On June 12, we had the distinct honor of being one of the organizations represented at the Resource Fair for the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Convention in Chicago, IL. Since EALS is the official kick-off to AFTA’s Arts Advocacy Day on the Hill, it was our pleasure to speak with everyone who stopped by our booth about last year’s Symposium, including our co-sponsored panel with Americans for the Arts on Arts Education Advocacy, as well as the many platforms for professional development and critical conversation at last year’s Symposium.
The weekend kicked-off with a reception at the Chicago Cultural Center in what can only be described as one of the most beautiful rooms in the world (so beautiful in fact, Helene and I both admittedly said we wanted to marry the room itself, but will gladly settle for getting married in it – EALS Four Weddings competition coming in the future?). With a photography exhibition on the ground floor highlighting the architectural powerhouse that Chicago has always been, it is truly a fine example of architectural innovation that caused many guests to stop, stare and take a selfie or three.
(Interior of reading room in Chicago Cultural Center courtesy of Helene Genetos.)
The Resource Fair and main conference were held at the Sheraton in downtown Chicago. Our booth’s prime location situated next to the breakfast and coffee table meant a steady stream of conventiongoers, hungry for knowledge and a bagel or two.
Our time at the Resource Fair was spent in conversation with people who were very inspired by the hard work and range of programming that EALS presents. They were particularly impressed that our organization is all student-led and financially supported by donations. Their support for our small committee was great motivation as we move into our summer of planning and made us ecstatic about EALS 2016.
The highlight of the day came when several AU Arts Management alums visited our table and were thrilled to see the work of their alma mater. It was truly icing on the cake as the AM@AU program wrapped its 40th year this Spring and alums dating back from Valarie Morris’ tenure showed their support on Friday.
We want to end by thanking Robert Lynch (with us above) and Jeff Poulin for letting us join the Resource Fair. We truly appreciate their support and the opportunity! What a great start to #EALSummer!