WMCAT converts conference to eight-month virtual series


The West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology is converting its planned in-person, two-day conference on community prosperity to a mostly virtual, eight-month series.

The West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT) on Monday opened registration for WMCAT 20/20: Exploring Conflicting Visions for the Future, a mostly virtual, eight-month series that will run October 2020 through May 2021.

Originally created to be a two-day, in-person immersive conference, WMCAT 20/20 was postponed in June due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The reimagined format will have the same focus as originally planned with conversations around community prosperity and engaging divergent viewpoints, an approach WMCAT said feels “even more urgent” given the current global health crisis.

“The time is now to advance community prosperity,” said Daniel Williams, president and CEO at WMCAT. “The conversations and engagements at the heart of WMCAT 20/20 feel more relevant now than ever. The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the cracks in community prosperity, the systemic barriers to equitable health and economic outcomes, and the need for constructive, respectful and informed conversations. We cannot delay this important event, and we cannot assume that we will be able to gather a large group in person in the coming months.”


Keynote speakers such as Manuel Pastor, Jim Wallis and B.A. Parker will be featured. Participants can expect to engage in the content up to six hours each month.

Registered attendees will receive preparatory resources and a framework for engagement via email at the end of October with a monthly rhythm beginning in November and continuing through May:

  • Virtual community meetings from noon-1:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month, with a featured keynote speaker, discussion and announcements
  • Pop-up breakout engagements each month, such as panel discussions, performances and guided conversations
  • Monthly emailed resources and prompts for individual reflection and online community discussion
  • Participants also will receive a curated engagement kit during the series with special treats and learning materials.

Tickets purchased for the original two-day conference will be converted to the new, eight-month series.

Event details can be found at wmcat2020.org.

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