The 2015 AAAE conference took place April 16-18, 2015 at the University of Oregon’s Portland campus. Over the three-day event, more than 120 program directors, educators, practitioners and students gathered to take part in a broad and engaging program of sessions.
Thursday evening began with a reception at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, and a keynote address from Eloise Damrosch, Executive Director of the Portland Regional Arts and Culture Council. Damrosch shared the story of the creation and institution of the city’s Art Tax, a funding initiative for arts education in Portland. She gave an overview of the process to implement the tax, discussed lessons learned, and took questions. Attendees then proceeded to dine around events across the city.
On Friday morning, sessions kicked off with a welcome from Alan Salzenstein, president of AAAE and Patricia Dewey Lambert, conference co-chair. Following their remarks, Dr. Dana Braner of Oregon Health and Science University and Michael Doherty of Nike gave a keynote address on Nike Doernbecher Freestyle, a joint fundraising initiative of Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Nike. The project involves children who are patients at Doernbecher designing their own Nike shoe and apparel lines, with revenues supporting the Children’s Hospital. A wildly successful model of business-creative partnership, innovative philanthropy, and arts in wellness, this model (and presentation) called on attendees to reflect on emerging models of design, philanthropy, and innovation.
Friday afternoon featured two plenary panels. The first was a discussion among arts leaders in Portland: Andrew Proctor of Literary Arts, Jose Gonzalez of Miracle Theatre Group, and Robyn Williams of Portland’5 Centers for the Arts. Patricia Dewey Lambert chaired the conversation. Discussion centered on student training for the arts administration field, including applied learning, internships, and more. Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) closed out the Friday schedule with a presentation on their development of a national taxonomy for reporting data on support for individual artists. The conversation, conducted by John Carnwath of WolfBrown, Claudia Bach of AdvisArts and Jim McDonald of GIA, introduced attendees to the taxonomy and discussed early outcomes from the research.
On Saturday, April 18 the afternoon’s programming was focused on international arts administration education issues. Rich Maloney (Boston University), Annick Schramme (president of ENCATC), and Alan Salzenstein (AAAE/DePaul University) discussed the global aspects of arts administration education and the ways in which service organizations are connecting and collaborating for the benefit of students. The afternoon’s programming continued with a series of international sessions focused on study abroad, cultural management, and international policy.
Both Friday and Saturday were also packed with sessions on a wide range of topics, including data-driven arts management, pedagogy and assessment, recruitment and retention, and emerging arts management models. More than 70 presenters made up the full schedule, which can be viewed here.
Save the date: the 35th annual AAAE conference will take place June 2-4, 2016 in Philadelphia, PA.