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Keynote Speaker

Mike Corbin

Mike Corbin
Avid Art Collector and Author

"Am I the only one who thinks this world needs an art renaissance? I mean a TRUE art renaissance. As a collector and author of illustrated art books, I believe that our world would be much different if people actually applied art to their everyday lives. Artistic insight can turn things around. Maybe it?s just me."



Past NAIA Conference

Thursday and Friday, September 24 & 25, 2009
(with pre-conference social gathering on Wednesday evening)

Directors click here to register.

Artists click here to register.

Peoria, IL (preceding the Peoria Fine Art Fair)

The 9th Art Festival Directors / Artists Summit Conference, organized by the National Association of Independent Artists (NAIA) will be held Thursday & Friday, September 24 - 25, 2009 in Peoria, Illinois, immediately prior to the Peoria Fine Art Fair. This unique event, produced by NAIA, is the only one of its kind that is geared directly to the needs and issues of arts festivals and artists, and provides an unparalleled opportunity to meet, network, problem solve and energize with show directors from around the country. It is open to all show directors, staff and board members on Thursday and Friday. Open to all artists on Thursday.

If you?ve never been to an NAIA Conference, you owe it to yourself to be there. And if you?ve attended one or all of our past conferences, you?ll find this one is targeted to provide as much valuable information to the ?veteran?, as it is to those who may join us for the first time.

Summit. The NAIA Board will hold a 2-day Artist / Director Summit, September 24 ? 25, in conjunction with the Peoria Art Guild Fine Art Fair, September 26 - 27. We chose this show as a shining example of doing more with less. Despite a very small budget, they host a very fun and well-organized show with good artist sales, fabulous marketing, and lots of public art education.

September 24. Thursday's presentations are geared toward artists and directors and will open with an inspiring keynote address. There will be brainstorming sessions on a number of topics with regard to saving the industry. We will also have a live demo on the critical importance and how-to of calibrating jury monitors, up-to-date guidelines and regulations on selling art abroad and an extremely valuable mock jury. Some sessions will be for both groups, some will be separate.

September 25. Friday's sessions will be for directors. Sessions will include the Peoria staff's presentation on how they do so much with so little money, the value of social networking to promote your show and initiating college art students into the art show process.

The Summit comes to a memorable end with the Patron Preview Party at the Peoria Art Guild. Peoria knows how to put on a party! And, they know how to make the event good for artists, good for the Art Guild and good for the patrons who get to see and buy works in advance of the show while enjoying tapas, libations and live music.

Your presence is vital to the industry we all love. Please join us, learn with us and give us your input. Help us at the Summit to develop our own stimulus plan to survive and thrive in this "sky is falling" world. 



Pre-conference Welcome Reception - Wednesday Evening
6:30 - ??? Social Get-Together: Wingate Hotel

Combined Session: Directors and Artists - 1/2 day

Welcome and Introductions

Keynote Address
An Art Renaissance: Applying Art to Everyday Lives
Michael Corbin, art collector and author

Mike Corbin is an art author, an avid art collector, and an advocate of 'art for the average person'. He believes and knows that you don't have to be rich or highly cultured to benefit from owning art. His enthusiasm is infectious! He will start off the conference with an upbeat message of why art is so vitally important to everyone's life and remind us again why we are in this business.

Click here to see Mike Corbin's website.

Then read what he wrote about speaking in Peoria by clicking the link in the left column titled: artBLOG. Scroll down to the piece titled: Speaking Engagement". Here is an excerpt:

".... an art dealer friend once told me that art people are a different breed. She said they tend to be folks who just set out on their own and explore. That definitely describes me. It's interesting because I've been this way since childhood. I actually remember being a kid and walking through art museums and being spell bound. Nothing has changed...."

The True Skinny on Monitor Calibrations for Digital Jurying
Don Ament. artist

Battling Imports at Art shows
Recognizing imports and taking swift action to combat misrepresentation
Eve Lerman from the US Dept. of Commerce

Open Discussion / Brainstorming on "Project A.R.T.!*"
*Accquiring Real Treasures


Separate Sessions: Artists & Directors

Directors' Track:

Sticky Wickets in the Art Show Prospectus: "Digital", "Production", "Booth Images" and other Gooey Messes
Moderated Discussion led by Les Slesnick, artist

Handmade in America
Holly Olinger, artist

Concurrent Sessions:

  • EMERGENCY!! Dealing with the Unexpected
    Vic Gutman of the Summer Arts Festival, Omaha, NE

  • Patron Purchase Programs: Win, Win, Win! Making them Successful
    Kim Armstrong of the Peoria Fine Art Fair - from the show's perspective
    Ronna Katz, artist - from the artist's perspective

  • Providing Jury Feedback to Artists
    Carla Fox, artist and director of the Art in the High Desert show, Bend, OR

Open Discussion
What would you like to discuss with the entire group?

Artists' Track:

Art without Borders: Helping artists sell their work beyond US borders
Eve Lerman of the US Dept. of Commerce

Artists Organizing Shows: The Issues, Difficulties, Pitfalls and REWARDS!
Carla Fox and HC Chris Porter, artists

Copyright Infringement: Protecting Yourself Before an Issue Arises
Diane French, artist

Mock Jury
Artists: Bring your jury images to the conference on a CD or flash drive. Your images CANNOT be downloaded from JAS or ZAPP at the conference. We will project your images, as a projection jury would and discuss the image presentations.

Party: The ART Stimulus Party
6:30 - ??? Directors and Artists at the Peoria Contemporary Art Center


Tech Culture: Using Social Networking to Promote Your Show
Holly Olinger, artist and NAIA Forum Designer and Administrator
Connie Mettler, ArtFairCalendar.com

Forging Ahead in a Healing Economy:

What Do You Do When the Money Dries Up? Learning to Do a Lot with a Little
Presentation and discussion moderation by Kim Armstrong and additional Peoria Fine Art Fair staff

Tentitive Session. Awaiting Speaker Confirmation

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old: Sponsor Rentention
Patty Gregory of the Art on the Square show, Belleville, Il



The Honest Truth about Digital Jurying and the Bottom Line
Kim Armstrong of the Peoria Fine Art Fair

Tentitive Session. Awaiting Speaker Confirmation

The Next Generation: Reaching Out to Emerging Artists
Rick Bryant, Pam Lautsch and James Thurman of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts show, State College, PA

Tying the Ends Together and Making Sense of it All: Project A.R.T.!
What has been learned at the conference; where we go from here.

Peoria Fine Art Festival Patron Preview Party
7:00 - ??? at the Peoria Art Guild and Gallery


The Wingate by Wyndham is our Host Hotel

Guests staying at this hotel receive free hot breakfasts, free evening manager's reception with hors d'oeuvres and libations, and free transportation to all conference event locations as well as the Peoria International Airport.

(The airport has direct flights to and from: Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth, Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta and Clearwater/St. Petersburg, FL.)

Reservations must by made by September 1, 2009 to receive the special room rate. Reservations made after that date are subject to the Wingate's regular room prices. Call the hotel directly and request the NAIA Conference rate of $119 / night per luxurious room with 2 comfortable queen beds, micro-fridge, coffee maker and free wireless internet access: 309-589-0033. (you must call the hotel directly to reserve a room blocked for the conference - there are no rooms available through the website)


Who should attend the 2009 Directors / Artists Summit?

  • Art show directors, your board members, and your marketing & PR staff (and if you hold ALL of those positions, this conference is definitely for you!)
  • Organizers of non-profit or promoter shows with paid or volunteer staff.
  • Directors of developing, new or established shows; small, medium and large shows, and everything in between.
  • Artists that participate in or are planning to participate in fine art / fine craft shows, festivals and fairs.

Peoria Fine Art Fair

The Peoria Art Guild's small paid staff produces the Fine Art Fair as a fund raiser for the Guild and educational art event for the community. They are assisted by over 400 volunteers. The entire community is involved with the show and the Fine Art Fair gate shows this. It is such a delight to be sincerely welcomed by so many members of the audience that are truly happy to meet the exhibiting artists.

Vacationing in Peoria

While you are in Peoria take advantage of the many offerings of fun things to do, such as river cruises on the "Spirit of Peoria" paddle wheel boat or gambling venues across the river. Click here to see what is available in Peoria!

Conference Registration Rates:

NAIA Contributing Director Members:
Includes lunch Thursday and Friday, drinks and snacks throughout both days and three evening parties.
1st Person: $130.00 (50% Cancellation fee)
2nd Person from the same organization: $120.00 (50% Cancellation fee)
Subsequent person from same organization: $110.00 (50% Cancellation fee)
NAIA Contributing Membership, New or Renewal Fee: $95.00

Non-Member Directors:
Includes lunch Thursday and Friday, drinks and snacks throughout both days and three evening parties.
1st Person: $230.00 (50% Cancellation fee)
2nd Person from the same organization: $220.00 (50% Cancellation fee)
Subsequent person from same organization: $210.00 (50% Cancellation fee)
NAIA Contributing Membership, New or Renewal Fee: $95.00

Like to join first? Go to the Membership page.

$25. Includes lunch on Thursday, drinks and snacks throughout the day and Thursday night party.

Conference Registration

Directors click here
Artists click here



For more information please send questions by email to or to , or call Sally at 810.813.0500 (eastern time).

We look forward to seeing you in September!




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