Thank you for attending our 2017 Annual Conference in San Francisco! See you next year in Pittsburgh:

2018 NPN/VAN Annual Conference
December 13-16, 2018
Westin Convention Center, Pittsburgh

All are welcome, and registration opens this spring. For updates, join our newsletter at and follow us on social media.

Meeting Agreements


  • Be present
  • Take care of yourself and each other
  • Support all voices being heard
  • Assume positive intent
  • Try to avoid and/or explain jargon
  • Take responsibility for your words and actions
  • Be mindful of time
  • Speak from your own experience
  • W.A.I.T. – Why am I talking? Is this going to move the conversation forward?
  • Remember why we are here
  • Relax and laugh, hard work doesn’t have to feel hard
  • Don’t leave with a question
  • Speak the elephant in the room
Meeting Philosophy


We believe in…

  •       Creating a safer space: We ask all attendees to question oppression openly, listen generously, and respect each other’s personal boundaries and confidentiality.
  •       Critical analysis without censorship: We encourage activities and dialogues that reflect the challenging times in which we find ourselves and we support artists’ opportunities to develop and show work without artistic compromise. We strive to make space where participants can take risks while engaging each other in thoughtful critique.
  •       Complexity: We recognize the complex identities we each embody and do not assume or diminish other’s perspectives.
  •       Holding each other accountable: We aim for an environment where we respectfully call each other in, help each other see our blind spots, and learn together how to move toward more just and equitable words, actions, and practices.
  •       Making space for learning: Disagreement, discomfort, and vulnerability are essential for growth, while defensiveness and dismissiveness inhibit learning. Allow yourself and others time and space to reflect and grow.


Annual Conference Rapid Response Team




NPN/VAN takes seriously any reports of racism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, misogyny, classism, or other oppressions. If an incident arises, attendees can reach out to a member of the Rapid Response Team, a team of colleagues who have generously volunteered their time. NPN/VAN recognizes that in inviting challenging conversations we also need to create a healthy environment to do so. We aim to align this work with the principles of transformative justice that seeks resolution and transformation together rather than punishment. We believe in listening to our colleagues and trust in the validity of their experience, without defensiveness or debate.

Who attends the NPN/VAN Annual Conference?


This year the NPN/VAN Annual Conference was open to all, and we are excited to welcome almost 375 amazing artists, presenters, and colleagues from around the world!

  • NPN/VAN Partners, Board Members and Staff
  • Bay Area Host Committee members and Colleagues
  • U.S. and international Colleagues — arts presenters/producers, curators, cultural organizers, and funders
  • Artists
    • National Artists who have toured on NPN/VAN
    • Bay Area-based performing and visual artists
    • Bay Area “Live & On Stage” performing artists



When is AC San Francisco?


The conference is from December 14th-17th, 2017. We recommend that you arrive by the afternoon of December 14th and depart the morning of December 18th!

What are the objectives of the Annual Conference?
  • Building and strengthening relationships
  • Expanding professional development
  • Connecting with what’s going on creatively around the country
  • Deepening the field’s knowledge of San Francisco’s culture
Tell me about the Annual Conference philosophy!
  • To create an environment where Artists and Presenters can develop peer relationships — not power relationships
  • To provide support to Artists, NPN/VAN Partners and Colleagues through shared best practices
  • To activate new collaborations and partnerships
  • To show the breadth of work that NPN/VAN has subsidized
What special events are included in the registration fee?

Your registration fee includes:
– A ticket to BOTH Live & On Stage Performances
– Opening Reception
– Closing Party

What should I bring to the Annual Conference?

All the usual things you would bring on a 4-day trip, we take no responsibility for you forgetting your toothbrush (but will happily direct you to the nearest drugstore to buy a new one!).

  • Comfortable clothes that you feel good in. There is no dress code for attendees, wear what feels good.
  • Business cards
  • Any materials of projects you’re working on that you’d like to share
  • Walking shoes, some activities will take you out and about in San Francisco
When should I arrive and depart?

You should arrive on December 14th, 2017 in time for the AC Newbie Mixer at 5:00pm (especially if you’re new!) followed by the Opening Reception later in the evening at 8:00pm.

You should plan to leave on Monday morning, December 18th.

Things to Remember in San Francisco

As in all cities, use common sense, be aware of your surroundings and be intentional when walking, especially at night. We recommend walking in groups, particularly when you walk to and from PianoFight, the Late Night venue which is just around the corner. Also, take a tip from a local: Don’t be on your phone as you navigate the city!

Anti-Oppression Statement & Guiding Principles


In alignment with NPN/VAN’s commitment to creating an arts sector rooted in justice, we are committed to ensuring a space that is free of racism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, misogyny, classism, or other bias. Our hope is that all Annual Conference participants – whether leading a discussion, performing/presenting work, or simply attending – both honor and accept a shared commitment to this ethic, and join us in a spirit of openness, learning, and respect.

At our conference – and throughout our work – we invite conversation and action that address racial and social justice. We recognize, too, that examining these issues takes a human toll and we wish to create a healthy environment in which to do so. We have developed meeting agreements as well as protocol for addressing both interpersonal and event-wide reports of racism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, misogyny, classism, or other oppressions.

NPN/VAN strives to be an anti-racism, anti-oppression organization, and we recognize this is an ongoing practice, rather than a box to be checked off. We welcome Partners, colleagues, and peers to join us in learning, listening, and engaging together in this work.

Thank you for joining us!

What is Guidebook?


Guidebook is an app that you download to your phone/tablet that allows you to easily access the Annual Conference schedule, venues and directions, fellow attendees, social media, photos, restaurants in the area and more! It’s a concise and green way to carry AM Austin in your pocket. And it’s fun and easy to use. Download Guidebook and add the NPN/VAN Annual Conference San Francisco 2017 Guide!

What is the meeting hotel and how can I make reservations?


The hotel is the Parc 55 Hotel and you can make your hotel reservation by visiting their booking website here!

Should I plan to make my own hotel arrangements?

The answer is most likely yes! NPN/VAN staff make reservations for a small number of attendees, but you would have heard from us directly if this were the case. If you’re unsure, you can always email Nick

What should I wear?

Wear what makes you feel good. Attendees wear everything from jeans and sneakers to heels. We don’t have many many suit-wearers, but if that’s your game that’s great! Definitely bring a pair of comfortable shoes, as some activities will take you out and about in San Francisco.

This will be my first Annual Conference, will I be the only one who doesn't know anyone?

Usually about 40% of attendees are new to the Conference. Plan to attend the AC Newbie Mixer on Thursday December 14th (5:00pm) to help you figure what’s what (and to meet some of the other folks). Besides, the people who attend the Annual Conference are a pretty special bunch — you should feel comfortable introducing yourself to them. And remember: this conference is about networking!

Should I bring brochures?

We will have resource tables available and you are welcome to bring resources like brochures or handouts to the Annual Conference. In many instances, large amounts of paper products are disposed of at the end of the meeting, so please consider this in quantity and your methods of disbursement. Digital media can also be a great way to share!

How can I contact people I met post-conference?

Why wait? Use the CHAT feature on our Guidebook App to reach out directly to fellow attendees.

There’s also all the usual, like using business cards you accumulated, Facebook, Twitter, etc. You can also look up their name and organization on the AC website attendees tab, or in the attendee bios section of this app, and look for contact info on their website.

Anything Else?

Have an idea of questions you’d like answered? Email!

Community Care Space

The Community Care Space is available as needed for continuing complex and challenging dialogues that come out of convening sessions. Check at Registration or on the Guidebook app for updated information.

Available at the Parc 55 in Davidson on the 4th floor.