The Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) closed its annual conference on Tuesday, January 8, with remarks by Kristin Chenoweth, Emmy and Tony-Award winning actress, singer and author. Reinforcing the collective power of our industry and its influence on positive change inside and outside the performing art industry, Ms. Chenoweth captured the essence of APAP|NYC 2019 with this declaration, “I will make a promise to you that I will continue my work, stepping outside my comfort zone as an artist. What’s more important, I will encourage other artists, all the artists that do what I do, to do the same thing. We must all be pushing ourselves, [just like you guys (APAP members)], musically and artistically. You guys inspire me. So I inspire you. So therefore, that is the power of we.”
APAP|NYC 2019 widened its spotlight on presenters in smaller and mid-size markets and further engaged members on mission-driven models of success for organizations. With an emphasis on the collective power of our industry, speakers and attendees also lent meaningful visibility on issues affecting indigenous cultures in the arts. This year’s conference speakers lent different perspectives on mobilization and collaboration on issues that lift the human spirit, continue to raise awareness on those issues that have long gone ignored and finding entry points towards inclusion for everyone in this industry. After a few years preparing the field on building and implementing a REDI (race, equity, diversity and inclusion) culture, APAP|NYC 2019 brought together leaders modeling best practices in this area. Speaking to the tangible movements affecting the performing arts and reflected in creative output of the industry, such as Black Lives Matter, MeToo and Time’s Up, Mario Garcia Durham, CEO and President of APAP, said “We know that at the heart of these movements and other important movements is power. We have to ask, who holds power? Who is really in charge? How can older leadership models and discriminatory dynamics change? We also must ask: How can we use the power we have – the power of we – to do good in the world through the arts and in our own best practices?”
On Saturday, January 5, Callie Crossley, WGBH Host of “Under the Radar with Callie Crossley,” led a powerful session on ways the industry can disrupt, lead, recalibrate and create. An uncertain future encourages arts professionals to take ownership of what their future could look like, individually and as an industry. “APAP attendees had a productive and honest exchange on the issues of collaboration, diversity, and innovation. I hope that this convening opened the door for not only further engagement on these issues, but encourages all of us to build on ‘The power of WE’,” said Callie Crossley.
APAP, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, based in Washington, D.C., is the national service, advocacy and membership organization dedicated to developing and supporting a robust, performing arts presenting field and the professionals who work within it. Our 1,600 national and international members represent leading performing arts centers, municipal and university performance facilities, nonprofit performing arts centers, culturally specific organizations, foreign governments, as well as artist agencies, managers, touring companies, and national consulting practices that serve the field, and a growing roster of self-presenting artists. As a leader in the field, APAP works to effect change through advocacy, professional development, resource sharing and civic engagement. APAP is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization governed by a volunteer board of directors and led by President & CEO Mario Garcia Durham. In addition to presenting the annual APAP|NYC conference – the world’s leading forum and marketplace for the performing arts (Jan. 4-8, 2019) – APAP continues to be the industry’s leading resource, knowledge and networking destination for the advancement of performing arts presenting.