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NCAA Conference



Purposeful Relationships:
Transforming Communities Through Art and Design

September 26-29, 2018


Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) is proud to host the 46th annual conference of the National Council of Arts Administrators in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In a city that is known for philanthropy, collaboration, and civic engagement, we will take up the theme of purposeful relationships and the idea of the transformational potential of art and design within communities.

This conference will present examples of how community engagement and collaboration can be used, successfully, as a methodology for building place, imagining inclusion and equity, modeling sustainability, and transforming communities through art and design. In these particular cases the purposeful relationship moves beyond the transactional or reciprocal to the relational, the personal, and the sustainable.

The conference topics, speakers, panelists, and venues reflect this creative approach to imagining and cultivating community transformation. In order to probe these examples more deeply, the program speakers, panels, and venues are purposely focused on the local and regional so that conference attendees can not only learn about innovative approaches and problem solving but can also experience the places where this important work takes place. We will stress the aspects of the city and region that accentuate collaboration and specifically where the concepts and methodologies of art and design are embraced. The common threads of place making, design thinking, community interaction, industry and corporate collaboration within education will be interwoven in the content of each session.

This conference theme and content will build on and expand the ideas presented in the National Council of Arts Administrators program at the College Art Association 2018 Annual meeting entitled, Transforming Communities Through the Arts, organized by Lynne Allen and David LaPalombara.

Individuals with disabilities who require special accommodations to participate should contact the KCAD President's Office at 616.451.2787 x1150 at least 72 hours in advance.

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Conference Sponsors

KCAD UICA Design West Michigan
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Grand Rapids Art Museum Grand Rapids Public Museum School
Site:Lab Spectrum Health Innovations Ferris State University