The Making of the TCG National Conference, PART 3: So, where do you come in?

By Devon Berkshire posted 10-10-2019 16:50


2019_TCG_Block_Party_0080.jpg2019 TCG National Conference: MIAMI, photo by Jenny Graham

For a little more context on what our programming at the 2020 TCG National Conference is going to look like and why, visit Part 1 and Part 2 of this mini-series.

billmurphy.gifEvery year we, the TCG Conference team, get inquiries from folks in the field and beyond, asking how they might participate, add value, or be of use to us – which are the kinds of humble questions that we love because they show us you care! 

Here are the avenues for becoming involved in the Conference from a programming perspective: 

  1. Submit a session! We send almost everyone with an idea to our content proposal form. If you hope to speak, include yourself as a speaker, and if you don’t but you have a session idea, submit it anyway. Do your best to come up with a title and description that encapsulates your current aspirations for the session, but know that it can certainly change between December (when the submission form is due) and the Conference in June. (Pro tip: we rarely devote an entire session to a single theatre’s model or case study, so if you’ve got something jazzy going on, best to create an umbrella topic and find like-minded folks to share the room with. That, or leave it to us to do the matchmaking.) All of the information about how to submit is located in our session proposal form (set to be released on October 15th).

  2. Send us an email ( and let us know if you’d like to be part of the next (2020-21) Programming Council, or if you’d like to be considered for an open facilitation role of some kind at the Phoenix Conference – we always need skilled peer facilitators, so proactively letting us know that’s you and you’re available is a huge help to us.

  3. Have a low-tech show to present, or a reading or workshop to propose? Submit it to us via the content proposal form; it’s our main collection point of ideas and will ensure that yours doesn’t get lost. We do produce “TCG exclusive” shows sometimes during the Conference, but we’re limited on high-value production funds for anything outside of our core programming. This is a great option for host city locals!

  4. What if you miss the December 16 deadline for the content proposal form? We’re bringing back Open Space sessions in real time at the Conference. Come prepared with an interesting framework for a discussion, and offer it up as an option for folks to sign up and join you, all while on site in Phoenix.

  5. Are you an industry consultant shop or vendor? The best avenue for offering content is to sign up as an Exhibitor or Sponsor, in which case you are guaranteed at least one session that you are welcome to lead/curate. Our team works closely with you to ensure it’s in harmony with our other content offerings.

  6. Know an amazing place in or near Phoenix that we should lift up, or travel to? Or an Arizona person we should connect with? Is that you? We’re always on the lookout for dynamic local experiences that engage with artists, or other folks in the cultural community, even statewide. Bring it on and send us an idea to

I haven’t even mentioned Pre-Conferences and Post-Conferences, which will be announced with the launch of Registration in January. There will be opportunities to participate in those as well; when you see them launched and you think you might have something to offer, drop us a note and we’ll connect you with the TCG colleague leading that event.

spongebob.gifIf you just want to attend but are unaffiliated, not institutionally supported, or otherwise can’t afford a full rate, there are so many possibilities, between scholarships, subsidies, and volunteers. Those opportunities will all launch with Registration, and we’re always here to talk you through the options, as it’s a lot of information. You’d be surprised how many people of the nearly 1,000 who attend we converse with personally about their attendance. (Hint: a lot of them.)

I know lengthy blog series like this don’t do much to deter the notion that the TCG Conference is overwhelming, but it’s only to illustrate the array of possibilities before you. Feel free to take us up on any of them, or none of them. Whatever you do, we hope you’ll consider joining us at our 30th National Conference, from June 4-6 in Phoenix: our first in the desert (don’t worry, it’s a dry heat), and one that we hope will be a sign of exciting changes to come, for our field, and for the world at large.