Director’s Welcome Letter

Director’s Welcome Letter

Dear CAA members and Annual Conference attendees,

Change has been an ongoing topic of conversation in planning the 106th Annual Conference. In our meetings with LA-based civic and cultural organizations, the idea of change came up over and over again. From the new museums opening downtown, housing astonishing collections, to the protests in Boyle Heights over gentrification, LA is undergoing a metamorphosis. The parallels to CAA, which is undergoing its own transformation, were hard to ignore. We held close these discussions about changes, both CAA’s and LA’s, in designing the content and experience for the Annual Conference. We look forward to bringing together the national visual arts community once again to connect and learn in the great city of Los Angeles.

Scheduled for February 21-24, 2018 at the LA Convention Center, the 106th CAA Annual Conference promises to be one of the strongest ever. We received more than 800 session and paper proposals – one of the largest submissions in recent years. This year we will offer more than 300 sessions and over 200 meeting and events. More than 1,400 CAA members will participate in sessions and present and discuss new scholarship. Based on past conferences, we anticipate more than 4,000 attendees in Los Angeles. To house everyone, we secured three principal hotels, (The Westin Bonaventure, Millennium Biltmore, and JW Marriot Los Angeles LA Live) all within walking distance of the LA Convention Center.

The Getty Museum, LACMA, MOCA, MOLAA, Norton Simon Museum, The Huntington Library, USC, UCLA, The Broad, 18th Street Arts Center, Otis College of Art and Design, and Santa Monica College will all open their doors to you. Each institution is looking forward to CAA 2018 and is making plans to ensure that your visit is meaningful not only as a way to see their institutions but also to understand the vast changes to the arts and culture scene occurring in LA. In this vein, we are collaborating with the Center for Cultural Innovation on a day of programming for LA-area artists and designers before the conference. These workshops will be held at 18th Street Arts Center and the A+D Architecture and Design Museum.

Another change for this year will be the Cultural and Academic Network Hall. It will be an opportunity for participating museums, colleges, and universities to reserve a full booth to promote academic or cultural programs to conference attendees, as well as the general public. It will be a great way for department leadership and alumni offices to connect with past students and faculty and to meet new students and instructors. Participants will be able schedule time in one of the sixteen interview booths that will be created adjacent to the booth area within the Network Hall. This will give interviewers the opportunity to meet prospective faculty and program candidates in a private and professional setting, removing the need to conduct interviews in private hotel rooms or other locations.

Register for the Cultural and Academic Network Hall.

Colleges and universities interested in holding reunions and receptions at the Annual Conference will also be able to find great spaces for their events. While there are some beautiful rooms available at the CAA hotels, we saw great spaces at the Hilton Checkers (check out the roof top terrace), the LA Public Library (check out the rotunda and courtyards), the gallery district in Chinatown (check out the Charlie James Gallery and A.G. Geiger Fine Art Books), and Hauser & Wirth. There are plenty of galleries in Hollywood and the Arts District, which will be available as well. We will keep adding to this list to create alternative reception options. Since the weather will be mild, there will be plenty of opportunities to sneak away from the Conference Center and check out what LA has to offer.

While your CAA membership can get you a discount on an Avis or Budget rental car, options such as Uber and Lyft are popular and often cost less than $5 per trip between key cultural institutions. Don’t forget about uberPool and Lyft Line for sharing rides. LA has also been making great progress on its public transportation system as Metro stations are popping up everywhere.

Many thanks to all those who did so much work on this year’s conference including: Annual Conference Program Chair, Judith Rodenbeck; VP of Annual Conference, N. Elizabeth Schlatter; the entire Annual Conference Committee including Regional Representatives John Tain and Neha Choksi; Services to Artists Committee Chair, Niku Kashef; and the Students and Emerging Professionals Committee. Thanks also to Tiffany Dugan, Paul Skiff, and their team of CAA staff members who make everything run so smoothly.

I look forward to seeing you in LA!

Hunter O’Hanian
Executive Director

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