The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis will host the 50th annual conference of the National Council of Arts Administrators. Taking place on campus September 27-29 — with an optional field trip on September 30 — the conference will explore how history is reshaped by the complexities of our time as part of its theme, “This Complicated Heritage.”
“Educators today exist in a moment when much of received history is being re-formatted, re-contextualized, re-understood,” said Amy Hauft, director of the Sam Fox School’s College & Graduate School of Art. “How do we best grapple with these shifting sands in the classroom and in academia at large, and turn this reality into a strength?”
Two sites in particular will serve as subjects of discussion: the Gateway Arch by Eero Saarinen, a world-class modernist monument that demonstrates a portal from east to west, from past to future; and Cahokia Mounds, a Mississippian settlement just east of the Mississippi River that had a population to rival contemporaneous London and is recognized as one of the largest and most significant archaeological sites north of Mexico. Attendees — who have the opportunity to visit both sites as part of the conference — will engage with the ever-transforming histories of these sites and explore ways of harnessing changing meanings.
In addition to sessions on the conference theme, attendees will also focus on general themes facing arts administration in higher education.
About the National Council of Arts Administrators
The National Council of Arts Administrators is an organization whose primary purpose is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, the identification of problems, and the generation of shared solutions to the multitude of issues that confront arts administrators in higher education today.
They focus on creating a safe environment for complex conversations for arts administrators in higher education; support advocacy for impactful art leadership; and mentor leaders in the field.