Carefree to host 2009 Southwest Arts Conference

By Curtis Riggs | August 5, 2009


Seattle-based photographer Chris Jordan will be the keynote speaker for the Southwest Arts Conference.
Courtesy Photo/Chris Jordan Photographic Arts

CAREFREE – Hundreds of art administrators, educators and artists from throughout Arizona will come to the Carefree Resort & Villas next week for the Arizona Commission on the Arts annual conference.

The 2009 Southwest Arts Conference will be held at the resort on Aug. 13 and 14. Visit the art's commission's website at for more information.

Between 300 and 500 art professionals, officials and patrons are expected for the two-day conference, which will offer several seminars and discussions about surviving in the art world during the economic recession.

Seattle-based photographer, environmental activist Chris Jordan will deliver the keynote address for the conference, which is titled “Safety and Sustainability; The Future is No Accident.” Jordan will speak about his journey of awareness from detached corporate lawyer to passionately engaged artist and cultural activist.

Casey Blake, the arts commission's communications director, said the conference's offerings will help attendees to be prepared for "expected or unexpected turns" in their careers because of the challenging economy.

Both she and the commission's executive director, Robert C. Booker, are happy to be bringing the conference to Carefree, which Booker calls one of the "fastest growing arts communities in Arizona."

He said, "The cities in the north valley have a long tradition of valuing the work of professional and a-vocational artists. We know individuals in these communities work hard to make sure the arts are accessible to all residents and that young people have access to arts as part of their education."

The conference is being held at a time when 60 percent of the arts organizations in Arizona have had their budgets reduced from what they were last year, according to a recent survey.

Conference sessions designed to help attendees thrive in a changing, and shrinking, arts world are Business Continuity and Organizational Resiliency and CyberSWAC: A World of Possibilities with Second Life.

The cost of the conference is $120, students $50. Registration forms are available at