The Conference | The Journal | Conference News | Newsletter | Who Should Attend | Conference Organisers

Arts Conference, 2007

Welcome to the website of the 2007 International Conference on the Arts in Society. To be held at the University of Kassel, Germany, from 22-24 August 2007, this year's annual conference will address a range of critically important themes relating to the arts today. In addition, there will be a Pre-Conference Day, August 21, to allow for an orientation tour and attendance of Documenta exhibitions and events. Held in conjunction with the Documenta 12, and in parallel with its related leitmotifs, the Arts Conference considers the shared question posed with regard to education and forging an arts agenda: What is to be done?

In addition to a broad range of presenters in response to our Open Call for Presenters, Crafted Panels and Main Speakers will include artists and organisers involved in the Documenta and its upcoming exhibition and educational themes. In addition to visual arts, literary and performing arts will also be central to presentations and topics related to the general theme of this year’s conference: Art and Education.

Conference presenters will include contributors in all areas of the arts - artists, educators, curators, writers, theorists, researchers, and policymakers - as well as papers, colloquia and workshop presentations in all disciplines (visual, performing and literary). This is a conference for any person with an interest in, and a concern for, art practice, art theory and research, curatorial and museum studies, and art education in any of its forms and in any of its sites.

The organising committee is currently inviting proposals to present at the 2007 Arts Conference.

Participants are welcome to submit a presentation proposal either for a 30 minute paper, a 60 minute workshop, or a jointly presented 90 minute colloquium session. Of these, several sessions will be Crafted Panels or "invited sessions" that are curated or proposed in collaboration with the Conference Director and in keeping with the Conference theme. We encourage presentation formats that are innovative, such as roundtables, staged dialogues, screenings and performance components. In addition to daily Plenary Sessions, remaining sessions are concurrent or parallel.

Parallel sessions are loosely grouped into streams reflecting different perspectives or disciplines. Each stream also has its own talking circle, a forum for focused discussion of issues. Virtual participation is also available.

Participants may choose to submit written papers before or after the conference for possible publication in the International Journal of the Arts in Society, a fully refereed academic journal. All conference participants receive an online subscription to the journal for one year after the conference.


The purpose of the annual Arts Conference is to create an intellectual frame of reference for the arts and arts practices, and to create an interdisciplinary conversation on the role of the arts in society. It is intended as a place for critical engagement, examination, and experimentation of ideas that connect the arts to their contexts in the world, on stage, in museums and galleries, on the streets, and in communities.

The theme of this year’s Conference is Art and Education. Its scope is deliberately broad and ambitious. Our times demand nothing less than cross-disciplinary and holistic approaches. The breadth of the conference and its accompanying journal, however, are without prejudice to finely grained discussion of the specific, the local, and the grounded practices. All papers will be eligible for publication consideration in the International Journal of the Arts in Society.

The conference provide a venue and a framework for the arts and art practices that can be situated within the context of international art expositions, festivals and biennials as a concurrent, yet integrated, event. In this way, the Arts Conference serves as a node in the larger fair and festival phenomenon and network.

Themes for the annual conference vary annually depending on the venue and parallel festival themes. The Arts Conference directly and indirectly co-creates an agenda in concert with festival directors and the local arts and academic communities in the location in which it is held. In this way, the structure of the conference remains flexible and context-specific. The Arts Conference thereby becomes an additional and alternative medium for creative expression of scholarship and collaborative possibilities among artists, scholars and cultural policy makers and in relation to the arena in which it is situated.

This conference has been initiated by Common Ground. Previous conferences sponsored by Common Ground and run in association with arts festivals, exhibition sites and fairs, include our inaugural Arts Conference, held in 2006 in conjunction with the Edinburgh Festivals in Scotland, the 2007 International Symposium on the Arts, held in conjunction with the Armory Show events in New York, and in co-sponsorship with the Tisch School of the Arts’ Center for Art and Public Policy.

The International Journal of the Arts in Society

Presenters have the option to submit papers to the International Journal of the Arts in Society, a fully refereed academic journal. Virtual participants also have the option to submit papers for consideration by the journal.

Papers submitted for publication will be refereed in consultation with members of our International Advisory Board. The publication decision is based on the referees' reports.

For more information please visit the Publish Your Paper page.

Conference News


Keep up to date with information about the annual conference and the journal.

To subscribe, sign up with your email address below:

Contribute to the newsletter.

Arts Conference 2007 artist
Arts Conference 2007 artist

Artist: Joerg Gimmler
(Courtesy: Galerie Lecoq)

Who Should Attend

  • Artists.
  • Art educators
  • Exhibition participants and organisers.
  • Art writers.
  • Arts policymakers and advocates.
  • Arts administrators.
  • Curators.
  • Community cultural workers.
  • Media specialists.
  • Academics and researchers in the arts.
  • Students and faculty in all art-related fields.

Conference Organisers

Common Ground Logo