I would like to add the list of why I think the list is down in terms of involvement.
1. A lack of new challenging topics to talk about. I think as art educators we need to be talking about things such as curriculum development, mapping, connections between elementary, middle and high school curricula, how to save the art departments from decimation, how to write grants, how to get release time to hang art shows, how to get support from our academic colleagues to the importance of what our kids are doing, etc, etc, etc.
2. Most of us are used to being lone voices in our schools. I am lucky to be in a school with 3 other art teachers, so we can discuss many of these important issues. Since we are lone voices, we tend to accept things as they are, figuring we have no support, or plan B. We should be discussing Plan B's and how to get them. How do you fund field trips, for example? If you can't go on field trips, then why? If you have no supervisor to support you or to help you get through the maze of administration and board policy, then how do you get your voice heard? Those are the kinds of meaty issues I think we should tackle. I hear some of that when the iPod issues are discussed, where some teachers have taken on the ban and plead their cases. We should take that same kind of passion and plead for more money for supplies, field trips, access to money for artists in residence, display cases, more space for storage, no more art on a cart for elementary teachers, etc, etc, etc.
3. As for negative feedback, my mantra has always been : you can't push my buttons because you didn't install them. Don't get taken off course by someone who has posted to you publically or privately negative or insulting comments. They certainly don't know YOU.