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Full Schedule

Tue, Oct 22 | Wed, Oct 23 | Thu, Oct 24 | Fri, Oct 25

Tuesday, October 22
10:30am - 5pm

Djerassi Site Visit + Artists' Feast
(separate registration required)
Leaves from Sainte Claire Hotel, 302 South Market Street

4:00pm - 6:00pm

Registration + Check-In | Sainte Claire Hotel, 302 South Market Street

  Pick up your registration packet, sign up for tours, and gather general information. (You will also be able to check in and pick up your registration packet during regular conference sessions at MACLA, 510 South First Street.)
6pm - 8pm Opening Night Reception | ZERO1, 439 South First Street
  Connect with old friends and make new ones during our opening reception! Hosted at the ZERO1 Garage, a dynamic open format arts center in the heart of San Jose, the celebration features musical performances by San Jose-based Brazilian folk singer Cado, beer/wine and light hors d'oeuvres. Free for all attendees! 
Wednesday, October 23

8:30am - 5pm

Registration + Check-In | MACLA, 510 South First Street
  Pick up your registration packet, sign up for tours, and gather general information. Coffee/tea will be at the registration desk.

9am - 5pm

Board Track

Join us for the Board Track - a day of workshops and discussions designed for board members and staff of arts-based organizations addressing strategies for shaping a healthy, passionate board; embracing governance responsibilities; and building fundraising expertise. See Board Track for more information. Presented in partnership with Silicon Valley Creates.

9am - 10:15am

Welcome + Keynote | San Jose Stage490 South First Street

Welcome Address: Wayne Lawson, Board Chair, Alliance of Artists Communities; and Caitlin Strokosch, Executive Director, Alliance of Artists Communities

Keynote speaker: Teri Rofkar with introduction by Jayson Smart

"The fun of traditional gathering as a child continues to fuel my investigations of climate, geology, and chemistry today as an adult. I harvest and weave in Tlingit methods passed down for thousands of years, following the steps of my Ancestors."

10:30am - 12pm

Breakout Sessions 


(1) Cultivating Ecological Themes: What Can Residencies Do?

Ecological themes are a growing trend in creative practices today, and artist communities have emerged with specific focuses on melding art and ecology, conservation, agriculture, and environmental activism. Place-based work is steeped in the environment. In this open format discussion we will explore the ways in which residencies can facilitate and attract artists interested in ecological issues, develop public programs around this area of work, and build capacity and support for these projects. Together we will learn from each other’s successes and failures as we explore ecological residencies and programs that engage the public.

  • Brian Karl, Program Director, Headlands Center for the Arts
  • Molly Rideout, Co-Director, Grin City Collective
  • Jay Salinas, Co-Founder, Wormfarm Institute

(2) International Exchange: To Understand Each Other is to Respect Each Other

Art is the great engine of mutual understanding that connects the world and empowers societies. Artist residencies are uniquely positioned to be centers of cross-cultural connection and collaboration, but how does one develop a dynamic and sustainable international cultural exchange program? Leaders from across the field share advice on creating an exchange program that aligns with your mission and opens doors. This panel will explore how to identify countries and organizations to partner with, attract artists that are a good match, and work through common stumbling blocks.

  • Mario Garcia Durham, President/CEO, Association of Performing Arts Presenters
  • Wayne Lawson (moderator), Director Emeritus, Ohio Arts Council; Chair, Alliance of Artists Communities
  • Dennis O'Leary, Artist; former Executive Director, Djerassi Resident Artists Program
  • Lori Wood, Founder, Fes Medina

(3) Creative Conversation: Arts in Silicon Valley

There are few places that embody the "edge effect" - the dynamic point of possibility at the intersection of art and other fields (science, technology, etc.) - more than Silicon Valley. With thriving cultural centers and historic neighborhoods, mixed with an exploding tech landscape and growing arts scene, Silicon Valley-based artists are navigating a changing landscape. Hear from four local artists on building their creative practice in Silicon Valley and ways that local organizations - including ZERO1, the Cubberley Artists Studios, and MACLA - are addressing the needs of local artists and forging new models of sustainability.

  • Linda Gass, Environmental Artist, Cubberley Residency
  • Barbara Goldstein (moderator), Consultant and former Public Art Director, City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs
  • Sam Rodriguez, Artist
  • Daniela Steinsapir, Multimedia Artist and Artist Fellow, ZERO1

12pm - 1pm

Lunch | Cafe Stritch, 374 South First Street

1:30pm - 3:00pm

Breakout Sessions 


(1) A Seat at the Table: Artists + Food + Community

From Marinetti’s Manifesto for Futurist Cooking (1930) to Michael Rakowitz’s Enemy Kitchen (2004), artists have long employed food in their work and creative process. This panel brings together artists, chefs, curators, and residency directors to discuss the role of food in contemporary art-making. Taking place in the context of the greater Bay Area, a region known for its pioneering innovations in locally sourced and organic cuisine and active participation in the International Slow Food and Urban Farming Movements, this conversation will examine the role of food as a catalyst for building community; the merits and challenges of engaging chefs and culinary artists in a residency context; the relationship between the culinary arts and social practice; and how residencies can support creative, collaborative, and thoughtful experiments with art and food.

  • Sita Bhaumik, Artist and Research Fellow, Institute for Art and Olfaction
  • Donna Conwell, Associate Curator, Lucas Artists Program at Montalvo Arts Center
  • sharon maidenberg, Executive Director, Headlands Center for the Arts
  • Mónica Ramírez-Montagut, Associate Director and Senior Curator, MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana
  • Kelly Sicat (moderator), Director, Lucas Artists Program at Montalvo Arts Center

(2) Stranded on that Fruitful Island: Cultivating Community Beyond Diversity

Many have approached diversity through the lens of striving towards cultural equity, but why is advancing difference within an artist community so important to the creative process? How can outreach or selection processes align to foster vibrant collaborations and dynamic internal communities? This discussion will focus on the conditions created within an environment that offer artists new challenges, provokes new ideas and ways of thinking, and ultimately speak to the positive energy created by having the right mix of people in fellowship together. 

  • Ann Brady, Director of the Rauschenberg Residency, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
  • Linda Earle, Executive Director, New York Arts Program
  • Regin Igloria, Director of Residencies and Fellowships, The Ragdale Foundation

(3) Residency Commissions: Inspiring New Work with Time, Space, and Money

Has your residency considered commissioning new work? Commissioning not only dictates some of the structure of your residency, but may curate the content of it as well. Artists may be commissioned to create work specific to a community, or they may be commissioned to develop more open-ended work, but commissioning at the very least guarantees the artist some financial return for his/her work. Commissioning residencies can also be used to develop new audiences and to educate audiences on the new directions artists are exploring - through open rehearsals, talks, or workshops for local artists inspired by the work. This session explores the various opportunities commissioning offers to residencies, including the commissioning of performance-based work.

  • Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez, Executive Director, MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana
  • Keith Hennessy, Dancer/Choreographer and Director, CIRCO ZERO
  • Bruce Rodgers (moderator), Executive Director, Hermitage Artists Retreat

3:30pm - 5:00pm

Breakout Sessions


(1) Trends in Philanthropy

In a lively discussion, panelists will discuss trends in grantmaking at the public and private level, pathways for funding artist residency programs, and ways to successfully approach funders. Audience questions welcome!

  • Tony Grant, Director, Sustainable Arts Foundation
  • John McGuirk (moderator), Director - Performing Arts Program, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Michael Orlove, Artist Communities, Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works Director; International Activites Coordinator; National Endowment for the Arts
  • Regina Smith, Program Officer - Arts and Culture, The Kresge Foundation

(2) When a Leader Leaves: Succession Planning

Succession can take place in many ways - from planned transitions of leadership to unexpected and sudden changes. Based on the case study of San Jose Taiko, this panel discussion will focus on how organizations can work through outgoing senior leadership and other disruptive staff changes and ways to anticipate and plan for change. It will also look at what is next for those who are leaving, especially founders who helped create an organization.

  • PJ Hirabayashi, Artistic Director Emeritus, San Jose Taiko
  • Roy Hirabayashi, Founder, San Jose Taiko
  • Franco Imperial, Artistic Director, San Jose Taiko
  • Wisa Uemura, Executive Director, San Jose Taiko

(3) Fighting Entropy: Facilities Maintenance and Planning

For residency programs with a mission of providing time and space, the facilities are literally half of the story. When we look at our facilities, there are plenty of complicated decisions to be made. How do we create a facilities plan? Are we allocating the right amount of resources to maintenance staffing and projects? What regulations do we need to be aware of? Who do we ask when challenged by unique facilities problems? When do we fundraise for a facilities upgrade and when do we use operating funds? This session will be led by organizational leaders with experience in facility maintenance and planning for artist residencies and arts education / workshops.

  • Jim Baker (moderator), Executive Director, Pilchuck Glass School
  • David Macy, Resident Director, The MacDowell Colony
  • Sarah Workneh, Co-Director, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture

7pm - 10pm

a NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM party | San Jose Museum of Art, 110 South Market Street


Celebrate with the Alliance during a night of music, art, and friends at the San Jose Museum of Art! Catch up with colleagues, meet arts and community leaders from San Jose, enjoy nocturnal tours of the museum's galleries, and catch a jaw-dropping performance by the internationally renowned drummers of San Jose Taiko. Don't miss this special Alliance event - join us for a NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM!

Local hors d'oeuvres and refreshing drinks served throughout (cash bar). Free for attendees!

Thursday, October 24

8:30am - 1pm

Registration + Check-In | MACLA, 510 South First Street
  Pick up your registration packet, sign up for tours, and gather general information. Coffee/tea will be at the registration desk.
9am - 9:45am Keynote | San Jose Stage490 South First Street

Keynote speakers: Fallen Fruit - David Burns + Austin Young with introduction by Caitlin Strokosch

What began as creating maps of public fruit trees in Los Angeles has grown into an international art happening. Fallen Fruit uses fruit as a common denominator to change the way you see the world. Using photography, video, performance, and installation, Fallen Fruit’s work focuses on urban space, neighborhood, located citizenship and community in relation to fruit.

10am - 10:45am



(1) 1+1 = Infinity

For ages, the most common explanation for creativity has been the story of the lone genius. Yet others have emphasized the power of networks, cultures, and communities, as a critique of the lone-genius myth. A third possibility exists between these two: the power of pairs as one of the most essential forces for creativity. Joshua Wolf Shenk has spent the last 5 years studying the nature of relational exchange, drawing on science and psychology, and the stories of creative pairs ranging from John Lennon/Paul McCartney to Elizabeth Cady Stanton/Susan B. Anthony to South Park’s Matt Stone/Trey Parker. In this session, he’ll share the essential themes he has unearthed about what these pairs have in common and their relevance to artist communities.

(2) The Hatchery Project: Creating Partnerships to Support Performing Artists

In 2011 the Alliance of Artists Communities released a report entitled Mind the Gap: Artist Residencies in Dance that revealed a critical lack of creative support for live performance artists in the United States. In response to this report four organizations - Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (Tallahassee, FL), Vermont Performance Lab (Guilford, VT), The Chocolate Factory (Long Island City, NY), and RED Arts Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) - launched a pilot called The Hatchery Project, an innovative and evolving collaborative residency partnership with a focus on audience/artist engagement throughout the various stages of the creative process. In this session Craig Peterson, one of the founding partners, will discuss the evolution of the project from its origin and will share about its progress to date. What are some challenges to extending creative support to dance and theater artists? Can organizations work with artists to find strategic points of engagement that can simultaneously serve audiences AND creative processes? How can organizations that support performing artists work together more effectively through collaboration?

  • Craig Thomas Peterson, Consultant and Producer

(3) To C3 or not C3? That is the Question

Most arts organizations fit into a standard 501c3 nonprofit model. But should they? The nature of charitable giving is evolving, along with the climate of nonprofit revenue in general. Different models of ownership, governance, and management structure are possible and potentially more efficient. With collectively over 25 years' experience working with hundreds of arts groups, Andy Fife and Monika Proffitt will discuss the standard nonprofit model, new and different options, and examples of the good, bad, and ugly that they’ve encountered.

  • Andy Fife, Independent consultant and writer
  • Monika Proffitt, Executive Director, Starry Night Retreat

(4) To Fail and Fail Big: The Importance of Failure for Creative Success

"We need to embrace failure and understand how important flawed, unsuccessful work can be to the development of an artist and to the development of the field as a whole. We are just simply too afraid to fail and fail big. Twenty-five years from now that will bite us in the ass, big time."   - Brian Rogers, Artistic Director, The Chocolate Factory

Are you afraid to fail? Failure is vital to innovation but most of us are failing to offer real opportunities for failure. The Field offers a lively presentation and discussion of the importance of failure to artistic innovation and practical tips for how we can all – as residency providers, funders, and presenters – increase artists’ success by increasing the opportunities for failure. Based on our 2013 ground-breaking study “to fail and fail big: a study of mid-career artists, success and failure,” The Field will share success stories born from the seeds of artists’ risks and failures. “to fail and fail big” features nuanced portraits of “successful” artists like Miguel Gutierrez and Young Jean Lee and advice from presenters like Georgiana Pickett and Sam Miller.

  • Jennifer Wright Cook, Executive Director, The Field

11am - 12:30pm

Breakout Sessions


(1) The Art of Dancing: Life as an Artist and an Administrator

“The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.” - Marcus Aurelius

Has your artistic life become more like a wrestling match than a dance? Is your brain duking it out with the challenges of an organization more than your own personal artistic ideas? This conversation for administrators who are also working artists will explore strategies for keeping your art-making alive, including changing your mindset, learning how to carve out time, and developing fruitful partnerships and collaborations.

  • Clayton Campbell, Artist and consultant
  • Suzanne Hackett-Morgan, Artist and Executive Director, Goldwell Open Air Museum & Artist Residency
  • David Szlasa, Video artist, producer, educator
  • Pamela Winfrey (moderator), Senior Artist & Curator, Exploratorium

(2) Balancing Act: Retreating + Engaging at Artist Residencies

The push-and-pull between maintaining a retreat setting for artists and engaging with the local community is a critical issue for the field of artist residencies. Moderated by Susan Page Tillett, the new Executive Director of the Mesa Refuge (and former Director of Ragdale), join in conversation with colleagues working to balance the needs of residents, expectations of the surrounding community, and an organization's own vision, capacity, and stakeholders. Providing an artist's perspective, Lauren DiCioccio will share her experience with a variety of residencies - from those offering solitary retreat to those steeped in community engagement. This session is designed to be a true conversation, so please come with your own experiences, frustrations, and suggestions on this vital question for the field of artists communities.

  • Jamie Badoud, Executive Director, Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences 
  • Lauren DiCioccio, Artist 
  • Kristofer Mills, Program Manager, Djerassi Resident Artist Program
  • Susan Page Tillett (moderator), Executive Director, Mesa Refuge

(3) Beyond Time and Space: Connecting Artists to Resources

Are you trying to find new ways to support the artists you serve? Do you want to connect artists to a wider network of support for all aspects of their practice? Artists are in need of assistance with fundraising, marketing, legal issues, and more, but no single organization can respond to all artists' needs. Panelists will discuss resources they directly offer as well as how they recommend artists to other service-providers to support the evolving needs of artists, including crowdfunding, fiscal sponsorship, insurance, connecting to new audiences, legal resources, finding space, and professional development workshops. 

  • M.J. Bogatin, Co-President of the Board, California Lawyers for the Arts
  • Dianne Debicella (moderator), Senior Program Director - Fiscal Sponsorship, Fractured Atlas
  • Cora Mirikitani, President /CEO, Center for Cultural Innovation
  • Sarah Jo Neubauer, Training Coordinator, The Foundation Center
12:30pm - 2pm

Lunch | Cafe Stritch, 374 South First Street

2:15pm - 5pm

Off-site tours, workshops, and adventures (space limited; registration required)


Enjoy an evening on your own! We will provide some suggestions for dining and events nearby.

Optional Partner Event: Who Pays for Art in the 21st Century? | Fundraising + Audience Engagement for a New Era. A Creative Conversation with GenARTS Silicon Valley. Location ZERO1

Friday, October 25

8:30am - 1pm

Registration + Check-In | MACLA, 510 South First Street
  Pick up your registration packet, sign up for tours, and gather general information. Coffee/tea will be at the registration desk.

9:00am - 9:45am



(1) Social Practice in Residence: Dispatches from New Smyrna Beach

How can residency programs best serve social practice artists? Hear from Ren Morrison, director of the Atlantic Center for the Arts' new Community Artists in Residence program, on designing and initiating an art-as-social practice/community engaged art residency. Current Community Artist in Residence, Lexa Walsh, shares her experiences participating in artist residencies around the world as a social practice artist.

  • Ren Morrison, Community Education and Outreach Manager, Atlantic Center for the Arts
  • Lexa Walsh, Community Artist in Residence, Atlantic Center for the Arts

(2) In the Collection: Musicians in Residence at the National Music Centre

The National Music Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, houses a growing collection of unique and iconic musical instruments and sound equipment - from Elton John’s songwriting piano, to harpsichords dating from 1679, early synthesizers, the Rolling Stones’ legendary mobile recording studio, and many more unique and rare artifacts. As a catalyst for discovery, innovation, and renewal through music, the National Music Centre is also home to a new Artist in Residence program - devoted to giving artists time and space to create new work and connecting them with the Centre's renowned collection of living instruments, recording equipment, and technical expertise. NMC's AiR program has attracted diverse artists from across Canada and around the world, including Brian Eno, Kid Koala, Money Mark, Kinnie Starr, Timber Timbre, and Gotye, and has set a foundation for cross-cultural collaborations. Join Program Manager Candace Elder for a discussion on serving musicians and artists from around the world through a new model of residency program.

  • Candace Elder, Senior Programs Manager, National Music Centre

(3) Connecting Communities: The Sheboygan Project

Explore the relationship of artists-in-residence to a city and how all partners can collaborate together to have lasting impact, enhance constituencies’ lives and understanding of the arts, and further artists' careers and work. Learn how the John Michael Kohler Arts Center has collaborated with the Wooster Collective and City of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, to bring world renowned street artists to the city to develop community-based public works. This snapshot of the Arts Center's community residency will include a brief history of the program and lessons learned - from approaching other organizations to serve as community partners, to identifying needs within a city, to finding creative collaborative solutions.

  • Andrea Avery, Community Arts Coordinator, John Michael Kohler Arts Center

(4) Creative Access: Integrating Artists with Disabilities

Learn about one inspiring and effective model for integrating artists with disabilities into a creative community. Chalk Hill Artist Residency will share the story of their Studio Program, where artists from local nonprofits develop a reciprocal creative relationship with artist-in-residence, focusing on sharing rather than teaching to create an atmosphere of peer-to-peer exchange that leads to impromptu collaborations and new work. Hear from Chalk Hill and one of their partners, Becoming Independent, about how the Studio Program establishes personal connections, fosters creative interplay, and welcomes possibilities.

  • Alice Warnecke, Program Director, Chalk Hill Artist Residency
  • Margo Warnecke Merck, Board Member, Chalk Hill Artist Residency
  • Lisa Folsom-Ernst, Fund Development Director, Becoming Independent

10:00am - 11:30am

Breakout Sessions


(1) Creative Conversation: Art from the Outposts

Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council, and two regional artists host a creative conversation on making art in remote towns and rural communities. At a time when more of the population lives in cities than ever before, artists share on the decision to build their creative practice away from urban centers - and hubs like Los Angeles and San Francisco - and what it means to be an artist working from the outposts.

  • Anne Beck, artist and Co-founder, Lost Coast Culture Machine
  • Sheila O'Hara, artist
  • Craig Watson, Director, California Arts Council

(2) It Takes Two: Creative Partnerships for Residency Programs

Join residency leaders for a discussion on cultivating nontraditional partnerships. In 2012, McColl Center for Visual Art launched a major project with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership to create an art-and-ecology campus and bring 8 environmental artists from around the world to Charlotte, North Carolina, each year. The project resulted in a $400,000 grant from ArtPlace America and vastly expanded McColl's residency program. ZERO1, an arts and technology think tank based in San Jose, connects their Artist Fellows to leading tech companies, cultural institutions, and academic research centers to address current innovation challenges. An open format discussion on looking beyond the usual suspects when developing organizational partnerships, and balancing the needs of artists, partner organizations, and one's own programs.

  • Suzanne Fetscher, President/CEO, McColl Center for Visual Art
  • Joel Slayton, Executive Director, ZERO1

(3) OPEN EXCHANGE: Roundtable Discussions

With three packed days we can't always fit all the conversations we want within the regular conference schedule. OPEN EXCHANGE is a time to connect with other attendees around shared areas of interest through proposed-topic roundtable discussions. Topics can be submitted at anytime during or leading up to the conference and will be announced Friday morning. Propose your own roundtable or sign up for a table during the conference! Pre-approved topics listed below.

     (3A) The Artist in 2040: Progressive Community Engagement
Building off the Alliance of Artists Communities' 2012 Urban Residency Preconference in Kansas City, this roundtable focuses on what defines and will define progressive community engagement for artist communties. What do we see as the role of the individual artist in the future? What is the opportunity for the artist to claim and be recognized as a valuable contributor to the dialogue about and the solutions for social, political, environmental, and ethical issues? Are there art forms and disciplines that lend themselves more readily to acting in this space of engagement than others? Finally, what does this mean for the kinds of support and opportunities that artists will need in the future and how can residencies meet these needs?

  • Clayton Campbell, Artist and consultant
  • Archana Horsting, Director, Kala Art Institute
  • Lisa Hoffman, Director of Environmental Art & Community Engagement, McColl Center for Visual Art

     (3B) Residency Abroad
A discussion hosted by the Residency Abroad Affinity Group - a network of US-based organizations running residencies abroad. This first conversation will explore the challenges and opportunities of this model, including how programs might collaborate to gain increased funding and how to better reach artists in developing nations.

12pm - 1pm

Keynote | San Jose Stage, 490 South First Street


Keynote speaker: Guillermo Gómez-Peña with introduction by Craig Watson

"Our collaborative model functions both as an act of citizen diplomacy and as a means to create ephemeral communities of like-minded rebels. We are more of a conceptual 'laboratory' of live art - an association of rebel artists thinking together, exchanging ideas and aspirations. The basic premise of these collaborations is founded on an ideal: If we learn to cross borders on stage, in the gallery or museum, we may learn how to do so in larger social spheres and transgress what it keep us apart."

1pm - 2pm

Lunch  | Cafe Stritch, 374 South First Street

2:15pm - 4:30pm

Off-site tours, workshops, and adventures


5:30pm - 7:30pm

Closing Reception | Anno Domini Gallery, 366 South First Street


Wrap up the conference and begin your evening with a closing party at Anno Domini Gallery. This former downtown cinema now serves as a 4,100 sq. ft. arts mecca celebrating street art and counterculture.

Free for attendees! Beer/wine and light hors d'oeuvres will be served.