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Arts & Entertainment

Cultures conference set for August

| Friday, July 1, 2005

Cultural leaders from around the nation will convene here in August to plan the future of multicultural arts in America.

Local arts leaders Bill Strickland, president of the Manchester Craftsman's Guild and Justin Laing, the assistant director of Pittsburgh's Nego Gato Inc. will be among the keynote speakers when the 10th biennial conference of The Association of American Cultures scheduled for Aug. 18-21. The conference will take place at the Pittsburgh Hilton Hotel, the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, the Society for Contemporary Craft, the Carnegie Museum of Art and other venues in Pittsburgh's Cultural District.

The conference's goal is to start a national dialog within the multicultural arts community on how to make the arts a catalyst for social change.

"We want to light a fire under our constituency to begin planning our future," says Louis LeRoy, chairman of the board of The Association of American Cultures based in Yuma, Ariz. "We want to use the arts to bring about positive social change and to mobilize artists to deal with social issues like high dropout rates among the ethnic communities and unemployment."

About 200 members arts agencies, tribal leaders, and ethnic, cultural and youth organizational staff and volunteers are expected to attend.

The Association of American Cultures and the Preserving Diverse Cultures Division of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts will sponsor the event.

Details: Dana Payne at 412-607-9938; The Association of American Cultures at 928-783-1757 or www.taac.com .

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