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Call for Artists for NCDD 2008

Art can be a powerful catalyst for and component of dialogue. Visual and performing arts can bring meaning or elicit feeling that can’t always be easily expressed in words, bringing us to a deeper level more quickly than discussion alone. Since our first conference in 2002, NCDD has experimented with the arts at our events, and our attendees have thanked us for the experiences and new ideas they have gained because of it.

NCDD is now looking for artists, arts groups, and arts organizations who may be interested in playing a role at our next conference. The 4th National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation will take place October 3-5, 2008 in Austin, Texas, and we are primarily looking for artists whose work involves or stimulates dialogue or engagement in innovative ways.

We are open to many different types of arts, in different venues at the conference (plenary session performances, art activity stations, art displays, concurrent workshops, etc.). And although our funds are tight as this is a nonprofit conference, we will work with artists to cover expenses and make sure they benefit from the exposure they receive from playing a role at the conference. And for special circumstances, we will consider providing a stipend to the artist or group.

This is a great opportunity for artists who want their work to be exposed to over 400 community leaders, activists and thought leaders in communication and collaboration, and who want to learn more about this field.

Here are some examples of things we’ve experimented with in the past:

  • graphic recording (2002, 2004 and 2006)
  • workshops on digital storytelling, dialogue and dance, using film as a stimulus for dialogue, using the arts to promote youth dialogue, etc. (2002, 2004 and 2006)
  • spoken word poetry (2006)
  • drumming (2006)
  • Unconditional Theatre (2006) and playback theatre (2004)

You can read more specifics about how we’ve utilized the arts at NCDD conferences at www.ncdd.org/events/arts.

If you are an artist interested in pursuing the possibility of performing or playing a role at NCDD Austin – or if you want to suggest an artist you know about – please contact NCDD Director Sandy Heierbacher at sandy@thataway.org. And you can learn more about the upcoming National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation at www.ncdd.org/events if you’re interested.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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  1. Mike Baldwin (mikeb@benbrooklibrary.org) and Neil Meili (meilineil@hotmail.com) are interested in working on getting slam poets to the conference, according to Taylor Willingham.

  2. Avril Orland is coordinating the graphic recording at the conference. Sunni Brown (sunni.brown@gmail.com) will also be graphic recording.

  3. A note from Avril in response to my email to planning team members who indicated interest in helping coordinate the arts component:

    Hi all,

    I would love to be part of whatever brainstorming goes on regarding innovative ways of integrating the arts at the conference.

    I'd also love to talk with the rest of you about how you think the graphic recording could be used most effectively. As Sandy knows, I'm always looking for ways to make it as integral as possible to the overall event, vs. just a nice decorative sidebar!


    PS: I'm pretty sure Sunni Brown will be working with me as a graphic recorder, so let's include her in the conversation too.

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