Face-to-face meetings of NPN Partners, artists, and colleagues are an essential part of building relationships and keeping in place the “network” aspect of NPN’s structure. Annual and Mid-Year Meetings enable discussion and sharing of knowledge, best practices, issues of the field, work in progress, and collaborative projects to be planned.
NPN’s Annual Meeting is a national forum for peer-to-peer communication among NPN/VAN Partners, artists subsidized with NPN support, and key NPN stakeholders and colleagues. Invited leaders come together to articulate issues, debate alternative models, and examine policies which shape the local and national arts environment.
The Artists’ Convening, a component of the Annual Meeting, is designed to break down the barriers that exist between artists and presenters — even presenters who are, themselves, artists. The Convening fosters a greater understanding among people who sign the same contracts and serve the same audiences, but don’t always approach issues of equity and responsibility from the same perspective. Invitations are extended to artists who have toured under NPN contracts in the last three years, or those commissioned through NPN’s Creation Fund.
Artists’ Convening Goals
- To give artists a forum for support and discovery
- To provide nuts and bolts information that supports artists’ careers
- To offer significant opportunities for networking with their peers
NPN introduced a new program in 2001: Regional Desks. Through the regional roundtables and the long-range planning process begun during the summer of 2000, it became evident that NPN would benefit from strengthening and expanding its regional activities. Four Regional Desks (Midwest, Northeast, South, West) were established to conduct activities, enhance communications within regions, and communicate regional issues to the national office and board.
In addition to supporting the regional desks’ activities, NPN hosts Mid-Year Meetings in the spring of each year. These meetings convene NPN Partners, VAN Partners and others in the region, including artists, presenters, community representatives and funders. Topic-specific Mid-Year Meetings focus on areas such as cultural policy, organizational development, and professional development for both artists and administrators. Meetings move around within the region from year to year and are organized and paid for by the NPN national office, with logistical assistance from the regional desk.