joshua Jenkins, Arts Administrators of Color

The Arts Administrators of Color Network is proud to present Art Accordingly, a podcast that highlights artists and arts leaders of color, while interrogating systemic and institutional issues of equity in the arts from a decolonizing framework. The Live with Art Accordingly Podcast will feature dynamic artists and arts leaders of color to discuss current events in the arts, discuss their current work, answer audience questions, and create calls to action for audience members and listeners. This session would be recorded live to be later edited and posted on the Art Accordingly podcast. 


Building A Wakanda for Arts in Memphis

Organizer: Amber Hamilton, Memphis Music Initiative

The Memphis Music Initiative is an organization using music and arts engagement to invest in youth and create equitable opportunities for black and brown children in Memphis. Our model, as a nonprofit service provider and as a funder to organizations, has been developed to unapologetically focus on equity, building a strong black arts ecosystem, and capitalizing black and brown led organizations that have been historically underfunded through philanthropic redlining. We have lessons learned to share about how artists and arts organizations can demand more equity from funders, how funders can take bolder approaches towards equity, and what disruptive philanthropy looks like in practice. Our discussion, based on a study on our work (Towards the Future of Arts Philanthropy) will center around a vision for empowered, valued, diverse artists and arts organizations.


Artist-Presenters: DIY Touring & Residencies

Organizer: Alisha Tonsic, Network of Ensemble Theaters

Join us for an interactive exploration of tools, resources, and successful models for peer-based “DIY” touring and residency exchanges that empower ensembles, artist-led organizations, and individual practitioners to host and present each other. The session will have three components. We will begin with a demonstration of the Connector mobile app just released by the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) that matches artists/companies who can host or present with peer artists/companies that are looking for touring or residency opportunities; the matching platform includes sharing-economy and barter as well as cash-based options, and increases artists’ agency and access points for regional and national touring. We will then hear from a few artist-presenters (and companies/artists who’ve been hosted by artist-pre senters) about the added benefits, special considerations, or challenges they’ve experienced with this type of peer-based, artist-to-artist touring/residency model. The session will then open up to a roundtable format where all attendees will engage in an open discussion moderated by NET Executive Director Alisha Tonsic to share their experiences, ask questions of each other, and brainstorm possibilities and connections.


Access Accommodation for Performances

Organizer: Jess Curtis, Gravity

A panel addressing strategies for making work accessible to people with diverse sensory modalities, physicalities and mobility impairments including: Audio Description, Touch Tours, ASL interpretation; and creating spaces that are welcoming beyond just ADA Compliance—as well as the ins and outs of logistics and negotiations with presenters about doing so. Drawing on Curtis’ company Gravity’s experience of touring the work “The Way You Look (at me) Tonight,” curatorial/ production practices at MCA in Chicago, and policies and practices at Pittsburgh Arts Council. *If you require access accommodations please write or phone Jess Curtis (jess@ or 415-425-9918) by Dec. 3.


Cultural Equity and Archival Practice,  a Knowledge-Building Workshop

Organizer: Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, University of  Texas at Austin  

This workshop devotes itself to methods for archive building, offers arguments for archive as a critical component of artistic practice and cultural equity alike, and also highlights exemplary case studies. Paul Bonin-Rodriguez leads our Knowledge Building Initiative (KBI), an effort to raise up the cultural contributions of members within NPN’s greater network by building, documenting and sharing knowledge. 


Our Work

Organizer: Meredith Boggia, Meredith Boggia Productions

An honest conversation about artists working in the independent sector, including self-producing and under-supported commissions. Artists, Presenters and Producers will discuss: (1) overlapping responsibilities, (2) real numbers and how to discuss them with an appropriate level of attachment, (3) the psychic/emotional needs for proper creation, and (4) how we manage transactions around these factors is a morally sound, inclusive and communicative way. We will work to highlight best practices and discuss real numbers and language through anecdotes of positive collaboration with an interest in deriving and distributing tools for the field. We will be honest about our yes’s and no’s.  


Queer Histories // Queer Futures: Collectively  Interpreting Oral History for the Stage

Organizer: Bonnie Gabel & indee mitchell, Last Call  

Last Call is a New Orleans based ensemble that documents and interprets neglected queer history, creating connections between those who lived this history and those who have much at stake if it is lost. Last Call Co-Directors Bonnie Gabel and indee mitchell will present their process for interpreting oral histories for the stage, and explore the methodology with attendees through a series of improvisational exercises. Beginning exploration will uncover the transformative and liberatory process of oral history, and participants will create small performances focused on stories of resistance.


Reconsidering the Glass Ceiling in the Performing Arts

Organizer: Loris Bradley, Loris Creative Productions

The Women’s Working Group, a think tank of women in the performing arts with a 21-year history and broad view of the field, proposes a reconsideration of the Glass Ceiling in cultural practice in the US. We will examine, explore, and address a historical and contemporary assessment of the status of women artists, administrators, managers and presenters. 


LANE Live!

Organizer: Sage Crump, LANE Program Specialist, NPN

Leveraging a Network for Equity (LANE) is an NPN initiative that brings together extraordinary leaders from arts and culture organizations to collectively address racial and geographical imbalance in the field. LANE is proud to launch its new podcast with a live recording highlighting the voices and experiences of leaders in the program’s Alpha Cohort. As the organizations approach the final chapter of their four-year journey together, they’ll share lessons and answer questions from fellow cohort members, the broader Network and beyond. Cohort members include: Junebug Productions (New Orleans), Su Teatro (Denver), Carpetbag Theatre (Knoxville, TN), Central District Forum of Arts & Ideas (Seattle), MACLA / Movimiento de Arte y Cultural Latino Americana (San Jose, CA) and The Myrna Loy Center (Helena, MT).