Wednesday, June 22, 2011

AFTA Convention 2011 Reflection

The Americans for the Arts Conference 2011 (AFTA) is an amazing event for arts administrators and artists from all spectrums. This year, the city of San Diego was the host for this national event. We had visitors from all across the US and abroad. My experience at AFTA '11 was inspirational because I got to meet outstanding, passionate and dedicated people who believe that the arts should be an equal opportunity for all. In other words, "people advocate for the arts and make sure that the arts are introduced in their community." A full program with the latest news about technology in the arts, public policy, education, and community engagement were some of the topics discussed during the 3-day conference at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel. I met individuals from executive directors of state art agencies to computer savvies... I was so impressed to have met a computer savvy that was interested in making software for arts institutions. One tech savvy individual was interested in developing a program that would allow nonprofits to get their information organized and to make a "common arts database about your community" with the goal to share audience statistics, etc... it blew my mind!

I have to admit, most artists (including myself) lack this expertise, we are not considered the most tech savvy at all... but when it comes to "creation and innovation", we are the experts. One of the lessons that I learned is that we (art administrators and artists) need to become more familiar with technology and all that is out there in the cyberspace so that we can become more productive, more organized, and most of all, more efficient at our work place. The technology experience is something that can also be applied all across the arts admin industry and be used to our convenience. For example, if you are doing community engagement, you need to learn who your leaders are, as well as your potential community partners and politicians. We need to meet them and not be intimidated to introduce ourselves and learn more about their goals and if the arts are part of their agenda. You will be amazed at how friendly these people are and how appreciative they will be to learn about your organization and your events - don't be afraid to invite them!

AFTA 2011 was definitely an inspirational experience and confirmed how passionate I am about the arts, but most importantly, how lucky I am to work with the San Diego Asian Film Foundation, one of the most tech savvy arts organizations and one of the most involved community leaders in San Diego.

Written by Karla Duarte, blogger for SDAFF.

1 comment:

  1. i was really curious about this event. thanks for sharing!