2018 Conference and Symposia Planner

Whether you're looking for professional development, stimulating ideas or a masterclass, or to rub shoulders with cultural entrepreneurs, 2018 offers a range of events ideal for you.
2018 Conference and Symposia Planner

Image CC shutterstock.com

Professional development conferences and summits

6th Public Galleries Summit

Carriageworks and Regional and Public Galleries of NSW in association with Museums & Galleries of NSW will present Art & Artists: Public Galleries Summit 2018 in March.

Held concurrently with the 21st Biennale of Sydney, Art & Artists will bring together staff from galleries throughout Australia and New Zealand. The gallery sector is diverse, covering major cultural institutions, regional galleries, artist run initiatives, contemporary art spaces and of course, most importantly, artists themselves – this is an opportunity for them to collectively ask what is the role of the cultural space in our times.

Art & Artists will present a lively program including panel discussions, workshops, a summit dinner and other networking events. The program is released and registration open.

Dates: 18-21 March

Venue: Carriageworks, Sydney (NSW)

Details on speakers and registration visit mgnsw.org.au

MuseumNext Australia

The international conference MuseumNext is coming back to Australia in March for three days, after its success last year in Melbourne with a record 350 delegates.  With the tagline of showcasing the best in museum practice today to shine a light on the museum of tomorrow, this conference will feature vigorous dialogue, ideas and workshops exploring the future of the world’s museums in the digital era.

Dates: 19 – 21 March

Venue: Brisbane

To register and details: www.museumnext.com

Museums Galleries Australia’s National Conference

The Museums Galleries Australia’s National Conference, will held at the heritage (former) Meat Market in Melbourne in June. Bringing together current and future leaders and decision-makers in museums, galleries and governments from across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, the conference will be an outstanding three-day experience for all. This is the leading opportunity for organisations and supporters to participate in this flagship event for the galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) sector.

The MGA2018 conference will include a full program of speakers, workshops, masterclasses, social activities and extended tours, with multiple opportunities for interaction between delegates and sponsors and for showcasing products and services. In addition to the conference there will be several tie-in events targeted at emerging professionals, and at investigating convergence and future pathways for working professionals and academics within museum and gallery organisations and individual artists and practitioners.

Dates: 4 - 7 June

Venue: Meat Market, Melbourne (VIC)

Details: http://mga2018.org.au/

Artlands 2018

Celebrating 20 years in 2018, Artlands is the biennial event that shines a national spotlight on Australia’s regional arts.

Scheduled by Regional Arts Australia to circulate around the country among its member organisations, Artlands was last presented by Regional Arts Victoria in 2004 as Meeting Place in Horsham.

It returns to the state again this year, hosted by the cities of Bendigo and Castlemaine,

The 2018 Artlands Victoria tagline is “sharing knowledge, trading resources and exchanging gifts at a time of ceremony and gathering”.

Dates: 10-14 October

Venue: Bendigo and Castlemaine, Victoria

Registration and details: https://artlands.com.au/

ArtState 2018

Artstate is a four-year program of conversations, partnerships and opportunities for regional artists and arts organisations. Its aim is to demonstrate the vibrancy of the arts sector in regional areas through a stimulating and inspiring two-day conference program alongside an exciting and diverse arts program that will feature a selection of regional NSW creatives.

Bathurst has been named the host city for 2018, in partnership with regional arts development organisation Arts Outwest.

Artstate is produced by Regional Arts NSW in partnership with the network of 14 Regional Arts Development Organisations.

Dates: 1-4 November

Venue: Bathurst, NSW

Registration and details: http://www.artstate.com.au/

20th International Conference on Cultural Economics

RMIT University is hosting the 20th International Conference on Cultural Economics, presented by the Association for Cultural Economics International (ACEI). The program chair is Prof. Alan Collins (University of Portsmouth, UK), ACEI president-elect.

Conference themes include: creative industries, technological disruption in the arts, international trade in art and culture, cultural festivals, network structures in the arts, culture and sustainable development, digital participation, big data in the arts and culture, sport economics, artistic labour markets, arts and cultural organisations, creative cities, funding the arts, cultural heritage, art markets, the economics of food and wine, Indigenous art and culture, performing arts, valuing the arts… and more!

A Call for Papers is currently open until 31 January 2018. The conference welcomes the insights and contributions from professionals, arts practitioners, policy makers and arts administrators in developing a fruitful dialogue that connects theory with practice.

Dates: 26-29 June 2018

Venue: RMIT, Melbourne

Details: http://sites.rmit.edu.au/acei2018/

Conferences beyond the silo

Semi Permanent

Semi Permanent brings together internationally creative thinkers and renowned leaders to share their work and insights over three days at Carriageworks.

The 2018 program includes Scott Dadich (former WIRED Editor-in-Chief and Executive Producer of Netflix series Abstract: The Art of Design), Alex Schleifer (Head of Design at Airbnb), Australian motion designer Joyce Ho, and Nike sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield. Hosted by Sydney letterist and graphic designer Gemma O’Brien.

Dates: 24-26 May

Venue: Carriageworks, Sydney (NSW)

Registration and details: www.semipermanent.com/

Video Junkee 2018

Video Junkee is a two-day celebration of creativity and innovation in video, partnering with leading platforms Foxtel, YouTube, Netflix, BuzzFeed, SBS On Demand and ABC iView to present a series of talks, panels, screenings, masterclasses and awards that bring together world-leading and emerging Australian content creators to discuss the Golden Age of video.

Video Junkee is produced by Junkee Media and presented with the support of Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.

Dates: July 2018

Venue: Carriageworks

For details visit carriageworks.com.au

Ideas Festivals

All About Women

For the sixth year running, Sydney Opera House's talks and ideas festival All About Women celebrates International Women's Day with a full day of discussions and events. Be inspired and challenged by remarkable guests discussing the latest thinking on intersectionality, #metoo, Trump, climate justice, and the curious and contested politics of singledom and relationships.

Curated by Edwina Throsby, formerly the TEDxSydney Head of Curation and founder and producer of ABC's Big Ideas, the 2018 program expands far beyond talks. This year's festival offers talks and discussions, live podcasts, lessons in pickling and gin distilling, exploring the ability of food to bring like-minded people together.

Date: 4 March 2018

Venue: Sydney Opera House, NSW

For tickets and details: All About Women

Loud and Luminous: International Women's Day at the symposium

Touching on a range of topics with the overarching theme of empowering women, Loud and Luminous is a symposium and exhibition to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Date: 8 March

Venue: Melbourne, (venue TBC)

Details: www.loudandluminous.com.au

Antidote Festival

Antidote is a festival of ideas, art and action. It builds on the Sydney Opera House’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas, which it replaced in 2017.

Every speaker and artist has put their reputation (and in some cases body) on the line, fighting for what they believe in. They’ve used their art, thinking and attitude to create the change they want to see in the world.

Date: September (details yet to be released)

Venue: Sydney Opera House, NSW

For tickets and details: Antidote Festival

VIVID Ideas 2018

Vivid is a festival of Ideas, Light and Music presented by Destination NSW in partnership with the City of Sydney and key venues. It is the largest festival of its kind in the world.

Alongside the spectacular site-responsive light works across Sydney, a month long program of panel talks, masterclasses and keynote speakers is presented.

Dates: 25 May to 16 June.

Venue: Various 

The program is yet to be released but visit www.vividsydney.com later in the year for more details.

SCCI Fashion Hub

Launching in April this year, the Sherman Centre for Culture & Ideas (SCCI) will present its first program in 2018 with a focus on contemporary fashion.

Dr Gene Sherman, Founder and Executive Director of SCCI, said, 'Our aim is to provide a vibrant platform for the exchange of the most challenging and engaging ideas on architecture and fashion, within the broader context of culture. Fashion, in particular, has lacked serious attention as a sophisticated, intellectually rich and multifaceted mode of creative expression. Through SCCI, we seek to elevate it to a more prominent position alongside other artforms, and begin a conversation that is long past due.’

Three headline speakers anchor the first iteration of the SCCI Fashion Hub program, which encompasses more than 40 separate events. Hailing from France, India and Japan and collectively signalling fashion history, design and publishing, transnational boundaries blur and East meets West as Emmanuel Coquery, Akira Minagawa and Bandana Tewari’s thinking collide in a mash-up that expands outward through the SCCI Fashion Hub's duration. 

It will be complimented by a Deep Dive Forum into the topic through the prism of words, ethics and craftsmanship. 

The inaugural SCCI Fashion Hub will be a two-week program presented in partnership with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

Dates: 5-21 April

Venues: SCCI Foundation, Paddington (NSW) and other Sydney venues

Tickets and details: Full programme details, calendar of events and tickets available 16 February 2018. See scci.org.au for details.


MPavilion’s program continues until 11 February 2018, before packing up and reprogramming to return later in the year in October for its fifth edition.

MPavilion is described as a civic space and cultural laboratory that is a meeting place in which to experiment with ideas. Each year an internationally renowned architect is invited to design the temporary pavilion in Melbourne’s botanic gardens. It is presented by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation.

Dates: Catch it before 11 February

Details of events: http://mpavilion.org/

International culture conferences

International Conference of Arts and Health

Art Education Committee/Chinese Adult Education Association and CAET journal are proud to announce its first International Conference of Arts and Health (ICAH) to be held in Amsterdam in 2018. 

The Netherlands, with expertise in healthcare system and its tradition in art innovation, will be the first country to host for ICAH. The first ICAH will bring the experts and leaders from both China and Europe for a dialogue over the arts and health in modern society from different perspectives: Eastern and Western, Art and Science. Keynotes, workshops and special exhibitions will be presented and involve professionals and the public in this three-day event.

Date: 7-9 May 2018

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Website: International Conference of Arts and Health

ICACM 2018: 20th International Conference on Arts and Cultural Management

The ICACM 2018: 20th International Conference on Arts and Cultural Management aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results about all aspects of Arts and Cultural Management. It also provides the premier interdisciplinary forum for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns, practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted in the field of Arts and Cultural Management.

Dates:12-13 March

Venue: Miami, USA

Details: www.waset.org

CFP: 24th International Symposium on Electronic Art

24th International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA2018) and the 5th Arts and Design Digital Festival (Digifest5) will be held in June this year. ISEA is one of the world’s most prominent international arts and technology events, bringing together scholarly, artistic, and scientific domains in an interdisciplinary discussion and showcase of creative productions applying new technologies in art, interactivity, and electronic and digital media.

The ISEA2018 theme of Intersections positions creative technological innovation as an activist engagement into public space and public practice. Creative collaboration between artists, artisans, designers, technologists, entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and inventors will take place in a context where survival is the most basic instigator for solutions. In such a scenario, technological developments follow and support these solutions. In addition, the role of the artist is essential in providing opportunities to build new and exciting interactions between people and place.

Dates: 23-30 June, 2018

Venue: Durban University of Technology, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Details: www.isea-international.org/isea2018                        

Thirteenth International Conference on The Arts in Society

The 13th International Conference on the Arts in Society features research addressing the following annual themes: arts education, art theory and history, new media technology and the arts, and social and political adgenas. The special focus of 2018 is How Art Makes Things Happen—Situating Social Practice in Research, Practice, and Action

Dates: 27-29 June

Venue: Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, Canada

Details: artsinsociety.com

The Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities 2018

With the theme - "Recentering: Asian Spaces, Cultures and Ideas in the 21st Century" - The Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities 2018, is an interdisciplinary conference that will be held in Kobe, Japan this year.

Scholars and students of the humanities have long questioned the extent to which shifts in formations of power – empires, countries, regions, cities – resonate through cultural practices that centre on literary and aesthetic meaning, expression and representation.

Can the humanities find new life in multi- or cross-disciplinary frameworks? How can they survive the dominant trend towards more marketable or “useful” forms of education? What is central to the humanities? Should older disciplines such as Literature and Aesthetics reinvent themselves as it be Cultural Studies?

Dates: 30 March – 1 April

Venue: Hyōgo Prefectural Museum of Art & Art Center Kobe, Kobe, Japan

Visit acah.iafor.org for details.

No image supplied

Gina Fairley

Monday 29 January, 2018

About the author

Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW.

Twitter: @ginafairley
Instagram: fairleygina