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CAA News Today

Registration at the 2019 CAA Annual Conference in New York. Photo: Ben Fractenberg

Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2019 Annual Conference survey! Each year we work to make the Annual Conference better than the year before. It’s a large effort that takes the time of many people. We only do it once year but we need to have it perfect from that first hour registration is open, and your direct feedback helps us make that happen.

Here is what you told us about your experience this year:

  • Up from last year, 79% of you were satisfied with the Annual Conference
  • 75% liked the content of the sessions but only half of you thought the sessions represented a balance of time periods
  • 75% liked your online experience with CAA
  • 74% liked the Book and Trade Fair
  • 67% thought that the conference was welcoming and inclusive

Here’s what you liked about the conference:

  • Professional development offerings and workshops
  • Networking opportunities
  • Diverse sessions, good variety, good from a scholarly point
  • Staff—easy to find someone to help
  • Very smooth check-in process
  • Pay-as-you-Wish Day Pass
  • Conference in one building (as opposed to LA)
  • New York is a good destination – museums and galleries
  • Length of the sessions, committees’ lunch, opportunity to participate on a panel
  • Mentoring
  • Welcoming and stimulating, not the “high-brow” style of years’ past; friendly, collegial spirit
  • More inclusion of design
  • Many people got to participate
  • Planning features on website
  • Childcare
  • Book and Trade Fair
  • Convocation
  • Open sessions on diversity and other topics
  • Tables where people could sit and talk

Here is what you want to think about for next year’s conference:

  • Conference was too long, and conference fatigue was inevitable
  • Need more offerings for mentoring and interviewing
  • Bring back the free paper schedule program
  • 90-minute sessions are too short for 5 presenters; 8:30 is too early for some sessions
  • Too many things are scheduled at the same time
  • Too much for art historians rather than artists
  • Not enough for art historians
  • New York is always a problem with weather and too expensive ($13 for a glass of wine?)
  • Could never find the soul to the conference —leaves me feeling sad about our field
  • Very few senior scholars or mid-career attended, making it feel like a graduate student mentoring event
  • Too many sessions on the same topics and at the same time
  • Needs more transparency on how sessions are selected and put together
  • There was a lack of diverse topics
  • Way too large and overwhelming—no one had a chance to network—conference is no longer an academic one
  • Abstracts should be available online
  • The website is very confusing
  • Too many presenters read from their papers, looking down
  • Nothing to attract scholars or historians
  • Why are there almost no artists outside of academia at CAA

Here is what you told us about you:

  • About 67% of you are art historians; 24% are practicing artists
  • 77% of you are associated with a college or university and nearly half of you are either full-time faculty or department chairs
  • 75% of you pay for your membership fees yourself; about half of you are fortunate to have your employer to pay for it

Planning to submit a proposal for CAA 2020? The submissions portal for next year’s Annual Conference in Chicago closes April 30. We invite proposals for sessions, lightning rounds, poster sessions, and workshops from visual arts professionals working across the field in all disciplines.


Filed under: Annual Conference, Surveys