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Clarksville, APSU host Arts Conference
Tennessee Arts Commission event draws arts leaders
Posted Date: 6/20/2018

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Kim McMillan welcomed more than 200 arts administrators, educators and artists from across Tennessee to Clarksville for two days of learning and sharing.

The Tennessee Arts Commission is presenting the 2018 Tennessee Arts & Arts Education Conference, Design Thinking: A Pathway to Innovation in the Arts. The conference is hosted by the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts on the on the campus of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville this week. The Clarksville-Montgomery Arts & Heritage Development Council is assisting the conference.

“On behalf of the City of Clarksville, I want to welcome you and encourage you to enjoy our museum and the good amount of public art we have around our downtown,” Mayor McMillan told the group at a reception Wednesday at Customs House Museum. “I especially urge you to visit the new Pat Head Summitt Legacy Plaza at Freedom Point, which we dedicated last week. It includes a life-sized bronze of Coach Summitt, produced by world-class sculptor Brett Grill.”

Anne B. Pope, Arts Commission Executive Director, applauded Clarksville as a host city and said the annual conference brings together Tennessee’s arts community for learning, collaborative work and networking.

Ellen Kanervo, AHDC director, thanked all the organizers who worked to bring together a successful and compelling conference.


On Tuesday, Grantmakers in the Arts offered a workshop called “A Conversation on Capitalization & Community” in which arts leaders discussed the elements of financial sustainability and how to start planning for their organizations’ long-term health.

The conference also features more than 10 “sparkplug sessions” designed to jumpstart artists professional development and spark interest in Design Thinking. Bridge Innovate, a Chattanooga-based company that uses design thinking techniques to solve complex challenges, is facilitating the “Digging Deeper with Design Thinking” sessions, which are a two-day immersion into the process of design thinking and how it can be applied to arts management, individual growth and education.

The conference also is offering educators opportunities to build skills and develop new classroom curriculum; arts administrators are finding practical skills and tools needed for daily work in arts management; and artists are participating in sessions to help them develop and build careers.

Arts Conference 2

Mayor Kim McMillan, AHDC Director Ellen Kanervo and Anne Pope, executive director of the Tennessee Arts Commission, gathered Wednesday to greet an arts conference reception audience at the Customs House Museum.