Kenny Leon to Headline 12th ‘Open Dialogue’ in Chicago, August 12-14, 2010

Illinois–(ENEWSPF)–July 16, 2010.  The Association of American Cultures (TAAC) invites leaders both established and emerging to attend the 12th Open Dialogue symposium, taking place in Chicago for the first time August 12-14, 2010. Attendees will help formulate action-agendas promoting equity in cultural policy, funding, and leadership in the 21st Century. Hosted by the Illinois Arts Council in partnership with ArtsMidwest, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and The Joyce Foundation, Open Dialogue 2010 will provide a unique space to discuss issues, challenges, successes, and perspectives of arts organizations and artists in communities of color

Symposium Highlights:

  • Keynote speech by Kenny Leon: Leon is one of the most exciting and acclaimed directors in American theatre today. In June 2010, his hit Tony Award Broadway show Fences garnered 10 Tony Nominations (the most nominations ever for a play revival), set box office records, and received the Tony award for Best Revival of a Play, Best Actor, and Best Actress. Past Tony nominations include his Broadway productions of Radio Golf, Gem of the Ocean, and Raisin in the Sun, starring Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad, and Audra McDonald. Mr. Leon was also nominated for Best Director by the Directors Guild of America for the film version of A Raisin in the Sun (which also received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations), and has won three NAACP Image Awards.
  • Friday Night: Start with a tour of the DuSable Museum of African American History and a walkthrough of the award-winning “African Presence in Mexico” exhibition. Organized by the National Museum of Mexican Art, this exhibition culminates at the DuSable, concluding its 11 venue, 10 city tour. From there, attendees continue onto a lively night of food, song, and art at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Open exhibits will include Mexicanidad, a journey through Mexican culture and history, and all the way from Chiapas, Mexico, Milla & Kilometros. The National Museum of Mexican Art will also present two unique bands: from Chiapas, Mexico, the rock-folk infused indigenous group, Sak Tzevul, singing in Maya and Spanish languages, followed by an original Afro-Cuban dance concert by Hector Silveria y Su Orquesta.

Sessions & Activities will include:
• Opening Reception featuring Funkadesi
• Philanthropic Principles of Pluralism – Institutional Capacity and Undercapitalization
• Equity & Access
• Collaboration to Engage Community Empowerment
• Raising More Money to Support the Good Work that We Do
• DIY – Cultural Arts in the 21st Century
• Capacity Building: The 21st Century Cultural Organization
• Maintaining Legacy while Moving Forward
• Stand Up and Be Counted – Equity in Data Collection
• A Sunrise Ceremony
• & More

Extended Early Bird Registration & Hotel Rate – Deadline Monday, July 19, 2010:
To view the full schedule to date, learn more about scholarship opportunities, and take advantage of the extended early bird rates, visit the TAAC website at .

Open Dialogue 2010 Scholarships:
Scholarships are now available through the Illinois Arts Council in collaboration with Arts Midwest for artists and nonprofit organizations from Illinois seeking to attend The Association of American Cultures (TAAC) Open Dialogue 2010. The deadline for application is Monday, July 19, 2010. More information available on the Illinois Arts Council website at

Additional Supporters Include:
Americans for the Arts, Boeing Company, Chicago Community Trust, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Museum of Mexican Art, Native American Public Communications, Nebraska Arts Council, Ohio Arts Council, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Washington State Arts Commission, and Western States Arts Federation.

About TAAC:
The Association of American Cultures (TAAC) convenes artists and cultural workers that are reflective of our pluralistic society to inform and advocate for democratic cultural policy.

If you have any questions, or for further information regarding Open Dialogue 2010, please contact Jennifer Armstrong, Director, Community Arts Development Programs, Illinois Arts Council at (312) 814-4993 or [email protected].