About Us

How Does It Work?

The Artist Conference is a network of local communities of artists trained in the coaching structure. They coach each other weekly towards their goals and share their creative work at meetings every two to three weeks. The structure is equally effective for amateurs and professionals, and the communities welcome anyone working in any creative field of endeavor, even if you don’t call yourself an “artist”.

The journey begins at the annual Conference Weekend of a local or online group. This is when new members learn the A C N coaching practice and renewing members deepen their practice. At the Weekend, members create a vision for their creative work, set yearly and three-month goals and experience the breakthrough coaching process.

Then, the group is off and running for the next year! Goal partners coach each other weekly, and group members share their creative work every two to three weeks. Every three months, there is a Goal Completion Celebration which is open to family, friends and guests. Then, another three-month goal is set, and the creativity continues for a whole year until the next Conference Weekend.

How Do I Find a Group Near Me?

To find a group near you, go to the “Groups” tab and press the “Contact Us” button below your city to get in touch with the local group leaders. The best way to be introduced to the Artist Conference is through a Goal Completion Celebration, where you meet the group members, experience their work, and learn some of the coaching process. Upcoming Goal Completion Celebrations are listed under the “Events” tab.

If you look on the “Events” page and learn that the group near you just had their Conference Weekend, don’t despair! It’s possible to take a Conference Weekend in another city and then join your local group. Click here for more information.

If there is no group near you, we’ll help you set one up!

Also, we are starting an online group this year. Click here to inquire about either option.

What Does It Cost?

The Conference Weekend costs $345 for New Members and $310 for Renewing Members, which includes a year of breakthrough coaching sessions with a partner, monthly meetings to share creative work and Goal Completion Celebrations every three months!

Payment plans are available.

The Team

Kristen Anacker

Conference Coach and Chief Inspirational Officer

Kristen is a costume designer for movies and TV, living in Los Angeles from 1990 – 2015. She first took the Conference in 1989, and with the support of A C N, she began her career in film. She has been a Conference Coach since 1999, and she now leads the Sonoma Conference.

“My first three-month A C N goal was to move to Los Angeles, and I was scared! I am here only because of A C N. The structure is so simple, yet I remember wondering what we did before we spoke this language. It is truly amazing.”

Jean Anderson

President of Possibilities

Jean is a painter, printmaker and practitioner of healing arts. She lives in Weed, California, where she was a long-term group leader of the Mt. Shasta Conference. Jean has been a member of A C N since 1993 and served as a Conference Coach for ___ years.

“A C N works and keeps working. As familiar as I am with the Conference coaching structure and material, I keep discovering more. It continues to take me deeper into my creative work and my life. It is also a brilliant antidote for inertia!”

Marianne Connor

Conference Coach and Treasurer of Creative Community

Marianne is a writer/producer of feature films and documentaries and teaches screenwriting in Finland, Germany and Britain. She facilitates workshops on designing for evolutionary change for writers and business executives. She joined the Artist Conference in Philadelphia in 1996, led the Los Angeles Conference for several years, and now, she co-leads the Boston Conference. She has been a Conference Coach since 2009.

“Once I saw a colleague’s film get strongly “critiqued” at a screening. Afterwards, I ended up alone with him in an elevator going down — which is exactly what he was doing! Because of the practice I had learned through A C N, I was able to acknowledge his work in a way that was transformational. It opened up a magical space of creative possibility and connection for both of us. After I got off the elevator, I thought: Wow, this really IS a new culture for the arts!”

Donna Keegan

Conference Coach and Vice President of Fun and Fortune

Donna is a writer who also works as a private consultant, providing property marketing analysis and training services for rental communities. She customizes and designs programs and writes operating manuals for the property management industry. As an Advanced Certified Trainer for the National Apartment Association, she does designation training as well as formal and on-site training for leasing agents and managers for the property management industry. Most recently she is working as a recruitment coach assisting people to obtain desired positions. She is working on a play about taking care of aging parents.

She has been a Conference Coach for 20 years and was the Area Coordinator for the Conferences on the east coast for five years. She was a long-term Group Leader of a Philadelphia Conference.

Before participating in A C N, I never even thought of standing in front of a room full of people and being a trainer as a career. An entirely new and creative way to earn a living opened up for me out of the Conference, and it continues to open up new possibilities.

Lynne Prather

Conference Coach and Secretary of Form and Light

Lynne is a book artist and painter. She joined the Conference in 1997. She was a Leader of the Oakland Conference for seven years.

“When I began A C N, I had recently moved into a studio and wanted to work big, but the walls were daunting. A C N kept me working, bigger and bigger. I am blessed to be surrounded by artists who manifest possibilities and are committed to the creative possibilities of each other.”

Our Founder

“Some place within us all, aliveness stirs with innocent mischief. In this embarrassingly child-like place resides the source of our authenticity, our uniqueness, our sweetness, our vision, our maximum potential power. As we align our skills with our full creative power and vision, we gain access to mastery. In mastery, the target is hit before the arrow is released.”
Beverly Cassell

In Loving Memory

Our beloved founder and teacher, Beverly Cassell, who passed away on June 10, 2012, is shown here as we most often saw her, enjoying the company of creative beings like herself.

We will always miss her presence in our lives and commit to keeping the Conference alive and well for future artists.

Beverly Cassell founded the Artist Conference Network in 1983, after leaving her teaching post at the University of California Santa Cruz. She had gained a reputation as a master teacher, known for being able to teach anyone to draw. Her paintings are exhibited in galleries and museums internationally.

Her Manifesto:

“In the Artist Conference we come together as a community committed to designing an environment in which we nourish and sustain the creative process. We commit to supporting one another in having our creative work, our careers, and our lives be commensurate with our visions for the aliveness and well being of our beloved planet and its inhabitants.”