When the WyAA Board met for our annual retreat in June, we spent a great deal of time discussion our priorities, vision and the direction we feel we need to travel in order to truly be the arts voice for Wyoming artists, presenters, enthusiasts and advocates. 

The conclusions we reached will guide our activities for the near and distant future, and will also impact the planning for what was previously our annual booking conference. 

As technology and venues evolve and educational and community needs change, those of us involved in the arts world need to adapt as well in order to remain relevant and effective.  With the economic downturn that has continued since 2008 and the ensuing budget cuts and decline in charitable giving, those of us involved in the arts need to be more business savvy.  We also need to be able to clearly articulate and communicate in a compelling way why the arts are essential to a thriving, vibrant community.

We also need to cooperate and collaborate more than ever before.

To that end, we are slowly working to change the emphasis of our fall conference from a "Booking Conference" to a "Comprehensive-Arts-Conference-That-Maintains-A-Booking-Element".  We believe that by diversifying our conference purpose and offering more services and connections, we can help the arts be sustainable in our state for many years to come.  

So this year we are adding some great features to the conference.  We will continue and build upon our professional development workshops.  We have more targeted, scheduled networking and a more intimate setting to encourage more interaction among artists and presenters.  We have a SmARTS meeting that will give out important information from four regional arts organizations: WAC, Westaf, Arts NW and WyAA.  We will brainstorm on the hows and whys of art advocacy.

The booking piece of the conference isn't going anywhere in the foreseeable future.  We have some great showcases lined up for you, as well as some award-winning performances sponsored by the Wyoming Arts Council.  But given how tools like YouTube, websites, file exchanges and email make find quality performers and booking much more accessible, we want to be more balanced in our attempts to meet the needs of our state arts community and audience.

Take some time to browse around and read the conference information here on the site, and then go ahead and register -- we know our attendees will walk away with new ideas, skills and knowledge that will empower us to better serve our audiences, each other, and the state at large.

Have a great week, and thanks for stopping by the blog!



Category: Uncategorised

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