National Guild For Community Arts Education

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Home > Networking

What's a Conference without Great Conversations & New Connections?

Each year we hear from delegates that one of the most valuable aspects of attending the Conference for Community Arts Education is the discussions that result from both formal and on-the-fly networking opportunities.

Conference delegates represent nonprofit arts education organizations across the country, including arts and cultural centers, community arts schools, preparatory programs, performing arts companies, youth serving organizations (e.g., Boys and Girls Clubs of America), museums, and other agencies. Some organizations provide classes and lessons in their own facilities; others collaborate with senior centers, hospitals, public schools, and other agencies to increase access to arts education. Many do both. This diversity of backgrounds creates unique opportunities to connect with peers, explore new partnerships, and grow your learning community.

Networking Events:

•    Programming FOR the Future, WITH the Future
•    Office Hours
•    Discipline Roundtable Breakfasts
•    Food for Thought Luncheons
•    Opening Night Reception
•    Taste of the Bay Area Dine Arounds
•    Meet the Ambassadors Breakfast
•    Networking Meetings
•    Closing Night Celebration


 Guild trustee and ChiArts artistic and executive director José Ochoa meets with a delegate during Office Hours.

Connect with your peers across the country during the following events!

Programming FOR the Future, WITH the Future 
A free public forum

Wednesday, November 15, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

In the culture of design, we have grown adept at talking about the future without integrating “future citizens” into the conversation. Specifically, this means creating policy and programming decisions that are for and about young people without consulting or including young people in the process. A number of leaders have begun recognizing this process flaw, and have committed to co-designing next generation systems with young people whose outcomes are justice. Inspired by the multi-city conference Create Justice, organizers in the San Francisco Bay Area have forged partnerships between adults and teens who work with four seminal youth centered organizations, Youth Speaks, Destiny Arts Center, Berkeley High School's CAS program, and YBCA's Youth Fellows. Join us this evening for an overview of what co-designed systems look like in principle, and participate in a cross-generational workshop on the ground to experience what this modality feels like in practice. This event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is now open.


  • Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Chief of Program and Pedagogy, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
  • Rebeka Rodriguez, Civic Engagement Manager, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA

Office Hours 
Thursday, November 16 - Friday, November 17
Meet with an expert in the field for a free consultation focused on your questions, challenges, and areas of interest. Consultations are available for individuals or groups on a first come, first served basis during scheduled Office Hours blocks. List of experts TBA. You may sign up for a consultation on-site at the registration desk.

Discipline Roundtable Breakfasts 
Thursday, November 16, 8:30 - 9:45 AM
Kick off your conference experience by engaging in a focused conversation with peers that work in your artistic discipline at organizations across the country. This is a great way for veterans and first-time conference attendees alike to make connections that will last through the next three days and beyond!

Breakfast meetings are planned for Dance, Music, Theatre, Media Arts, and Visual Arts disciplines.

Food for Thought Luncheons 
Thursday, November 16, 12:00 - 1:30 PM
Choose from a variety of dynamic, small group luncheons to best suit your interests, learning style, and state of mind. Each luncheon will provide you with new ideas and connections. Lunch is provided with main conference and single day registration.

Next Levels
These peer-facilitated discussions will share effective strategies for taking your organization, and leadership, to the next level.

  • Recruiting and Retaining Quality Staff
  • Building Student Participation in Fee-Based Programs - SOLD OUT
  • Using Mediation to Effectively Manage in the Workplace
  • Leadership Over 50: Growth and Adaptation for Late-Career Leaders
  • Cutting-Edge Marketing in the Arts  - SOLD OUT

Long Table Conversations
These informal dialogues create space for everyone to join an open-ended, non-hierarchical conversation and celebrate potential new forms of knowledge-making and -sharing.

  • Supporting Immigrant Families & Artists: How can our organizations support and advocate for immigrant families, communities, and artists? - SOLD OUT
  • Work/Life Balance for Caregivers: How do we balance the full-time job of parenting/caregiving with the constant demands of our careers?

Arts Education Showcases
Sample some of the latest in administrative and classroom technology designed specifically to help nonprofit arts organizations thrive.

  • Registration/Classroom Management: Learn how registration software doesn’t just handle your student enrollments—it gathers a myriad of information on students and on your activities.
  • Music Education: Learn new ways that technology is enhancing music lessons and programs beyond the classroom.
  • Adobe Project 1324: Meet Project 1324, a new initiative from Adobe that supports, connects, and amplifies the impact of emerging artists and youth arts organizations around the world. Get a demo of the new Project 1324 digital platform and learn from leading creative youth development organizations, SAY Sí and RAW Artworks, how they are using it to showcase their work, engage youth artists, and fuel collective creative impact.


Opening Night Reception 

Thursday, November 16, 5:30 - 7:00 PM
Celebrate the kick-off of the 80th annual conference with friends old and new. Explore the Arts Education Expo. Have a drink, mingle, network, and connect!

Taste of the Bay Area Dine Arounds 
Thursday, November 16, 7:00 PM
Head out for a night on the town at a selection of great local eateries. Sign-ups for the dine arounds will be available on-site. Out of pocket.

Meet the Ambassadors Breakfast 
Friday, November 17, 8:00 - 8:45 AM
Enjoy breakfast and hear from the Guild's network of Ambassadors about the events they host throughout the year, the opportunities for connection and collaboration that they create within the Guild membership, and the national networks that they help cultivate.

Networking Meetings 
Friday, November 17, 12:15 - 1:30 PM
Meet with some of the Guild's networks and ambassadors and connect with like-minded peers. Networking Meeting topics will include: Arts in Education, Collegiate Divisional, Creative Youth Development, Arts Centers, Emerging Leaders, and Large, Mid-Sized, and Small Schools.

Closing Night Celebration 
Saturday, November 18, 5:30 - 7:00 PM 
Celebrate new friendships, collaborations, and insights, and raise a glass to our continued work together as a dynamic learning community.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.