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Contact: Conference Director Rob Jensen at SECAC2021@uky.edu

Message from SECAC President Lawrence Jenkens:

Dear SECAC Members,
After some lengthy discussion and careful consideration, the SECAC Board of Directors voted to cancel our face-to-face conference in Lexington this November.  

The current uncertainty about near and mid-term course of the virus and the fact that positivity rates are very high right now in Kentucky, which has not implemented any health mandates to cope with the Delta variant, convinced the Board that it is not responsible to ask members to travel and gather this Fall.  I understand that this will disappoint many of you who were looking forward to presenting your creative and scholarly research in person as well as excited about seeing folks we haven't in person for a long time now.  It is not feasible logistically or financially to move the Lexington meeting to an online platform this Fall.  SECAC is committed, however, to continuing to serve our members in every way we can.  The Executive Committee is meeting again very soon with Conference Director Rob Jensen to discuss what parts of the conference program we might salvage and how and what activities that normally take place at the annual meeting might happen virtually (including the awards ceremony with the announcements of the Artist's Fellowship and Levin Award winners, the Members' Business Meeting, and perhaps the mentorship program).  Rob will be in touch shortly with his own message and information about the Members' and Fellowship Artist exhibitions.  
So much work has gone into this conference, and I want, in particular, to thank Rob and his colleagues at UK who had put together an amazing program of sessions and events and Christine Tate who, as always, has worked tirelessly to support the conference director and our members.  
I would also like to ask you, as a member, for any ideas you might have about how we memorialize this conference and credit those who had sessions and papers selected and were prepared to present their work this Fall.  This is especially important for members who are counting on their conference presentations to be part of dossiers for promotion and/or tenure.  I am particularly interested in hearing from our department chairs on this topic and how SECAC can help.
It was a solemn moment for the Board when we reached this decision, and I communicate it to you with real regret.  SECAC will nonetheless move forward; we are here to serve you and all our colleague members.
I wish you all a safe and productive Fall, and I will be in touch again as soon as possible.

A. Lawrence Jenkens
SECAC President
Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth