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Conference Deadline Extended!

Elisa Gonzales and Joe Hetterly

Just a friendly reminder that proposals for the 2021 VASTA Virtual Conference, Rising Voices, are due on March 1st. Questions about proposals or this year’s conference can be directed to the conference team at

An update from the 2021 VASTA Virtual Conference team. Thank you so much to everyone who has submitted a proposal so far. We are overwhelmed with gratitude by the exciting and thoughtful presentation proposals we have received. We understand that these are busy times for all, so we would like to EXTEND THE DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS TO MARCH 1, 2021. We hope this extension provides encouragement and support to our membership. We look forward to seeing you this summer, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to with any questions.



We hope that you will consider sharing your knowledge and creativity with us this summer! Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions!

VASTA's Virtual Conference in 2021

Rising Voices: Listening to the Past, Dismantling the Present, Cultivating a New Future

July 29th - August 1st, 2021


Deadline for Submissions: Monday, February 15, 2021

For more information and/or to submit a proposal
Click Here!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email conference co-chairs 
Elisa Gonzales and Joe Hetterly.

Rising Voices: Listening to the Past, Dismantling the Present, Cultivating a New Future addresses our relationship to the past, present, and future, by contemplating what we can learn from the past as well as our ancestors, interrogating how we can dismantle the inequity of the present moment and continue to fight for racial justice, and how we move forward into the future as a voice and speech community. 


Listening to the Past

“I ask my ancestors: Who had my face before? Who shaped my brain? They laugh. They know I carry my nation’s tragedies with me. I sing its anthems. I know the laughter and faces of my people are encoded forever in my deep spaces.” - José Rivera, Sonnets for an Old Century


To better understand this moment and move forward in our work as voice and speech practitioners, artists, and performers, we must listen to the past. What can we learn from Indigenous artists, who center their storytelling and artistry on ancestry, spirituality, the land, and the community? What can we learn from personal, community, and societal histories and narratives that might shape our work as artists in this brave new world? 

Dismantling the Present

“Listening to our stories is part of the decolonization process” -  Edgar Villanueva 


In recent months, academic institutions, theatres, and arts organizations have been called on to dismantle long-standing traditions of oppression and white supremacy in order to build a more equitable future. How have we, as voice and speech trainers, been challenged to dismantle our teaching/coaching practices in response to COVID? How have we adapted? How have we innovated our field in the fight for racial justice, incorporated new technologies, and at the same time, made those technologies accessible for our students and clients?

Cultivating a New Future

“We can transform our world by imagining it differently, dreaming it passionately via all our senses, and willing it into creation.” - Gloria E. Anzaldúa


Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the final element is exploring how we can build a future for our field that is accessible, equitable, and anti-racist. How can we draw on the past and present moment to nurture and help grow a better future? What does a post-COVID, anti-racist future look like in the voice and speech field?