In December of 2018, 70+ arts and culture stakeholders gathered at the Weidner Center to discuss the arts and culture community at large. This was a “no barrier” to entry event, free and inclusive. The invitation was to anyone who identified in the following ways:

A culture maker in our community;
An artist in our community;
An arts educator in our community;
A community arts organization leader in our community;
An arts support or advocate in our community;
An arts administrator in our community;
A presenter in our community;
From a surrounding area that has expressed interest in partnering in our community;
You also might be a person that someone said “You MUST invite so and so.” And so we did;
Many of you are several of the above listed things, that’s cool.

At the first of what became 12 subsequent convenings, we scratched the surface about topics we’d like to explore further: Collaboration and Building Meaningful Partnerships, Networking, Funding, Thinking Differently About Our Work, Communication, and Sharing Resources. But what we heard loud and clear is that folks wanted more of this.

This no- barrier- to- entry group has evolved into ArtSquad and is meant to be as inclusive and collaborative as possible.

It also became clear that there needed to be a smaller body of arts and culture professionals that could articulate the needs of the arts and culture sector to outside entities. Thus, BAACA was created, comprised of a combination of elected and appointed members.