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What to Know Before You Go

We look forward to welcoming you to Portland, OR for the Alliance of Artists Communities' 26th Annual Conference! Below are a few details you'll want to know before the conference begins.

Download: [ conference program ]  [ attendee roster ]  [ site map ]
Please note: a complete and final roster will be emailed to all attendees after the conference.



You may pick up your conference packet in the Alliance registration area at the Benson Hotel lobby (309 Southwest Broadway) at the following times:

  • Tues 10/4: 9am - 10am (for preconference tour participants)
  • Tues 10/4:4pm - 6pm
  • Wed 10/5: 8:30am - 4:30pm
  • Thurs 10/6: 8:30am - 2pm
  • Fri 10/7: 8:30am - 1pm


The following events are included in your registration. We hope to see you there!

  • OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION | Tuesday 10/4, 6pm-8pm
    Portland Art Museum | 1119 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR (0.5 mile walk)
    Connect with old friends and make new ones during the festive opening reception at one of the oldest museums in the country. Enjoy music, treats and visual wonders in the Fields Sunken Ballroom of the museum. Stop by the Independent Resource Publishing Center's pop-up letterpress station to create your own Portland-inspired print!
    Free for attendees! Open bar (beer + wine) and light hors d'oeuvres will be served.

    Tip: Walk to the museum with other attendees - meet in the Benson Lobby by 5:45pm!

  • PORTLAND PARTY | Wednesday 10/5, 6:30pm-8:30pm
    Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, 8371 N Interstate Ave, Portland, OR (bus transportation provided)
    Celebrate during a fun, not-to-miss night of music, food and reveling at Disjecta. Founded in 2000, Disjecta has transformed a former bowling alley into a hub for contemporary art and is now homebase for the Portland Biennial and an international Curator-in-Residence program. Gather with fellow conference attendees and the local arts community during this special night in Portland's Kenton neighborhood! 
    Free for attendees! Cash bar and hors d'oeuvres will be served
    Tip: Meet in the Benson Lobby by 6:15pm to catch a free ride on our buses!

  • CLOSING PARTY | Friday 10/7, 5:30pm-7:30pm
    Pacific Northwest College of Art, 511 NW Broadway, Portland, OR (0.4 mile walk)
    Close out the conference with a special party at PNCA's new home in Portland's North Park Blocks - a dynamic platform for creativity and entrepreneurship. Join us for chill music, delicious food, and a super group photo, along with special recognitions!
    Free for attendees! Cash bar and hors d'oeuvres will be served.
    Tip: Walk to PNCA with other attendees - meet in the Benson Lobby by 5:15pm!


Head to one of Portland's incredible restaurants or bars. Or check out one of the many great partner events - including a special performance at Shaking the Tree Theatre! Find a list of recommended options here.


Offsite tours will run Thursday and Friday afternoon. If you have not signed up for tours - or would like to change your tour preference - you can do so at the registration desk when you arrive. Read more about this year's offerings at:

If you are currently on the waitlist for a tour, please go to the tour pick-up location at the entrance of the hotel on the day of the tour. Spots often open up and will be granted in the order of the waitlist.


We are excited to once again offer attendees the chance to participate in 15 minute, one-on-one consultations with funders - including the MAP Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts and more! There are a limited number of spots and we will reserve meetings on a first-come, first-served basis. Please visit the registration desk when you arrive to learn more about participating funders and to reserve your spot.


The following programs will run during during lunch on Thursday, October 6. Sign-up at the registration desk. Limited space available.

  • Fears & Follies: An Experimental and Safe Space - A private peer-to-peer feedback session that allows safe space to share issues, challenges and problems that can turn into opportunities for growth and development in unexpected ways when unemcumbered by hierarchy. Share challenges related to internal matters such as staff-to-artists and artist-to-artist issues. Led by Gia Hamilton Director of the Joan Mitchell Center.

  • CAiRN Network Lunch Meet-Up - Any residency in the Pacific Northwest is welcome to attend this informal lunch meet-up of CAiRN! Started five years ago, CAiRN is a network of residencies in the Northwest United States created to increase opportunities for collaboration and support between programs. Elizabeth Quinn, Creative Director of Caldera, will facilitate a conversation about this growing network.


Please note that both of these programs required advanced registration.

Signal Fire Preconference Hike + Lunch | Tuesday, October 4 - Registered attendees may pick up their registration packets on Tuesday between 9am - 9:45am in the Benson Lobby before boarding the bus. The bus will leave promptly at 10am. This tour is rain or shine so please pack appropriately. A brown bag lunch will be provided but we encourage participants to bring a waterbottle.

Board Track | Wednesday, October 5 - This special workshop runs for a full day, following the morning keynote presentation. Because this year's event has limited space available, please plan to attend the full program if you are registered.

If you are registered for the Board Track only, please plan to meet us at the Benson Hotel lobby between 8:30am-9am to pick up your registration materials and catch the welcome address and keynote. The Board Track guide will escort the group to the workshop site at Literary Arts following the keynote. All Board Track attendees are welcome to join us for the Celebrate Portland! Party at Disjecta from 6:30pm-8:30pm that night!


Meeting sessions will take place at the Benson Hotel (309 Southwest Broadway, Portland, OR) unless otherwise noted. For distances greater than 0.8 miles, transportation will be provided to offsite tours and workshops. Your printed program lists all venue addresses and volunteer guides will accompany you to your destinations.


Coffee and tea will be available at the Benson Hotel Mayfair Ballroom throughout the morning. While breakfast is not provided during the conference, there are several fantastic coffee shops and restaurants within a couple blocks of the hotel. Check out some of our recommendations here!

Lunch will be provided each day at the hotel. There are a limited number of vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free and other special meals available, based on the stated dietary needs on your registration form. The caterers at the hotel and event locations will do their best to accommodate dietary restrictions - though requests beyond vegan and gluten-free may not be available. Food will be labeled.

At evening receptions, light hors d'oeuvres will be provided. To continue the fun in your evening, excellent local dining options are listed here!


Attendees generally wear business casual attire. You should dress to be comfortable for participating in sessions, and for being out and about on tours. (It might rain a little bit but that will make everything look prettier!)


The Alliance is committed to meeting the accessibility needs of all attendees. All plenary presentations will be CART captioned and ASL interpreted. Individual interpretation for additional sessions is available by request. Hotel conference sessions and evening events are wheelchair-accessible. We will gladly make additional accommodations with immediate notice. Should you have questions about accessibility, please contact the Alliance of Artists Communities at (401) 351-4320 or


While you are welcome to bring a small number of copies of your organization's brochures/publications to share on your own with other attendees, we will not provide tables for displaying literature. To avoid wasted materials, in lieu of literature display, we will have a slide show of attendees' organizations.


  • Business cards
  • Comfortable shoes for walking tours
  • Umbrella
  • Travel mug / water bottle
  • Clothing layers


Portland International Airport (PDX) is located 9 miles northeast of downtown Portland and is conveniently connected to the city center via MAX light rail train. The Benson Hotel is located at 309 Southwest Broadway in downtown Portland, Oregon.

Taxi/shuttle/public transit: The MAX light rail Red Line is the easiest way to travel to and from the airport. Taxi / Uber service are also available.

Should you need any last-minute assistance, please email Alliance staff will be on-site and not available by phone.

We look forward to welcoming you to Portland!
- Lisa, Deb, Flannery, Steph + Sarah