Breakouts & Sessions

In this challenging and changing environment many of us seek new strategies to sustain our mission, tighten our belts, or even reinvent programs.

WAA’s professional development program addresses these challenges by offering educational programs taught by leaders in the field on subjects that range from building critical core knowledge to finding new approaches, techniques, and tactics. Through these workshops, forums, panels, speakers, publications, and mentoring, WAA seeks to strengthen your ability to fulfill your organization’s mission, accomplish goals, and advance your career.

New Colleagues Orientation

Sponsored by: NAPAMA & APAP

Monday, August 31 from 2:15 pm - 3:30 pm
Room TBD

Make immediate connections at the New Colleagues Orientation, a great resource for someone attending the WAA conference for the first time and for any attendee looking for guidance in navigating the week. Come learn from established WAA members and share with new conference delegates about how to set attainable goals, where to start, and how to maximize your conference experience.

Opening Plenary: Annual Awards Ceremony & Keynote Address

Sponsored by: Broadway Center for the Performing ArtsEdmonds Center for the Arts, and Seattle Theater Group

Monday, August 31 from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Stanley Park Ballroom

Be sure to join us for WAA's Annual Awards Ceremony! Come be inspired by what your WAA member colleagues have accomplished as we acknowledge their commitment to serving the performing arts community. Awards are granted in the areas of mentoring, service, innovation, and leadership. 

Each year WAA hosts a Keynote Address to kick off the conference. You won't want to miss out on the new and thought-provoking ideas presented by our special guest speaker, as you'll hear these ideas resurface in conversation for the rest of the week. Past guests include Alan Pierson, Mark O'Connor, Daniel Catán, Robert Egger, Sherman Alexie, Midori, Libby Appel, Terrance Blanchard, and Jaron Lanier.

Roundtables, Workshops & Panels


Tuesday, September 1 from 10:30am - 11:30am
Various Rooms

Workshops & Panels

Wednesday, September 2 from 2:15pm - 3:45pm
Various Rooms

Additional Roundtables, Workshops & Panels are scheduled during the conference and included in the price of registration. These sessions are less formal and more discipline-based and issue-driven. Popular sessions have included Scaling the House: Pricing, Deals & Strategy; Are You In Jeopardy? Risk Assessment & Crisis Planning for Arts Orgs; ¿Qué Pasa en México? and Listening to the Future of the Arts. You can also participate in peer-initiated roundtables—informal and informative sessions proposed and lead by the delegates themselves.

Private Consultations

Wednesday, September 2 from 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Each year a select group of grant-makers, consultants, and other professionals volunteer their time to hold one-on-one meetings with individual conference attendees.