2018 NAEA National Leadership Conference, July 23-26, 2018 | Charleston, South Carolina

The Artistry of Leadership


The National Leadership Conference will be held in the Southeastern Region, July 23-26, 2018, in Charleston, South Carolina.  

The purpose of the National Leadership Conference is to support and enhance the effectiveness of experienced, new, and aspiring art education leaders. The 2018 program has been designed in direct response to the timely interests and needs expressed by you and other NAEA state leaders; time and space have been designated for regional meetings as well as for small group meetings with other state association leaders whose organizations are similar in size and share many of the same challenges.

Keynote artist and educator Derek Fordjour will inspire and inform your work through collaborative art making, and professional storyteller Tim Lowry will guide you through the art of telling a compelling story about why art education matters in today’s world.


Derek Fordjour was born in Memphis, Tennessee to parents of Ghanaian heritage. He is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia, earned a Master’s Degree in Art Education from Harvard University and an MFA in painting at Hunter College. He recently had a solo exhibition at the Sugar Hill Museum in New York City and has participated in numerous group shows at venues such as Galleria Monica De Cardenas, Rachel Uffner Gallery and Robert & Tilton Gallery. His work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and Forbes Magazine. His work appears in several collections throughout the US and Europe. He is currently Artist-in-Residence at Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program in New York City.


Tim Lowry presents Essential Stories for Effective Communication. Stories can effectively communicate vision, goals, values, direction, and purpose. A well-told story, strategically placed into personal presentations, advertising campaigns, social media, and one-on-one conversations can make a huge difference in political campaigns, board meetings, and office management. Learn to replace the sound bite with meaningful stories that show who you are, describe what you are doing, explain why you are taking action, and invite others to get involved.

Registration for the National Leadership Conference is limited to 150 association leaders. We are reserving up to two spaces for each state association to register until April 15. After April 15, registration will be open to all NAEA members.

Registration Fee: $199 Member; $249 Non-member
Cancellation Fee: $50 if registration is canceled on or before May 22; after May 22 no refunds will be issued.

Please make plans now to join us in Charleston this summer!

Discounted accommodations are available at Hyatt Place + Hyatt House Charleston/Historic District, 560 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403
Call to reserve: 800-993-4751 

Room rates are $165/night for single/double occupancy (plus applicable taxes), with an additional fee of $10 per person for triple/quad occupancy. Be sure to book your hotel accommodations by June 28 to secure the discounted room rate. 

The nearest airport is Charleston International Airport—a short 11 miles from the hotel. Please let us know if you have any questions!

This promises to be another stellar opportunity for learning from one another as well as from experts in nonprofit leadership.


NAEA state affiliates nurture the local and state art education community by exercising excellent governance, providing quality conferences, and impacting local and state policy issues. The NAEA National Leadership Conference provides a unique opportunity for leaders to learn from experts as well as from one another. We encourage you to share the good work in your state with other state associations by submitting a proposal on one or more topics for consideration. 

NAEA will select six proposals for presentation to peers; two from each of the following three topic areas:

  1. Volunteer Leadership, Recruitment and Support
    Good governance is dependent upon association leaders who are committed to the mission and vision of NAEA and to their own leadership development. How do you encourage members to serve on the Board and assume leadership roles and responsibilities? How do you help Board members grow their leadership skills? How do you ensure a healthy turnover in leadership through succession planning? 

  2. Engaging Members: Communication Strategies for Growth and Retention
    For members, the value of belonging is all about the community and all it offers. What strategies do you use to identify and tackle obstacles to growth and retention? What are the ways you tell the story of your association’s community and all it offers? What is your biggest membership challenge and how are you addressing it?

  3. Creating a Vision for the Future While Planning for the Next Conference
    Leadership requires both vision and presence. How do you embrace strategic planning that addresses both long-range goals and short-term priorities? Do you have a roadmap for the future? What are the biggest challenges you see to conference planning and how have you solved them?


  • Each accepted proposal will be presented three times
  • Two states will be accepted per topic area
  • Up to three presenters per state
  • A 50-minute session allows 20 minutes for each state to present, then a combined 10-minute Q & A component at the conclusion of the session
  • Projection will be provided but presenters must bring their own computers and adapters
  • Presenters must bring their own handouts or provide digital links


Proposal Deadline: April 16, 2018
Notification: May 14, 2018

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