National Performing Arts Convention – Taking Action Together

National Performing Arts Convention
Stakeholder Summit
Denver, CO
June 2008


Over 30 national performing arts organizations brought together thousands of artists for a combined National Performing Arts Convention (NPAC). During the four-day process participants worked to develop an action blueprint to move the performing arts community closer to their vision of a robust, sustainable and supported national arts community.

Taking Action Together was the theme of the 2008 NPAC. Participating artists from around the country laid the foundation for future cross-disciplinary collaboration, cooperative programs and effective advocacy. The result was a set of action steps for the performing arts community to reach its goals, which artists can apply locally, individually and nationally.

AmericaSpeaks led a series of daily caucus sessions over four days, culminating on the last day in a 21st Century Summit®. Each caucus session focused on a single question and built on the previous day’s work, addressing topics about the future of the arts community, including aspirations, opportunities and challenges facing artists today. One of the unique elements of this project was the use of a complex but nimble paper theming process.

Most attendees made a commitment to advancing with the action priorities that emerged, while NPAC leaders from across performing arts areas promised to actively support the agenda. The event closed on a high note when an impromptu dance broke out, participants boogied out of the meeting, excited of their next moves.


The National Performing Arts community prioritized national, local and individual actions to achieve a robust, sustainable and supported arts community that is relevant to wider society. As a result of the ongoing work of five multidisciplinary task forces, the action plan is currently being implemented across dozens of organizations.