20/20 Visions: Cultural Sustainability as an Act of Resilience - Call for Proposals

July 23 – 25, 2020, Goucher College, Baltimore, Maryland (USA)

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As a way of speaking, acting, and being in the world, Cultural Sustainability offers both a lens and a practice of engaged and ethical partnership with communities around the resources, gifts, and relationships that constitute their collective strengths. Cultural practices connect communities through vital webs of participation and shared experience. Sustaining these connections, and the knowledge, spaces, and relationships that foster them, supports individual and group wellbeing, and offers pathways to a more socially and environmentally balanced future. Cultural sustainability as a field actively explores and supports the value of these practices in multiple arenas and contexts, grounded in a commitment to equity and genuine dialogue.

Goucher College, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the American Folklore Society, invites an international gathering of scholars, artists, and activists to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Master of the Arts in Cultural Sustainability.

Bringing together practitioners, artists, community leaders and scholars to share their work and to explore this richly generative concept will lay the foundation for the expansion and enhancement of this emerging field. Our goal is to connect and learn from each other. You will have the chance to compare notes on what is happening around the world and in our own backyards; to dig into questions of good practice, to find common ground, and to be inspired by the beautiful and amazing work being done.


A Mix of topics and perspectives
We actively seek proposals for talks, workshops, presentations, and roundtable discussions that address a wide range of subjects and perspectives on cultural sustainability, at various levels of expertise. As cultural sustainability is a concept that concerns multiple disciplines and practices, we invite proposals from a variety of perspectives. We welcome critical and theoretical reflection, case studies and research, considerations of policy and practice issues, creative expression, and more. Contributions from community leaders, writers, artists, students, scholars, and practitioners are all valuable to the broader community concerned with cultural sustainability and will help us continue to develop, clarify, and strengthen our ideas and practice.
We encourage proposals that address themes related to our 20/20 Vision:

Visionary Leadership: Looking forward and building a sustaining cultural future through innovation in design, organization, place making, and community building.

Hindsight is 20/20: Looking back - restoring heritage and tradition, and educating others about the importance of recognition, legacy building and remembrance.

Invisible to Invincible: Looking deeper at efforts for social and restorative justice and reform, empowering people, communities and cultures through dialogue, organizing, and bringing to the foreground of public awareness the pervasive injustices that divide us, and the inherent danger of the “single narrative”.

Presentation format
We welcome a range of presentation formats including updates from the field, hands-on workshops, roundtable discussions, video/audio projects, papers, performance, facilitated dialogues, and short presentations (10 slides, 10 minutes). Presentations can be proposed in 10, 20, 30, 60, and 90-minute time slots. We will do our best to accommodate your preference but retain the right to make adjustments if needed.

A symposium open to the public with ample time for questions and discussion.

A diverse group of speakers - We welcome talks from first-time speakers, from experts, and from everyone in between. Whatever your background and experience, we want to hear about new approaches and practices.

An opportunity to reconnect, make new connections and find common ground and purpose as we participate together.

A largely plenary format.

A registration fee that includes meals and lodging on campus, with evening activities for socializing.

Symposium Format
Six to eight speakers invited by the 10th Anniversary planning committee to share their current thinking about cultural sustainability and its relevance in our communities today.

Three keynote events to set the tone, challenge our thinking, and inspire us as we return to our communities.

Four sessions featuring multiple presentations on cultural sustainability work underway in communities

Hands-on practical workshops on topics of particular interest.

Working Group conversations to connect around selected themes.

A closing roundtable discussion of activists, artists, alumni, and scholars to brainstorm ideas for expanding the field.

 Audience awareness
When crafting your proposal, keep in mind a diverse audience with varying levels of experience, skill sets, and professions. Your talk doesn’t have to be relevant to everyone, but it should be relevant to most people and shouldn’t make too many assumptions about what people already know.

March 31, 2020 -- Deadline to submit your presentation idea.
April 30 -- Participants will receive notification of acceptance
May 1 – Registration opens of symposium website
June 15 -- Final schedule will be available on the Symposium website
July 23 through 25 – Symposium on Goucher’s campus in Baltimore

If you are selected to speak at 20/20 Visions, you will receive a discount on your registration fee. We regret that we are not able to cover the cost of travel or lodging for all speakers at this time. By not covering travel costs for our speakers, we are able to keep registration prices low and to make the event accessible to the largest number of participants possible.

If your proposal is accepted, but you are unable to attend due to travel costs, please let us know and we will try to help you find other support.

Please use the Submit Your Proposal link below to send us your presentation idea. Proposals require a 200-300-word description, including its relevance to the theme of the symposium, as well as a brief (50-75 word) biography to be included in the final program booklet. If you prepare these in advance, it will only take a few minutes to submit your idea.


Nähere Informationen

Amy Skillman

mailto:amy.skillman[ at ]goucher.edu