Alliance of Artists Communities
20th Anniversary Conference | October 19-22 | Chicago

THANK YOU to everyone who joined us in Chicago!

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And join us for our 2012 Conference!

Join us as we explore support for today's artists — visual artists, writers, music- and dance-makers, filmmakers, and more — in one of the country's most culturally diverse and active cities. All are welcome!

The conference will examine the relevance of place in art-making and arts organizations and will challenge us to develop artist-centered approaches to engaging our communities and developing healthy organizations.

Keynote Speakers

Michelle Boone

Michelle Boone | Commissioner of Cultural Affairs + Special Events, City of Chicago

Michelle Boone's career spans television broadcast journalism, philanthropy, and Peace Corps service in Chad. Michelle most recently served as Culture Program Officer at The Joyce Foundation, and was appointed to lead the City's cultural programming, policy, and grantmaking agency in June.

Robert Karimi

Robert Farid Karimi | performance artist, activist

Robert Karimi is a Minneapolis-based multimedia humorist, interdisciplinary playwright, activist, and poet as well as artistic director of kaotic good productions. A 2009 Creative Capital grantee, he is currently touring The Cooking Show: Diabetes of Democracy; and Farid Mercury, an exploration of Persian politics, masculinity, and pop divination. He is also editing Punto!, a new Latina/o spoken word anthology. Robert is the recipient of the Alliance of Artists Communities' Midwestern Voices & Visions award. Robert will perform with DJ D Double, followed by an interview with Michelle Boone.

Alex Kotlowitz

Alex Kotlowitz | author, documentary filmmaker

Alex Kotlowitz is the author of Never a City So Real, The Other Side of the River, and the national bestseller There Are No Children Here, which The New York Public Library selected as one of the 150 most important books of the twentieth century. Alex is a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine and Public Radio’s This American Life. His work has also appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, The Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune, as well as on PBS and NPR. His play An Unobstructed View (co-authored with Amy Dorn) premiered in Chicago in June of 2005. His new film, The Interrupters – a collaboration with Steve James – premiered at Sundance earlier this year. He teaches writing at Northwestern University and was an artist-in-residence at Ragdale. A former staff writer at The Wall Street Journal, his book and journalism honors include the Helen Bernstein Award, The Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the George Foster Peabody Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and the George Polk Award. He is also the recipient of seven honorary degrees.

Audrey Niffenegger

Audrey Niffenegger | visual artist, writer

Audrey Niffenegger is a Chicago-based visual artist and writer. She specializes in writing and making visual books – including The Three Incestuous Sisters, The Adventuress, and The Night Bookmobile. Audrey’s first two novels, The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, are both international best-sellers. She is currently working on her third novel, The Chinchilla Girl in Exile. Audrey helped to found the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book & Paper Arts and is an Associate Professor in the Fiction Department of Columbia College. Her art is exhibited at Printworks Gallery and is in collections at the Newberry Library, the National Museum for Women in the Arts, the Houghton Library, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Library of Congress, Northwestern University, and the Rijksmuseeum Meermano in the Hague. Audrey has been an artist-in-residence at Ragdale and Yaddo, and is a member of the Ragdale Board.

Luis Alberto Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea | author

Luis Alberto Urrea, 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss, and triumph. He is the best-selling author of 13 books, including The Devil's Highway, The Hummingbird's Daughter, and Into the Beautiful North. He has also won a Western States Book Award in poetry for The Fever of Being and was in The 1996 Best American Poetry collection. After serving as a relief worker in Tijuana and a film extra and columnist-editor-cartoonist for several publications, Luis moved to Boston where he taught expository writing and fiction workshops at Harvard. He is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago and has been an artist-in-residence at Ragdale.





© 2011 Alliance of Artists Communities