Transforming Communities and Economies
through Arts Engagement
The 53rd Annual Conference of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans
The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Midwest Casual. Comfortable shoes are important


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Board of Directors Meeting and Tour of the College of Fine Arts at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Transportation departs the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel to Western Michigan University at 2: 30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

7:45 – 8:45 a.m.
Registration outside the Pantlind Ballroom
and Breakfast in the Imperial Ballroom

8:45 – 9:30 a.m.
Pantlind Ballroom
Welcome and Sponsor Recognition
Introduction to Christian Gaines, Executive Director of ArtPrize
by ICFAD President John Crawford-Spinelli, Dean
College of the Arts
Kent State University
Daniel Guyette, Dean
College of Fine Arts
Western Michigan University

9:10 – 11:00 a.m.
ArtPrize: How a Radically Open Competition Transforms a City and Changes the Way We Think about Art

For 19 days in the early fall, over 400,000 visitors descend upon three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about art and why it matters. Art from around the world populates every inch of downtown in nearly 200 venues, and it’s all free to the public.

Ultimately, two $200,000 grand prizes and eight category awards prizes totaling $500,000 are awarded, with half of the prize money decided by smartphone-enabled public vote and half decided by a jury of art experts. It's unorthodox, surprising and delightful - sometimes confounding and infuriating - yet undeniably intriguing to the art world and the public alike.

A panel of stakeholders representing artists, venues, the city of Grand Rapids and the ArtPrize organization will reveal the ins and outs and highs and lows of this unparalleled art competition

Facilitated by Christian Gaines, Executive Director of ArtPrize

Christian Gaines, Executive Director
41 Sheldon Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
(616) 214-7904


Julie Schenkelberg
(216) 832-9477

Heather Duffy, Exhibitions Curator
Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA)
2 Fulton West
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 454-7000 x 25

Tom Almonte, Assistant to the City Manager
City of Grand Rapids
City of Grand Rapids
300 Monroe Ave. NW, Suite 660
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 456-3183

The rest of the day
Enjoy ArtPrize

ArtPrize is recognized as the most-attended public art event on the planet according to The Art Newspaper and was recently highlighted in The New York Times 52 Places to go in 2016 

Explore the nearly 200 venues that seek to join the citywide collaboration that showcases Grand Rapids, Michigan to the entire world. Click here for the complete list of venues. 

During ArtPrize, the general public plays a part in deciding who takes home cash prizes. Please register to vote at ICFAD’s registration table. Using mobile devices and the Internet, you help determine the winners.

4:00 – 4:45 p.m.
Vandenberg B
Member Discussion: How the Arts Might Lead on Campus in Creating Dialogue about Violence, Safety, Diversity
Facilitated by Lucinda Lavelli, Dean
College of the Arts
University of Florida

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Welcome Reception
200 Ionia Street SW
Sponsored by Western Michigan University

The gallery space at Western Michigan University’s downtown campus is deemed a “location not to miss” during ArtPrize. The renovated 5-story historic building is located on the well-trafficked southwest corner of Cherry and Ionia in the energetic Heartside District and is operated by Western’s Extended University Programs division. Its exposed brick and beam construction offers a unique setting to showcase works of art in a number of different display formats.
Artwork created by WMU faculty, alumni, students, emeriti faculty and select guests will be on display at this venue throughout the ArtPrize competition.

In addition to serving as an ArtPrize venue each fall, this exceptional facility features a cyber cafe, a multi-functional Grand Hall, classrooms, a computing lab for online research, a compressed video/distance education classroom, and offices for faculty, advisors, and administrative staff. The Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, a community based counseling clinic, is also housed at the Downtown location.

Dinner on your own
While numerous restaurants are in walking distance, The Big Old Building (BOB) is a block away and houses several restaurants, live jazz, a cigar lounge, a microbrewery, a comedy club, a dance club, a billiards hall, and a wine bar. Constructed in 1903 as Judson’s grocery warehouse, the 70,000-square-foot, four-story, red brick building stood vacant for decades before The Gilmore Collection began its transformation, saving it from demolition. The BOB is a popular ArtPrize venue.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thursday morning’s breakfast, presentation and time to explore at the Grand Rapids Art Museum are proudly sponsored by

7:15 – 8:00 a.m.
Breakfast at Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM)
GRAM is one of the premiere ArtPrize venues in downtown Grand Rapids. Centrally located in the heart of the city, GRAM is known for hosting some of the strongest work in this international art competition; Public Vote Grand Prize winners in 2010, 2012, and 2014, and the Juried Grand Prize winner in 2014. GRAM was also shortlisted for the honor of Best Venue in 2013 and 2014. Focusing on art, design, and creativity, GRAM provides diverse platforms for experiences, ideas, and dialogue that enrich the human spirit and build practical learning skills. Through dynamic exhibitions, collections, learning initiatives, and community collaborations, GRAM serves as a cultural beacon and civic anchor. The Museum is internationally known for its distinguished design and status as the first LEED® Gold certified art museum in the world. Embracing the city’s legacy as a leading center of design and manufacturing, GRAM has a growing collection in the area of design and modern craft.

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Arts Entrepreneurship: Creating Curriculum that Inspires and Innovates
Arts entrepreneurs create. While creating opportunities, jobs, culture, products and services, they help drive our economy. Whether used to create a for-profit business, a nonprofit or a "business of one," arts entrepreneurship techniques will increase artists’ chances of making a living in the arts. On their own, neither artistic nor entrepreneurial techniques are enough to sustain a career in the arts. But when both are developed simultaneously, students dramatically increase their chances of developing their professional opportunities and of consistently working through personally meaningful pursuits.

Laurie Baefsky, Executive Director
ArtsEngine / a2ru
University of Michigan
Duderstadt Center, Suite 1400
2281 Bonisteel Boulevard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 615-4861

J.R. Campbell, Director
The Fashion School
Rockwell Hall
Kent State University
Kent, OH 44242
(330) 672-3010

Julie Messing, Executive Director for Entrepreneurship Initiatives
Kent State University
First Floor Student Center
1075 Risman Drive
Kent, OH 44242
(330) 672-6700

Laurel Ofstein
Department of Management
Haworth College of Business
1903 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5429
(269) 387-5417


9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Enjoy the Grand Rapids Art Museum

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Please walk back to the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel’s Pantlind Ballroom

10:30 – 11:15 a.m.
Transforming America’s Communities
In June of last year, Americans for the Arts launched a new program called Transforming America’s Communities. The core essence of this work is around their New Community Visions Initiative (NCVI). This multi-year initiative began with the conducting of research about the arts in American civic life. They found that there were 30 distinct areas where the arts intersected, and could either enhance good work happening or mitigate challenges in society. Staff published these essays as part of the book “Arts and America.” Throughout 2016, think tanks around the country are eliciting conversations in response to this work, ultimately resulting in the release of a series of books about the arts and community development, artists and arts organizations as central to the work.

Clayton Lord
Vice President of Local Arts Advancement
Americans for the Arts
1000 Vermont Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 371-2830 x2022

11:15 – Noon
Weaving the Arts into the Fabric of Communities: The Knight Foundation
The Knight Foundation shares a belief that shared cultural experiences contribute to a sense of place and communal identity. Through funding, the Knight Foundation seeks to weave the arts into the fabric of communities to engage and inspire the people living in them. They seek innovative ways to reach, engage and increase audiences for the arts, including through the use of technology. Over a three-year period, Knight funded 1,000 “Random Acts of Culture” to bring artists out of the performance halls and into people’s everyday lives. As a way to solicit fresh and innovative ideas, the Knight Arts Challenge was launched as an open call for ideas that is now in Detroit, Miami, St. Paul, Minnesota and Akron, Ohio. The challenge seeks to find and fund the best ideas for the arts. Winners range from individual artists to large institutions.

Victoria Rogers, Vice President, Arts
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
200 South Biscayne Boulevard, suite 3300
Miami, FL 33131-2349
(305) 908-2610

12:15 – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch and Networking
The Imperial Ballroom

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Dessert and Keynote Speaker Helen Davis Johnson, Vice President of Community Activation for Rock Ventures
With introduction by Jennifer H. Goulet, President and CEO of Creative Many Michigan

Why strategic, city-focused, creativity-infused change matters
Arts, culture, creativity and design can play a significant role in the transformation of a city, a fact that we are seeing first-hand in Detroit. Quicken Loans and its Family of Companies are committed to driving transformation in Detroit that helps shape a city that welcomes people from all walks of life to live, work, and play. By initiating public art and innovative space activation throughout our downtown footprint, we are working to enhance the experiences of both visitors and residents alike. These enhanced experiences help to drive asset values, stimulate economic growth, create job opportunities and position Detroit as a model city of opportunity.

Jennifer H. Goulet, President and CEO of Creative Many Michigan
TechTown Detroit - 440 Burroughs, Suite 365
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 483-5705, ext. 2
(734) 834-4288 (mobile)

Helen Davis Johnson, Vice President, Community Activation
Rock Ventures, LLC
1074 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48226

2:00 – 2:15 p.m.
proudly sponsored by

2:15 – 3:45 p.m.
Governors Room
Roundtable Sessions: Timely Topics in the Arts
proudly sponsored by

You will have the opportunity to attend three, 20-minute sessions (with five-minute breaks for transition, between) on one of the topics listed.

Please click here to see the complete list of Roundtable Presentations scheduled for the 53rd Annual Conference.

4:30 p.m.
Please meet at the Lyons Street Entrance by the Exhibitions Building on the N.W. corner of the building to board busses for the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Ranked in the top 100 most-visited art museums worldwide by Art Newspaper, the leading publication in global art news, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has grown to become an international destination. The sculpture program features more than 200 works in the permanent collection sited both indoors and outdoors on the 158-acre main campus.

The permanent collection focuses on works by established and emerging sculptors from the Modern tradition to the present. Earliest works date to the second half of the 19th century with masters such as Carrier-Belluese, Degas, and Rodin. Starting with these masters, the comprehensive presentation includes sculptors from the late 19th century to the present.

Three temporary exhibitions are also developed annually, most curated by and for Meijer Gardens. These special exhibitions are shown within the large indoor galleries and associated indoor and outdoor spaces. The sculpture exhibition program is dedicated to sculpture traditions of all periods and exhibitions have ranged from large-scale presentations of modern masters such as Rodin, Picasso, and Moore to contemporary masters such as George Segal, Oldenburg and van Bruggen, di Suvero, Caro, and Richard Hunt.

5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Celebrate the Arts Reception
proudly sponsored by

5:45, 6:00 and 6:30 p.m.
Guests may bring a drink in disposable barware on one of three 40-minute tram tours, departing at 5:45, 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. Each tram can accommodate 44 passengers. We respectfully request your teamwork in ensuring that an equal number of members enjoy each of the three tours.

Please walk through the ArtPrize exhibits at this special venue, and enjoy our Reception, until 7:00 p.m.

7:45 p.m.
Buses depart the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park for the Amway Grand Hotel

Dinner on your own

Friday, October 7, 2016

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Breakfast and Early Bird Session in the Imperial Ballroom
proudly sponsored by

Our Early Bird Session: Making The Case for an Arts Degree

Do enrollment trends keep you up at night? What do you tell prospective parents and students about job prospects in the arts? Thanks to the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) and more than 300 participating institutions, there are data that can inform us about employment trends and overall satisfaction of people with degrees in visual art, music, theater, dance, design, and creative writing. This session will include information on trends in arts enrollment and the latest findings from SNAAP.

Sally Gaskill, Director
Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP)
Center for Postsecondary Research
Indiana University School of Education
(812) 856.0735

Facilitated by:

Carolyn Henne, Chair, Department of Art
Director, Facility for Arts Research (FAR)
Associate Dean, College of Fine Arts
Florida State University
220 Fine Arts Building
Tallahassee, Florida 32306
(850) 644-2932

Michael W. Haga, Associate Dean
School of the Arts
College of Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-7766

8:45 – 9:30 a.m.
The Pantlind Ballroom
Kent’s Creativity Festival
In 2014, the College of the Arts at Kent State University joined together with the city of Kent, OH to discuss a possible collaborative arts festival that would center on the transformative nature of art making and participatory art experiences in the community.

The result was the creation of The Kent Creativity Festival which provides an opportunity for people of all ages and skill levels to come together to create, share and explore the creation of all forms of art. Creative activities engage and inspire visitors to explore their own creativity and participate in the joy and transformative power of making art and sharing it with others. The inaugural festival took place on September 24, 2016. This presentation describes how we did it and the outcomes we experienced with our goal of engaging the community and region in the arts.

Dr. John R. Crawford-Spinelli, Dean & Professor
College of the Arts
Kent State University
(330) 672-2760

Cynthia R. Stillings, Associate Dean
College of the Arts
Kent State University
111 Cartwright Hall
Kent, OH 44242
(330) 672-0119
[email protected]

9:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Discouraging Teleporting, Seeing What’s Not There and Other Benefits of Public Art

Eames Demetrios is an artist and storyteller who has been working since 2003 on a global work of multi-valent storytelling called Kcymaerxthaere. (Not coincidentally, Kcymaerxthaere is also the name of a parallel universe that intersects with our world and has its own stories, laws of physics, and the like.) As of June 2016, Demetrios has installed 123 markers and historic sites in 26 linear countries—each telling a piece of the story. It is like a novel with every page in a different place. Some of these installations are a single marker, others are much bigger (as examples: a 6000 square foot site in Armenia or one 150 yards long in Indiana).

Appropriately for this conference, Demetrios participated in both the first and third ArtPrizes—installing 5 sites in Grand Rapids one year and doing a temporary installation at Grand Rapids Art Museum the other (it was help over for several months). He’ll share his ArtPrize experiences and observations (he’s a fan)—and offer a visit to a couple of the sites Saturday morning for interested attendees. He’ll also give a sense of the stories that he tells and share some of his many different experiences during the more than 13 years he’s been installing these works. At first glance this project may seem geared towards the cultural tourist, but it is very much locally facing as well. Indeed, the goal is for most of the world’s population to be within a day’s drive of a site—since seeing a single site crosses a threshhold of meaning as important as seeing many of them. In fact, one of the common threads is the intriguing and empowering fact that through Kcymaerxthaere, communities around the world are thereby connected not by commerce, faith or politics—but simply art and story.

Eames Demetrios
P.O. Box 66202
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 397-6179

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.
Morning Break 
proudly sponsored by 

10:30 – 11:15 a.m.

Finding an Artist Voice in Post-Revolutionary Cuba
proudly sponsored by

Trans-socialist, late-socialist, and / or trans-revolutionary Cuba has opened the window for the world to peer in and discover Cuban music and artistic production from different academic perspectives. Cuban artists (including those living in the Cuban diaspora) are extraordinary producers of original and creative works. The strong transnational nature of Cuban cultural products, in the sense of their being both influenced by external factors and also influencing cultural production elsewhere in the world, particularly in the Caribbean and the United States, is respected worldwide.

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons
Professor of the Practice
Tufts School of the Museum of Fine Arts
230 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 267-6100

Neil Leonard
76 Clark Road
Brookline, MA 03445
(617) 997-9024

Martin Camacho, Dean
Lamar D. Fain College of Fine Arts
Midwestern State University
3410 Taft Boulevard
Wichita Falls, Texas 76308
(940) 397-4243

11:15 a.m. – Noon
Annual Meeting for the International Council of Fine Arts Deans
ICFAD President John Crawford
Click here to see the candidates running for officers and directors, and the ballot to be used for election.

12:15 – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch and Networking

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Awards for Arts Achievement and Excellence
The International Council of Fine Arts Deans will be honoring Rick DeVos with its Award for Arts Achievement and Excellence at its 53rd Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The award is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated significant advancement or support of the arts on an international, national or regional scale.

2:00 – 2:15 p.m.
proudly sponsored by

2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Dean Maverick: Relevance and the Performing Arts in the 21st Century
In this inspiring session, Aaron Dworkin shares his personal story, which led to founding the Sphinx Organization, whose mission is to transform lives through the power of diversity in the arts, and ultimately serving as dean of the University of Michigan's School of Music, Theatre & Dance. He'll delve into the important role the arts play in society, as well as their associated value and impact in communities. He'll also share strategies surrounding the vision of relevance and inclusion at Michigan and how it is being implemented among a wide breadth of constituencies.

Aaron Dworkin
University of Michigan
E.V. Moore Building
1100 Baits
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

4:00 p.m.
Gather in the hotel lobby for a walking tour to the campus of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD). This tour will include a visit to KCAD's Woodbridge N. Ferris building and ArtPrize exhibition. Following this tour KCAD will host a reception at it's Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA).

4:15 – 5:20 p.m.
Tour the KCAD's Woodbridge N. Ferris building. KCAD received LEED Gold certification and a Governor’s Award from Governor Rick Snyder for the preservation and restoration of this historic federal building. After enjoying the architecture and restoration of this building be sure to visit The Fed Galleries @ KCAD, located on the building's ground floor to view KCAD's ArtPrize exhibition.

5:20 p.m.
Meet in the lobby of the Woodbridge N. Ferris building and walk together to the UICA to enjoy UICA's ArtPrize exhibition and a reception hosted by KCAD.

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Reception hosted by KCAD at UICA (2 Fulton St).

As a college within Ferris State University, Kendall College of Art and Design (KCAD) prepares students for leadership in the visual arts, design, art history, and art education; provides innovative, collaborative education that fosters intellectual growth and individual creativity; and promotes the ethical and civic responsibilities of artists and designers, locally and globally.

In 2013, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) merged with KCAD. This partnership allows UICA to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of KCAD. UICA builds creative community by fostering new forms of expression, promoting collaboration, and providing genuine experiences with contemporary art. Through compelling exhibitions, events, community programs, and youth development, UICA actively challenges both artists and audiences to new levels of dialogue, creative pursuit, reflection, and illumination. UICA initiates conversation in response to visual art, music, film, literature, dance, and performance art featuring regional, national, and international artists.

UICA features gallery exhibitions of work from regional, national and international artists throughout the year. UICA also hosts a range of dynamic events including concerts, performance art, artist receptions, gallery talks, an annual Holiday Artists’ Market, and other programs that nurture a creative community. UICA’s 195-seat film theater shows independent cinema, foreign films, and documentaries six days a week.

Leslie Bellavance
Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University
17 Fountain Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 451-2787 x1127

8:00 p.m.
Concert at St. Cecelia Music Center
24 Ransom NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

St. Cecilia Music Center is the oldest arts organization in the region and serves as the music hub during ArtPrize. Featuring the Terryberry Gallery of visual art as well as live performances and listening stations for musical entries, St. Cecelia is a historical landmark and ArtPrize venue that you’ll want to tour.

Our thanks to Dan Guyette, Dean, College of Fine Arts at Western Michigan University, for bringing us a special performance at St. Cecelia Music Center. The concert will have three sections:

  • Faculty quartet: The Western Jazz Quartet is a resident faculty ensemble in the School of Music at Western Michigan University. Formed in 1974, the quartet combines performing and teaching with uncommon success as they promote jazz music and jazz education through a very active schedule of tours, concerts and workshops.
  • Student jazz quartet: The Jazz Studies Program at WMU has gained international recognition for its innovative approach to jazz education. Graduates of the program are among today’s leaders in jazz and pop performance, Broadway, recording studio production, writing, arranging, singing, and music education.
  • The Gold Company: Gold Company is widely recognized as one of the most successful and prestigious collegiate vocal jazz programs in the world. The ensembles perform a wide variety of repertoire which covers all styles in the contemporary vocal idiom.

Also on Friday evening: ArtPrize Awards Banquet broadcast live on local television and available on big screens at various venues throughout the city.

Saturday, October 8, 2016 and Sunday, October 9, 2016

Grand Rapids is still bustling with visitors coming to see the ArtPrize winners. Stay and enjoy ArtPrize on your own, this weekend, and be sure to see the winning entries.

7:30 a.m.
Fine Arts Room
Board of Directors Meeting with Task Force Chairpersons
Task Force Chairs are respectfully requested to bring a one-page handout summarizing goals for the new year. These will be posted on the ICFAD website, post-Conference.

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
The Imperial Ballroom
Reflections on what won at ArtPrize 2016
Join ArtPrize Director of Exhibitions Kevin Buist on the morning after the ArtPrize Awards Ceremony to hear his thoughts about this year’s crop of Category Award and Grand Prize winners awarded by Public Vote and Expert Jury.

Kevin Buist, ArtPrize Director of Exhibitions
41 Sheldon Blvd. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 214-7910