Dear colleagues,

VRA 31 continues the tradition of offering exceptional professional development experiences and opportunities that feature inspiring programs, speakers and special events.  The 2013 Visual Resources Association‘s Annual Conference will be held April 3-6 in Providence, Rhode Island, the “Creative Capital.”

“Capitalizing on Creativity” is the theme chosen for VRA 31.  Providence, historically a haven for freedom, non-conformity, and innovation, provides an ideal setting for professional engagement (and interesting walks). Conference organizers, Steven Kowalik and Cindy Abel Morris, working with the local arrangements group, have planned an informative and stimulating program of sessions, meetings, and entertaining events. The conference program offers popular formats as well as exciting new conference experiences, with highlights including:

  • Distinguished plenary speakers: art historian, author, and critic James Elkins, and accomplished aerial photographer Alex MacLean
  • Relevant and thought-provoking sessions and case studies on subjects covering archaeological and public art resources, teaching with new technologies, digital asset management, collaborative ventures, facilities design, visual literacy, documenting indigenous art, archival digitization, the digital humanities, and data visualization
  • Unconventional VRACamp, based on the unconference model of an informal participant-driven workshop that seeks to build community among curators, librarians, archivists, technologists, vendors, and more and provide a forum for spontaneous conversation, the launching of innovative ideas, and the sowing of seeds for future collaboration
  • Critical skill-building workshops (including two FREE workshops) covering presentation skills, embedded metadata, broadening access to content, and enhancing Photoshop techniques
  • Stimulating Opening Reception, New Members and First Time Attendees Breakfast, Members and Awards Dinner, Sponsors Event, and Business Meeting Breakfast in the grand and elegant rooftop spaces of the historic Biltmore Hotel
  • Memorable off-site entertainment planned by the Local Committee and designed to highlight the lively culture, New England hospitality and the creative cuisine of our host city Providence
  • Traditional mainstays continue with Committee and Chapter meetings, as well as Special Interest/Special User Group meetings and Birds of a Feather luncheons
  • Fascinating FREE morning architectural walking tours with local guides and experts, conveniently scheduled so as not to conflict with the conference programs

image courtesy of the Providence Biltmore Hotel

Our conference hotel is the historic Providence Biltmore, located in the heart of the downtown, just blocks from the train and bus stations, both of which connect up with the airport just a few miles south of Providence.  The hotel is a five minute walk from RISD and another five to ten minutes up the hill to Brown University.  The Biltmore was constructed as a distinctive luxury hotel in 1922 in a Beaux-Arts style and is today listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The rooftop Grand Ballroom offers sweeping views of this city of many bridges, waterways and architectural gems, including the stately Neoclassical Rhode Island State House built around the turn of the century in gleaming white marble.

There are unique and interesting restaurants in every direction within walking distance from the hotel, whether you are looking for lively bistros popular with students (Thayer Street) or quiet and elegant dining experiences (Federal Hill).  Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Join us for an exciting conference in early April
in the “Creative Capital” Providence, Rhode Island!

photo by Stephanie Izzo

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