History of the Camden Conference
The Camden Conference was founded in 1987 as a nonprofit, non-partisan educational organization whose mission is to foster informed discourse on world issues. In the years since, it has convened its annual Conference on the third weekend of February in the historic Camden Opera House, drawing some of the best minds on foreign policy to share their insights and expertise on a range of global issues with the community. Conference topics have included The Making of American Foreign Policy, The Influence of the News Media on Foreign Policy, US-Japan Relations, Globalization, The Politics of Energy and Water, Religion, Global Leadership and a number of conferences focusing on regions of the world.
In addition to the annual Conference, 50-70 theme-related outreach events are organized throughout the year. They usually consist of lectures, study groups and film series related to the conference theme. They are offered free of charge or for a minimal price in order to encourage attendance by a socioeconomically diverse audience. Three area libraries are the Conference’s chief partners in offering community outreach programs. Other events have been convened in collaboration with other public educational organizations such as the University of Maine, area Senior Colleges, the Farnsworth Art Museum, Bay Chamber Concerts, and the Camden International Film Festival. The Camden Conference also collaborates with local museums and other nonprofit organizations to offer art exhibits, films, concerts and other events designed to appeal to a wide audience. Our community events draw 2500-3000 each year. Most recently, the Camden Conference made a considerable investment in internet technologies. This has increased its presence significantly, facilitating the live streaming to the growing number of satellite venues and making the Conference available to people throughout the world.
The Camden Conference is a volunteer-driven organization committed to keeping registration fees low and accessibility high. Funding comes from individual gifts and memberships, local business sponsorships, and grants from institutions, foundations and corporations.