I attended the 2013 TCG (Theatre Communications Group) National Conference this past weekend (a super hectic weekend since I also volunteered to help with the late night party and opened DINOSAUR AND ROBOT STOP A TRAIN at the FIT).
It was the first time I had participated in a major conference like this. TCG is a national service organization for professional theatres in America. It primarily functions as a national forum and communications network for the country's regional (and similarily-sized) theatres.
The panels, workshops and presentations were all interesting, even though what I do with Audacity Theatre Lab and as an individual artist has little overlap with the challenges faced by LORT-size theatres.
The whole event was well-catered with receptions complete with open bars at places like the lobby of the City Performance Hall and the Nasher Sculpture Garden (there the menu was catered by Wolfgang Puck). I saw Will Power perform and later met him and had a great conversation about accessibility in one's work. I saw an except of a piece by performance artist Natasha Tsakos.
As nice as the official planned events were, especially the panel with Adrian Hall and the very rudimentary artist-as-entrepreneur workshop/discussion led by SMU's Jim Hart, the real benefit from the weekend was the in-between times. The breaks, meals and receptions when you could network and just introduce yourself and strike up a conversation... these were the best parts. I made a bunch of new contacts and, dare I say, friends. Especially nice was just interacting with a bunch of other Dallas-based theatre people. We hardly ever gather together since we are all running our own stuff. It was like a big family reunion with a lot of cousins you never get to see.
|Party at the Nasher|
Also nice was how the conference showed off Dallas's Arts District. I hadn't even really been down in that part of town before (or I should say, I had never spent time down there). The Wingspear, the City Performance Hall, Kyde Warren Park, the Nasher, food trucks, the Wyly, the Latino Cultural Center, the stage at the Booker T. Washington Performing Arts High School and so on. I live in a sweet city. The Arts District still is not too beneficial to my own art directly, but it does represent Dallas well as a performance arts oriented place.
Local arts blog Art & Seek did some nice coverage of TCG13... go HERE.
I posted a few photos from the event on my Flickr. See them HERE.