Open Engagement was founded in 2007 by artist Jen Delos Reyes, who held the first conference at The University of Regina. The conference moved with Delos Reyes to Portland State University, where it was planned in conjunction with the Art and Social Practice MFA program from 2010 – 2013. For Open Engagement 2014, the conference became mobile once more, moving to New York City, and then on to Pittsburgh in 2015. More information, including conference themes, keynote speakers, and contributors can be found in our Archives.
Over the years, Open Engagement has been made possible by invested students, educators, artists, community members, and local organizations and businesses, alongside the generous support of: A Blade of Grass, Arizona State University, Big Car Collective, Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Lewis and Clark College, Limerick School of Art and Design, OTIS College of Art and Design, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland Art Museum, Portland State University, Queens Museum, Regional Art and Culture Council, SPARC, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Southern Methodist University, The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Dunlop Art Gallery, The Heinz Foundation, The Office of Public Art, The School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University, The Sprout Fund, TriMet, University of Queensland, and University of Regina.