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2021 GIA Conference
Plurality, Power, and Belonging
Online | Nov 5 – 11

Frequently Asked Questions

Everything You Need to Know About the 2021 GIA Annual Conference

We know you may have a lot of questions, especially given the pivot for this year’s conference and the postponing of the in-person track in San Juan. Here are some helpful answers, information, and resources for next steps. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this pivot and are looking forward to another engaging virtual conference.

Quick reminders for using Zoom!

  • Download and use the most current Zoom (desktop) app.
  • Join on a laptop/desktop, not a phone or tablet. It will make the experience better for you and everyone else. And, use your mic and camera. You'll be interacting with other attendees.
  • We’ll be taking some photos/screenshots throughout the convening for social media and archival purposes. GIA will honor this agreement and get permission from the folks present on the screen to share in social media and in our communication materials with members.
  • We know everyone is joining from different spaces and there may be guests popping into the frames! Don’t worry about that, we expect and appreciate the humanness of these still physically-distant times.
  • We will not be recording any of the sessions except the keynotes/plenaries.
  • Some sessions will be in webinar format. Your camera and microphone will be off. You’ve done nothing wrong, this is simply the format for the session. You can still participate using the chat and Q&A features.

I’m a session organizer, what should I do?

Hang tight! Our team is reaching out shortly with more information.

I have an in-person ticket, now what?

Please visit this form to share your preferences.

I was planning to attend in person, and I still want to go to Puerto Rico.

Email Lauren at Looking Glass Creative and we will help guide you through your options.

What’s the new schedule?

Please re-visit our new schedule to get updated information on keynotes and workshops and learn about presenters.

What about the connections, the networking?

We have a terrific online forum planned to have a space for people to connect, catch-up, and develop community through our virtual conference.

I’m interested in the ongoing planning that GIA and local partners will design for program(s) in San Juan.

Great! We would love to share updates with you. Please sign up here to receive these updates.

I still have questions.

Feel free to reach out to us with questions at

We appreciate your patience as we are making this pivot and are happy to answer your questions as quickly as we are able.

Here are all our best tips, tricks, and answers to the most common questions we’ve received over the past year.

How is virtual track different from the in-person track?

The virtual track of the conference is designed as complete and parallel to the in-person track. We are committed to providing a virtual space that provides the same kind of immersive learning community you expect from the in-person experience, with programs scheduled considering the multiple time zones from which everyone is joining and still to center the cultural ecosystem of San Juan to attendees. We will have opportunities to hear from artists working for racial equity and justice, grantmakers working to advance the field toward a more just future, and strategists, activists, and national partners reflecting on the challenges and opportunities within the cultural ecosystem. Sessions, keynote plenaries, roundtables, preconferences, and happy hours will be just a click away!

Is there anything I need to download on my computer before November 6?

Yes! Please be sure to download Zoom  on your device prior to the start of the 2021 GIA Conference. If you are new to using Zoom or unfamiliar with the platform, we recommend spending some time getting familiar with the functions including: how to change your name, muting and unmuting, controlling video access, using the chat function, and using reactions to comment or ask a question. This handy Zoom Tip Sheet may just become your best friend!

Can I join session from my phone or other non-laptop device?

You’ll probably find this difficult to navigate, and you might not be able to see all of the other participants in the Zoom room with you.

I think I registered for the virtual track of the conference, but I cannot find an email. What do I do?

If you registered, you should have received a confirmation email, so check your spam if you don't see it.

If you are having trouble, please email

I’m not able to get into the Zoom room, what do I do?

The Zoom link for keynotes, sessions, and roundtables will become available the morning of each convening day. From the schedule page, be sure to click the “Access Zoom Rooms” button at the top of the page. If you do not see a Zoom link underneath your session, you may not be signed in. The email and password used during registration will be necessary to sign in and access Zoom links.

If you see the link, but are not able to join the room, it could be one or more of the following reasons:

  • The Waiting Room has been enabled and the host will let you in shortly.
  • The room is at capacity and you will need to choose another session.
  • Your Zoom software is not up to date.

What do I do if my cat wants to be on camera with me?

We know folks are joining from personal spaces, it’s nothing to worry about. We at GIA are big cat fans, so we’ll probably like an introduction! If you have questions about cat care, cat food, or cat rescue, email Sylvia Jung at!

Do I need to keep my camera on throughout the whole conference?

We would love to see each other’s faces. It helps creates a feeling of community as well as provides an opportunity for other folks to read facial expressions and understand non-verbal communication. However, we recognize circumstances and needs differ. Take care of yourself however you need to.

You can upload a picture of yourself into Zoom so that when your camera is off participants see that instead of just your name. It’s not exactly the same, but something to consider!

What if my schedule changes or I cannot make a live session? Are sessions recorded?

All keynote sessions will be recorded and made available on the GIA YouTube channel this winter. Similar to the in-person annual conference – to preserve the intimacy, integrity, and safety of the breakout sessions, roundtables, and workshops – we will not be recording these spaces.

How do I ask a question during a keynote or session?

During keynotes, you can ask questions using the Q&A function. Speakers will be able to see submitted questions and might be able to respond during the keynote. The Q&A function doesn’t allow for responses or discussion among participants. For this, we recommend using the chat function.

During breakout sessions and roundtables, you can ask questions using the chat function. In each session, a member of the GIA Team will be present to help moderate, manage the chat, and pass questions from the chat to presenters. The chat feature allows for answers and responses from not just the presenters but from everyone in the meeting, which is a great way to have a more dynamic dialogue.

What are the dates and what is the schedule?

The conference will begin on Friday, November 5 with a day of preconference sessions and run through Thursday, November 11. Check out our schedule page for more details on the dual-tracks and for regular updates.

What is included in my registration?

Registration for the 2021 conference includes:

If you have a single-day registration, it includes:

Do I need to register for preconference sessions separately from my conference registration?

Yes; and it will be totally worth it! You can register for preconference sessions, which will be held on Friday, November 5. You can read about all of the preconference options here.

What is the cost to attend the conference?

Before you purchase your conference ticket(s), please be sure you know what is included in each conference ticket registration.

Ticket TypeRate
Virtual Workshop [Half Day]$75

 **  Group Registration

In order to receive the group discount, all participants from the same organization must be registered together on the same registration. We recommend utilizing the variety of group registration ticket packages to register your team.

 ǂ  Preconference Session and Online Workshop Registration

Preconference sessions may only be attended by those who are also registered for the full conference. Please note that preconference sessions and online workshops have limited capacity and tend to sellout before conference registration closes. If capacity is reached, waitlists will be available.

How can I save money on my registration?

All GIA members receive access to discounted rates for individual and group registrations. So, the easiest way is to become a GIA member! We are offering a special opportunity for new members, if you join now not only will you receive the member discount for the online convening, but GIA will also provide three months of membership free, which includes access to our online learning series, research library, the GIA Reader, member directory, and the opportunity to submit a session for the 2022 GIA Conference in NYC.

If you are interested in signing up for membership and the 2021 Annual Convening, contact Zoë Willams at

What is the Cancellation Policy?

Refunds for cancellations will be processed as follows:

Cancellation DateRefund Available
Prior to September 1, 202190% of registration paid
September 1 – 30, 202150% of registration paid
After September 30, 2021No refund available

Exchanges for in-person to virtual tickets will be handled as follows:

Within Eventbrite, the ticket sales platform used by Grantmakers in the Arts, “ticket protection” is offered by a third party unaffiliate, Fanshield. For all questions regarding ticket protection, buyers should contact the ticket protection seller, Fanshield, directly. If you have opted to purchase ticket insurance, please note all ticket insurance refunds will be handled through Fanshield not Grantmakers in the Arts.

Who attends the GIA Annual Conference?

The GIA Annual Conference is a national convening for arts grantmakers. Conference attendance is open to:

What is the policy for covering 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 conference registration.

How is accessibility being handled throughout the conference?

GIA is committed to making this conference accessible to everyone. You can learn more about our commitments to accessibility and centering disability justice throughout the conference on our How To Convene page. Please indicate on your registration form if you require an accommodation or service, and we will do our best to accommodate your request. If you have any questions, please contact us at or by phone at (929) 452-3740.

Can I volunteer with the GIA team instead of paying for registration?

GIA presents an annual national conference that provides an opportunity for arts grantmakers from across the country to come together to share knowledge and ideas, to develop collective strategies, and to learn about the latest initiatives in grantmaking. We do work with a wonderful team of volunteers who support the GIA team. Responsibilities include staff support, communication with and guidance for conference participants, and administrative support throughout all conference events, among other duties. GIA prioritizes individuals from the local host-city and public agencies that are member organizations, member-eligible, and/or emerging leader partners.

To inquire about volunteer opportunities for this or future conferences, please contact Vice President & Director of Programs Nadia Elokdah at

What parts of the conference are recorded?

All keynote sessions will be recorded and made available on the GIA YouTube channel following the conference. Similar to our in-person conferences – to preserve the intimacy, integrity, and safety of the breakout sessions, roundtables, and virtual precons – we will not be recording these spaces.

GIA reserves the right to record conference proceedings through videography, photography, and written documentation, including blogs and social media, for non-commercial use on its website and in publications.