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From November 12-15, 2006, Boston was home to the annual Grantmakers In The Arts conference, this year called the 'Beantown Remix'. Held at the Omni Parker House, hundreds of representatives from nearly every major arts funding organization in the country converged on the city to discuss the future of arts funding, and to share ideas for improvement, advancement and implementation.

Big RED publisher Matthew Nash spent a day at the conference as a guest of the LEF Foundation, among a group of young artists representing Boston and the community LEF supports. This group included Dan Hirsh of Non-Event, Hiroko Kikuchi of the National Bitter Melon Council, Jeremy Liu, Meg Rotzel of the Berwick, and many others.

Nash attended sessions on "Exploring the Art and Practice of Online Collaboration" and "Arts Colleges and Conservatories: The Roles Explode," and the ideas shared will certainly affect the evolving nature of Big RED & Shiny.

The keynote speaker was Theresa Secord of the Penobscot Indian Nation, who spoke of the great successes being made in helping to preserve native ways. She spoke of her traditional basket-weaving, and how it was becoming an art-form that was engaging younger member of her community and keeping ancient traditions alive.

Equally as important at such conferences are the opportunities to discuss ideas one-on-one with the guests. The most exciting, by far, was the chance to talk with Bridget Murphy of Artadia about their new initiative in Boston. It was clear that Artadia is ready to make a strong commitment to the region, and that New England artists have responded overwhelmingly.

For more information on Grantmakers in the Arts, you can look at their website.

For The Boston Globe's take on the conference, read "Investing In The Arts" by Ann McQueen from the November 14th paper.

Big RED & Shiny would also like to that LEF Foundation, who have always been great supporters, for the invitation to attend the conference.

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