2005 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Summary Report, Open Dialogue Ten, Pittaburgh, PA

The Association of American Cultures and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts present this conference report summary and sincerely thank all our sponsors for your support for Open Dialogue X, Symposium on Cultural Diversity in the Arts. This biennial gathering of The Association of American Cultures (TAAC) took place August 18-21, 2005, in Pittsburgh, PA, and celebrated 20 years of history for TAAC. This year's theme, The Arts as a Catalyst for Change, brought together more than 200 participants and was co-presented by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Preserving Diverse Cultures Division.

Despite a hotel conference facility with nonfunctioning air conditioning in hot August weather, the conferees of all ages and from many parts of America forged on and successfully concluded a four-day conference with 12 workshops; 3 peer sessions; as many as 60 plenary speakers, panelists and workshop presenters; 10 special events with 17 performing arts ensembles, and an East Coast film premiere!

Our experienced and passionate major speakers included Dr. Barbara Nicholson from the Martin Luther King Arts Complex in Columbus, Ohio; TAAC co-founder Bill Strickland from the Manchester Craftsman's Guild in Pittsburgh; Francene Blythe from National Geographic's All Roads Film Project; Norman Bristol Colon from the PA Governor's Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs, and Justin Laing from Nego Gato, a Brazilian capoeira ensemble.

Recognized leaders in the field presented new insights and skill sessions on wide ranging panels including topics such as Cultural Tourism, The Business of Touring the Arts, Let's Get Political: How & Why You Should get Involved, WESTAF's Multicultural Initiative, and Artists, Arts Organizations & Global Issues.

Supporters included national, regional and state arts agencies, as well as private foundations. Please see the following list of grant and in-kind supporters. The Planning Committee from TAAC represented Arizona, Washington, Nebraska, Texas, Illinois and Washington, D.C. and worked with PCA representatives from Pennsylvania and North Carolina.


Open Dialogue X Conference Supporters


  • Americans for the Arts ($5,000)
  • Arts Midwest ($750)
  • Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Pittsburgh ($1,500)
  • The Heinz Endowments ($15,000)
  • The Illinois Arts Council ($15,000)
  • Mid America Arts Alliance ($2,000)
  • Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation ($2,500)
  • Ohio Arts Council ($2,000)
  • North Carolina Arts Council ($1,000)
  • Pennsylvania Council on the Arts ($30,000)
  • Pittsburgh Foundation Multicultural Arts Initiative ($13,700)
  • Texas Commission on the Arts ($2,500)
  • Washington State Arts Commission ($1,000)
  • Western States Arts Federation ($2,000)



  • African American Cultural Center of Greater Pittsburgh
  • Center for Arts Management & Technology, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Carnegie Museum of Art
  • Diversity Inc.
  • Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • The Hilton Pittsburgh
  • Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild
  • Native American Public Telecommunications
  • Society for Contemporary Craft
  • The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
  • Women of Vision, Pittsburgh