ART Conference 2012 will include New Orleans service project

Accessories Resource Team, the association for the home accent and accent furniture industry, will hold its 20th annual 20th Annual Art Conference, New Orleans, La.conference May 17-20, 2012 at the Ritz Carlton, New Orleans, La., the group announced.

This year's program will incorporate more speakers and, for the first time, conference attendees will participate in a community project.

Speakers include John Gidding, the host of HGTV's Curb Appeal: The Block, who will present "The Role of Accessories in Curb Appeal," detailing his experiences in residential and urban design from the show and his private practice. Barry Dixon will discuss "The Bespoke Process to the Individual Interior," sharing his unique experiences on the customizing process of interior design.

The conference agenda also includes:
Mike Anderson, The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc. - "Elm Street Economics and How to Connect with Consumers and Cash-in on Consumer Trends."
Donna Schroeder, Brand Marketing for Pratt & Lambert Paints, division of Sherwin Williams - "Color collective 2013: Trends in color in design." Williams is responsible for interpreting the influences of consumer behavior into color marketing trends for the brand.
Jennifer Ledet, Ledet Management - "Time Matters." The native Louisianian will share real world examples and stories with a Cajun flavor.
Crystal Vilkaitis, Snap Retail - "Proven retailer and vendor success using social media: How they did it and how you can too!"

In celebration of ART's 20th conference, the group will be "Giving Back to New Orleans" by partnering with the Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative of New Orleans to install home furnishings in four new construction houses. Currently, Jericho Road is still working to place and provide for families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The organization focuses on serving families through education for first time, but long time, home ownership and community development. Jericho Road is also a neighborhood-based nonprofit homebuilder that provides families with healthy and energy-efficient affordable housing opportunities.

The ART conference project houses are located on Saratoga St. in Central City, New Orleans, and of typical "shotgun" house design. All construction will utilize green building practices. ART intends to provide furnishings for at least one living area of each of the four new construction homes. Conference attendees will install the furnishings and provide related volunteer efforts the afternoon of May 18.

Product and service donations are eligible for tax deduction.

This year, through the generous support of conference sponsors, registration fees are lower at $599 for ART member attendees and $299 for a retail store attendee. The non-member attendee price has also been reduced. The Ritz Carlton's nightly rate is $189 for a single/double room.

For further information about ART Conference or to register, visit www.accessoriesresourceteam.org (ART Conference tab). Conference registration ends April 24.

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