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Americans for the Arts 2013

June 18, 2013

The annual convention for the Americans for the Arts took place in Pittsburgh and was an incredible gathering of individuals from a range of cultural organizations, municipalities, arts councils, artists and educators.  Special speakers included Pittsburgh’s own innovative Bill Strickland, the most entertaining demographer of all time Manuel Pastor, NPR’s CEO Gary Knell, PBS’s CEO Paula Kerger and Jim Messina, who ran Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

The preconference kicked off with a tour of public artworks in “Art as Community Placemaker,” which featured Vanessa Germain’s Love Front Porch in Hometown, Union Project, artist James Simon’s Uptown home and studio, and The City of Asylum Pittsburgh.

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AFTA worked with cultural gems in Pittsburgh to knock the socks off of everyone visiting, including events at the Mattress Factory (below) for the Public Arts Network preconference.


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The convention itself featured a tour of Pittsburgh with some of the city’s finest including Mr. Rogers, Martha Graham, August Wilson, Gene Kelly, Andy Warhol and Rachel Carson.  We finally landed at the Warhol Museum and enjoyed music, art and Trans-Q Television.

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Off the beaten path from the numerous sessions and discussions about community engagement, cultural asset mapping, unconventional funding ideas and integrating arts into schools and community were field trips to destinations were topics were realities.  More images coming soon….

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