2021 Call for Proposals


It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that our annual conference, scheduled for October 8-10 in Sarasota, Florida, has been canceled. 

This was a difficult decision but we believe the right choice based on current conditions and projections for the foreseeable future.  These include not only the course of the COVID-19 pandemic but also its impacts on university travel budgets; the likelihood that large gatherings will be prohibited and other social distancing; and the lack of either widespread testing or a vaccine. 

While it was discussed, at this time we are not considering a virtual conference. However, we are considering how to continue to serve our membership in the 2020-21 academic year.

All of us are deeply disappointed – we love the opportunity to gather ourselves together in a community of scholars, teachers, colleagues, and friends.  Alas, not this year.  But we will be back to announce the 2021 conference date and location.

Until then, we wish you, and yours, good health, peace, and safety. 

All our best,
STPA Board of Directors

The STP&A Conference is the oldest and one of the most influential academic gatherings in the field of arts management and cultural policy. STP&A participants are drawn from a broad range of disciplines including political science, sociology, economics, law, arts management, arts education, art history, museum studies, cultural studies, education, and policy studies as well as arts managers and artists.

Each year, the STP&A Conference Committee welcomes proposals that address the following topics:

  • Accessibility & social inclusion
  • Arts and cultural participation, marketing, & audience development
  • Arts learning and/or training
  • Arts management, business models, & strategic thinking
  • Arts & technology
  • Arts workforce & labor issues
  • Cultural/creative industries & market structures
  • Cultural democracy
  • Cultural economics and impact assessment
  • Cultural planning & community development
  • Cultural policy
  • Diversity, equity, & inclusion in the arts
  • Festivals & events
  • Heritage policy & administration
  • Indigenous cultural practices
  • Popular & high culture
  • Society & evolving aesthetics

Additionally, for the 2020 STP&A Conference, we welcome proposals that address the plenary theme: 

The Art of Relevance

In our globalized, technological, interconnected world, every corporation, government, individual, and institution seems to fight for relevance. The arts & culture have always played a number of essential roles in society, from education to entertainment, but today the world seems inundated with replacements for many aspects of the joys that the arts & culture can provide. As a result, we live in a society where relevance is more and more difficult to ascertain and secure. In this vein, we encourage proposals that address the topic of relevance in arts & culture and address questions such as:

  • What is the relevance for the arts & cultural sector in 2020 (or new decade)?
  • How can the arts & culture remain relevant while evolving into the future? 
  • The arts & culture have a long-established history of supporting and promoting vital social issues. In what ways might a demand for relevance diminish the sector’s capacity to change?
  • Technology brings with it limitless opportunities to explore and learn, but it has also made many traditional structures irrelevant. How can artists and arts administrators embrace technology, shape it, and use it to maintain relevance?

Proposal Types

Proposals will be accepted for papers, panels, workshops, performance-based research, roundtable discussions, and pop-up projects.

Paper Proposal
(A 15-minute presentation in a session with other paper presenters.)

Paper proposals may take one of two forms: research or scholarly papers.

  • Research (or data-driven) papers present the results of quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods studies or report the findings of studies that use historical or philosophical methods. These studies are based on original data collection or secondary data analysis.

Research paper proposals should describe studies that are fairly mature both conceptually and methodologically, ideally with some preliminary data analysis and findings that are suggestive of the impact and significance of the research. The final paper should be a complete discussion of finalized data analysis and findings.

  • Scholarly (or non-data-driven) papers are essays that present well-developed arguments on philosophical, theoretical, or practical problems in the study of the arts. They are not required to adhere to an empirical research design (e.g., methods, data collection, and data analysis). Rather, scholarly papers pose critical questions, synthesize divergent bodies of literature, or elaborate new theoretical or conceptual frameworks.

Final papers may be submitted to the Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society for consideration in the special STP&A issue.

Panel Proposal
(A 45-minute or 75-minute panel which consists of 3-4 panelists in a singular session.)

In a panel, the session organizers are proposing a complete session that consists of three to four research or scholarly papers that address a particular topic.

Workshop Proposal
(A 45-minute or 75-minute session that offers hands-on activities for the participants.)

A workshop is a hands-on session that features interaction between and among the presenter(s) and the audience to advance knowledge of a particular issue or research problem.

Workshops should be designed to be 60 minutes in length. However, you may include a Part I and Part II if you wish to have a 2-hour workshop (with a break between the two).

Performance-Based Research Proposal
(Research presented through performance.)

Performance-based research projects may take the form of art, music, dance, spoken word, or theatrical performance. Proposals should describe how they relate to the conference theme.

Roundtable Discussion
(Lead a 45-minute discussion based on a topic.)

Roundtables provide an opportunity for scholars to share information regarding their research in an informal, conversational format with interested persons. Accepted proposals will be assigned to a numbered table in a large meeting room. Roundtable chair will facilitate participation, but there will be no formal presentations. Given the informal structure of the roundtable, no audiovisual equipment will be provided.

Pop-Up Projects

Pop-up projects are interactive artist-run projects, performances, installations, or other creative interventions that engage conference attendees and create unexpected moments, conversations, or sights during the course of the conference. Projects can be proposed by individual artists or groups and can occur over a single hour, day, mealtime, evening reception, or throughout the full conference. Projects should be highly engaging and require minimal set-up.