Call for Sessions: 2019 GIA Conference

Grantmakers in the Arts is currently seeking session proposals for the 2019 GIA Conference in Denver, Colorado. The GIA Conference is the largest annual convening of arts funders and the most comprehensive opportunity for our colleagues in the field to learn from each other. We greatly value the experience, ideas, and programs that members share with each other and the field at large.

Here is some information that may be useful to know before you submit. Please read carefully.

Conference location: Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
1550 Court Place
Denver, CO 80202
Dates: Sunday, October 13–Wednesday, October 16
Session submissions: GIA Members only
Proposal deadline: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 5pm EDT
Notifications: Starting the second week of May

2019 Conference Session Priorities

Grantmakers in the Arts will continue to foreground its funding focus areas: arts education, capitalization, racial equity, support for individual artists, and funding at the intersection of arts and other portfolios. We also encourage session proposals that explore Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw’s concept of intersectionality – exploring the impact of overlaps between identities such as between race, gender, sexuality, disability, and others such as discussions of the #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, Just Transition movements and how they manifest in the field of arts and cultural funding.

Grantmakers in the Arts also encourages conference session proposals that speak to our vision for the future of arts grantmaking by:

  • Increasing support to arts and culture through inclusion of arts and culture (i.e. the engagement of non-arts funders);
  • Using arts and culture as a frame to approach social issues;
  • Considering standard funding practices and alternative economies for investment in arts and culture;
  • Discussions emphasizing advocacy and public policy and practice;
  • Engaging foundation presidents and trustees and directors of public agencies as well as public commission members;
  • Showcasing current or emerging trends, innovative, or experimental approaches to grantmaking, and/or creative responses to problems or opportunities facing the cultural community;
  • Highlighting local perspectives that can also be applied to other locations and communities;
  • Including presenters who are artists, experts, new grantmakers, and non-arts grantmakers who represent diverse perspectives and populations;
  • Demonstrating collaborations among funders or funders and other sectors;
  • Stimulating discussion and debate, challenge conventional thinking, and/or offer different points of view; and
  • Providing practical advice or tips for funders to take back to their workplaces.

Information About Conference Sessions

60- and 75/90-MINUTE CONFERENCE SESSIONS: Breakout sessions are expository and participatory in nature. Sessions may include no more than two presenters per 60-minute session, and three presenters per 75-minute and 90-minute session. A session's facilitator/moderator is not included in the presenter limit. Session organizers must set aside at least 30% of their session for direct attendee participation and discussion.

OFF-SITE SESSIONS: 90-minute off-site sessions take place on Tuesday afternoon at arts-related venues often linked to session content. Off-site sessions are allotted in a three-hour time slot which includes time for travel to and from the site, site tours, and/or site-specific presentations. Off-site sessions will be located in the downtown area within close proximity to the conference site.

How to Propose Conference Sessions

  1. Review the GIA Conference Session Guidelines.
  2. Log in to your account on the GIA website and select the 2019 Conference Proposal Form link on the left. Submit the form no later than Wednesday, March 20. For assistance with user accounts, click the Create new account or Request new password links on the login page or contact Yessica Corporán at
  3. After the conference committee has selected the sessions, we will contact session organizers individually to ask for more details. The staff and conference committee will work with session organizers, as appropriate, to identify any local resources needed.

Session Costs

Members proposing and organizing sessions pay their own costs associated with attending the conference and are asked to pay the transportation and lodging expenses for their non-member presenters. GIA will pay all membership-ineligible session presenters a $200 honorarium and cover their one-day speaker registration. Once sessions have been accepted, conference staff will work with each organizer to coordinate session details.

Remember: The session proposal deadline is 5 PM EDT on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. If you have further questions, contact Sherylynn Sealy at or (929) 452-3740.