2019 CALL FOR PROPOSALS

ABOUT OUR PROGRAMMING

As the largest annual gathering of Art House cinema and film festival professionals, community leaders, service providers, and suppliers, the Art House Convergence attracts participants from across the world. By defining our field, creating a shared vision and vocabulary, and identifying best practices, our Annual Conference strengthens efforts to sustain Art House cinemas and film festivals of various sizes, operating structures, and programmatic philosophies.

The Convergence offers programming that includes a wide variety of topics to engage movie theaters, film festivals, film societies, museums, and other cinema exhibition organizations.

The conference program is built based on the suggestions and input of its constituents. You are invited to submit a proposal for a panel (pre-constituted or open call) or workshop for this year’s conference which will occur January 21–24, 2019.

Submission Due Date: Monday, October 1, 2018

Panelists whose proposals are accepted will be notified by the end of October. All chosen speakers will be offered the Early Bird registration rate.

2019 CONFERENCE GOALS

Equity and Inclusivity.
We commit to pursuing structural, economic, and conceptual equity, accessibility, and inclusivity. We recognize that the voices and experiences of people of color, people who are disabled, and people who are female-identifying and gender nonconforming, have often been unheard in conversations about our industry. This must change. We want all aspects of the conference to include many, and particularly historically suppressed, perspectives. We invite session proposals from organizations of different regions, sizes, and non-profit/for-profit status and strongly encourage members of our community to share ideas and experiences about how to foster equity and inclusion in programming, hiring, human resources, marketing, operations, outreach, and education.

Community Building.
We commit to addressing pressing challenges in our industry and developing better structures to support open discussion, collaboration, and participation. We invite you to consider the following questions: “What are the most challenging topics facing our industry?” and “How can we take risks, collaborate, and support each other in addressing these topics?” We commit to hosting more workshops, small group sessions, and speakers, and to devoting more time for unstructured networking. We will also continue to invite participants from related industries to share their perspectives. We want to hear your ideas about how to best facilitate collective problem solving and community building.

Elevate the Conversation.
We commit to ensuring the conference remains relevant. We want to challenge ourselves and push conversations in new and sometimes difficult directions. We want to hear your ideas about new ways of thinking and strongly encourage you to submit radical and innovative conversation topics. We welcome participation from people of all levels of expertise and will offer introductory and advanced educational experiences.

Action Beyond the Conference.
We commit to offering tools to facilitate action throughout the year. We believe that takeaways from panels should be as clear and tangible as possible. We encourage panelists to think about different learning styles and to engage attendees using visuals, sound, and handouts. When proposing panels, workshops, or speakers for the conference, please consider how these conversations will lead to either individual or collective action and what resources you can provide that participants can take with them, including policy templates, budgets, draft agreements, etc.

WHAT ARE SESSIONS?

The conference features over 30 sessions, including panels, workshops, and networking groups, all of which provide opportunities to learn new skills, share best practices, and establish relationships with colleagues, guest speakers, and industry veterans. The sessions are organized into five tracks focused on development, education, marketing, operations, and programming.

Session Evaluation
All proposals are evaluated by a Conference Planning Team that includes the staff members of the Convergence (the Managing Director and Conference Manager), the Conference Co-Chairs, the Track Heads who oversee each of the five session tracks (development, education, marketing, operations, and programming), and the Film Festival Alliance staff. Both the Conference Co-Chairs and the Track Heads are volunteer positions and serve for overlapping two-year terms, allowing for new leadership to continually lend a fresh perspective to conference development and the selection process. (Who is on the 2019 Conference Planning Team? Check out our staff page.)

Priority will be given to proposals and suggestions that support the 2019 Conference Goals or address topics requested in post-conference surveys.

Some topics currently of interest to the Art House Convergence community include:

Development: small shop development strategies/time management, coordinating multiple campaigns (annual/capital/membership), major gifts, raising unrestricted funds/general operating support, cultivating younger members/donors, engaging non fundraising staff in supporting fundraising goals, member cultivation and stewardship, capital campaigns, converting patrons to members/donors, and tracking membership data.

Education: starting an education program, in-school education initiatives, developing community screenings, curriculum development, developing meaningful relationships with community partners.

Marketing: getting creative with marketing when you have limited resources and time, case studies of successful marketing campaigns, systematizing the flow of information from film confirmation to website/flyers/slides/social media/ads/listings etc, examples of marketing/communication strategies that help build new diverse audiences, community partnerships, getting measurable results from social media, and digital marketing.

Programming: balancing regular and specialty programming, developing mission-driven programs without sacrificing your bottom line, working with bookers and distributors, and programming ethics.

Operations: working with partners, creating lasting relationships with local businesses, streamlining customer experience, safety and security, perfecting your operational mix/ balancing programming goals and operational needs, motivating staff and maintaining morale, best practices for hiring, volunteer management, concessions and merchandise sales: capitalizing on successes and trends, the prevention of harassment and discrimination, and equitable hiring practices.

Remember, these are just suggestions, we encourage you to think outside the box and propose topics not included above.

Final decisions will be made by the Planning Team with feedback from the Provisional Board, Film Festival Festival Alliance, and Alliance for Action. Not all session proposals will be selected and some proposals may be reshaped.

Passionate about a specific topic? Email your suggestions and priorities to track heads or the planning team!

TYPES OF SESSIONS

Panels are sessions consisting of presentations by three to five speakers. Panels deliberately explore a specific topic and invite difference voices and experts from the Convergence network to share their experiences and practices. Panels are normally 75 minutes in length and include 50 mins of presentation by a speaker or team of speakers and 25 mins of Q&A.

There are two ways to submit a panel proposal:

  • Pre-Constituted – A fully fledged panel that includes all of the speakers (three to five) that will participate. Pre-constituted panels submissions should include the names and organizations of each panelist.
  • Open Call – Have an idea for an individual component of a panel, but not sure who else to work with? Submit your idea or innovative initiative and the planning team will work to partner your presentation with others to create a panel.

Workshops are interactive discussions led by one or two facilitators. They may include additional speakers but should emphasize potential participation by all session attendees. Some effective workshops might include the sharing of best practices, collaboratively working on a project, role-playing, demonstrating a technique, or another interactive activity. Workshops typically focus on professional development, address institutional issues, or facilitate brainstorming.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Submit a proposal for either a Panel (Pre-Constituted or Open Call) or Workshop using the below form by clicking on the button.

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Your Organization

For Panels and Workshops:

  • Panel or Workshop Title
  • Panel or Workshop Short Description (100 words or less)
  • Panel or Workshop Long Description (up to 500 words)
  • Is this a Pre-Constituted or Open Call Panel?
  • If Pre-Constituted, please list the other panelists or workshop leaders (name and organization)

Due Date for All Submissions: Monday, October 1, 2018
Panelists will be notified by the end of October regarding session selection. All chosen speakers will be offered the Early Bird registration rate.