Connecting and Reflecting

Designed by The Aspen Institute

Join a small group of peers each day during the Summit—your community within the community—for a chance to step back from day-to-day concerns and reflect collectively on the core values of our work. What do we believe, and why do we believe it? Why do we do what we do? Share your experiences and questions and learn by listening to the insights of colleagues from around the country.


What to Expect in a Seminar Discussion

Welcome to Seminars at the ArtPlace Summit. What does a good society look like, and what is our role in helping create it? The Aspen Institute has crafted a special program for the ArtPlace Summit with the aim of deepening our reflection, synthesizing what we learn in other sessions, and forging unbreakable connections among us.

The short readings on the following pages will provide the starting point for our discussions. Seminars are reflective explorations in which we engage both head and heart. The aim is not to teach or persuade, but explore the contours of our inner personal and professional lives through a collaborative journey. There are no right or wrong answers—the seminar is not a class but a laboratory of ideas, experiences, and values in which conversation and mutual engagement lead the way.

Be sure to bring your conference booklet along with you- it contains all the readings.



Session I: Cooperation and Communion
Mary Oliver, Gratitude
Louise Erdrich, Revival Road (excerpt)
Margaret Walker, For My People

Session II: Nourishment and the Gift
Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing (excerpt)
Lewis Hyde, The Gift (excerpt)

Click here for the full Summit agenda with seminar readings.


Our hashtag throughout the summit is #ArtPlaceSummit. For more details and live updates go to the ArtPlace Summit Guidebook App.