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General Sessions

Opening General Session & Keynote

Thursday, October 19 | 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

“Patriotism is standing up for justice for all.  Art brings us together and allows us to create conversations for us to go deeper.”

Nikkolas Smith, ARTivist, Concept artist, Children’s Books Author, and Film Illustrator, will keynote the opening general session of the AASL National Conference. As an illustrator of color, Nikkolas is focused on creating captivating art that can spark important conversations in today’s world and inspire meaningful change. Many of his viral and globally published sketches are included in his book Sunday Sketch: The Art of Nikkolas.

 “I’ve always loved making art, and always had a desire to help my community thrive. It started as art-as-therapy, but it became a way for me to paint the world I had always wanted to see, to not only see the broken bones of the world, but also find a way to fix them. I realized that is when my Art became Artivism. When one of my illustrations went viral and people began sharing it on signs all around the globe, I realized how connected we all are, and how powerfully art can inspire us to create a more fair and just society. I truly believe that each and every one of us is full of creativity. It is up to us to use those talents to call out what is broken and visualize a path forward that allows for true healing, equity, and inclusion.”

Coming Soon

Friday General Session

Friday, October 20

8:00 a.m.

Saturday General Session

Saturday, October 21

7:30 a.m.

Closing General Session

Saturday, October 21

3:30 p.m.