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The Top 5 Reasons to Attend the NOW Conference Live

The NOW Conference is the world’s largest online conference for K–12 art educators. It’s one of our favorite ways to bring thousands of members of our art teacher community together to share inspiring ideas, chat with people who genuinely understand each other, and rejuvenate both personally and professionally.

The NOW Conference takes place online over three days. On Day 1, attendees come together for the Conference Kickoff, which includes games, prizes, and live artmaking sessions. Day 2 is the Main Event, where attendees can listen to presentations from inspiring art educators and our keynote speaker. On Day 3 and beyond, attendees can access the After Pass to revisit any sessions from Day 2 and dive into hours of additional asynchronous learning.

Art teachers are busy, so we’ve developed multiple ways to consume NOW content. If you can’t make the Conference Kickoff or Main Event—don’t worry! You can sign up and watch asynchronously on your own time for an entire year after the conference date. Watch on your own during lunch or prep, or get together with a group of colleagues and utilize NOW during scheduled PD time!

However, we highly recommend attending live, even for a bit if you’re available. There are so many benefits to being present during the event.

Here are the top five reasons to attend the NOW Conference live.

1. Interact directly with expert presenters.

Amanda and Tim interviewing celebrated author, Peter Reynolds
Amanda and Tim interviewing the celebrated author, Peter Reynolds.

Have you ever wanted to ask a well-known artist, author, or educator a question? You’ll have the chance to at the NOW Conference! All presenters, including our renowned featured presenters, are available in the live chat on the day of the conference. Ask our featured presenters about their work, processes, sources of inspiration, and more. Ask our expert educators about their management tips, instructional strategies, and teaching techniques. Or simply use the conference as an opportunity to thank our presenters for sharing their expertise.

2. Experience the energy of the art teacher community.

Do you know how when you get together with a group of art teachers, you instantly feel like friends? It feels like you could talk for hours about anything and everything art ed. With over a thousand art teachers just like you gathered together, the chat during the main event is on fire. You’ll have the chance to ask questions and get support from people who are going through exactly what you are! Use the chat to share stories, seek and give support, and enjoy professional development that’s finally just for art teachers. The ideas, camaraderie, and community generated by the chat will help give you the energy to reset, refresh, and tackle whatever the school year brings.


To learn more about the NOW Conference, including how to register for the next event, click here


3. Explore new resources in real time.

While the chat is a wonderful place to network and get to know other art teachers, it also contains a treasure trove of resources. AOEU team members post relevant articles, podcasts, links, and downloads during each presentation. All attendees get access to a copy of the chat in the After Pass. However, attending live allows you to explore all the extras in context with the presentations and ongoing conversations.

4. Spend time with people who truly understand.

Tim and Amanda laughing on brightly colored Zoom backgrounds
Just a typical art teacher hangout!

Once again, the NOW Conference is created exclusively for art teachers by art teachers! Enjoy art teacher humor, interesting commentary, and insider information with hosts Tim Bogatz and Amanda Heyn and the entire art teacher community. You can follow along in the chat and on social media with the hashtag #nowconference. You’ll find even more conversations, fun photos of everyone’s conference setup, and a community of people sharing ideas and artwork.

5. Set aside dedicated time to make art.

The Conference Kickoff and Main Event are full of opportunities to flex your creative muscles. Grab your favorite sketchbook and art materials and join in the fun! Follow along with presenters while you learn new techniques, explore exciting processes, and feed your artistic soul.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing!

Even if you can’t attend all day, jump in when you can! Maybe you can only participate in the morning or afternoon. Perhaps you can only squeeze in the featured presenter. Maybe in this season of life, all you can do is check the #nowconference hashtag on social to catch snippets of what’s going on. That’s okay! Come and be a part of the community for however long you can. Remember, you can catch up afterward for an entire year with the After Pass.

The NOW Conference is one of the best places to spend time with your art teacher community. We’re so happy we can provide the After Pass for those who can’t join us live. It’s a wonderful way to move through conference content at your own pace in a way that best fits your schedule. However, if you can join us live for the Conference Kickoff or Main Event, even for a bit, we’d love to have you! We can’t wait to see you!

Learn more about NOW and how to sign up for the next event right here!

What is your favorite part of the NOW Conference?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.

Amanda Heyn is AOEU’s Director of K–12 PD & Media and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She enjoys creating relevant and engaging professional development just for art teachers.

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