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The best part of the conference for me, besides the linkages and networking,
was not the conference, it was Washington. What a great city full of free
museums and cultural attractions. The Washington Hilton was not wonderful.
The rooms (sleeping) were very expensive, the meeting rooms overheated and
much too small, and many of the workshops/ presentations that I attended were
either far too theoretical and out of touch with the classroom, and the
selection, as a secondary school teacher, fairly limited to my everyday
I don't like the feeling that the conference is a money raiser for the NAEA.
Presenters get nothing, not even reduced registrations, Vendors are charged a
lot for a booth, many of the presentations charge a $25 fee which goes to
NAEA and not the presenter. If one adds up the numbers with 4000±
registrations, 240± vendor fees, advertising in the catalogue, fees for
workshops, etc., it comes to quite an income. I've been on state conference
committees and we have run successful conferences for much less money for the
participants and still have done much better than broken even. The National
Conference should be a nonprofit experience. It is part of what we pay our
dues for. I'm sorry that I can't help feeling that our association is making
big bucks from this endeavor.
It would be really great if the conference could be inexpensive enough so that
all art teachers could afford to attend. Registration fee should come with
membership and Hotels should discount the rooms below the normal fee for a
guarantee full booking. Presenters should be given a token honorarium and
handouts for workshops should be encouraged and provided by the organization.
Just had to get that off my chest. It's not a politically popular topic, but
our professional organization shouldn't be taking us for a monetary ride.
National conferences are wonderful opportunities to expand and explore the
field of art education but as our conference has grown over the past 30 years,
I feel our leadership has become more remote and out of touch with the
What do you think?