The theme of this year’s Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) Global Performing Arts Marketplace and Conference, which begins Jan. 6 at the Hilton and runs through Jan. 10, is We Are They—Owning The Road Ahead.
Specifically, the vast gathering of some 3,500 performing artists and performing arts agents, promoters, buyers, organizations and related business people from around the world—more commonly called APAP|NYC 2012–will focus on community, and where the arts fit in the community.
Keynote speaker Carol Coletta, the nationally syndicated radio personality and executive director for ArtPlace (the Chicago-based center for top national foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts and various federal agencies to collaborate in facilitating the strategic shaping of a community’s physical and social character around arts and cultural activities), will confront the topic head-on with her address “Setting The Stage For Owning The Road Ahead.”
APAP|NYC 2012’s planners are particularly excited about this professional development aspect of the conference agenda, to be further explored in two-hour We They Us professional development sessions, also dealing with arts in the community.
A highlight among the plenary sessions is The Village Beat, conducted by John Hearn of SYPartners, who helps various industry leaders fashion their organizations’ futures. Additionally, Tony Award-winning South African actor/director/playwright John Kani will lead the closing plenary Owning Your Road.
Pecha Kucha: What Great Acts Have Happened In Our Communities? is also eagerly anticipated: Deriving from a Japanese term meaning “chit-chat,” pecha kucha involves a series of presentations by presenters who show 20 slides for 20 seconds each, for a total of six minutes, 40 seconds per presentation.
Ben Cameron, arts program director for The Dorus Duke Charitable Foundation, will emcee the confernce Pecha Kucha, with presenters including Diane Paulus, the artistic director of the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., whose most recent work includes its production of Porgy and Bess and the Public Theater’s Tony Award-winning revival of Hair on Broadway; Linda Nelson, executive director of Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House in Maine and producer for its acclaimed series of video documentaries of working life in Downeast Maine; and Braddock, Pa. Mayor John Fetterman, who has attracted attention from similar small struggling communities in the U.S. for his efforts in improving the quality of life.
Cameron will also receive APAP’s annual Sidney R. Yates Award For Outstanding Advocacy On Behalf Of The Performing Arts. Portland’s White Bird Dance organization will receive The William Dawson Award For Programmatic Excellence And Sustained Achievement In Programming, and legendary festival producer and jazz musician George Wein will receive the Award Of Merit For Achievement In Performing Arts.
Speaking of jazz, APAP|NYC 20112 will host several special sessions devoted to jazz and jazz musicians, starting with the JazzTimes DIY Crash Course, a pre-conference workshop, in collaboration with JazzTimes magazine, to be held Jan. 5 at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers. The day of workshops and presentations is free and open to the public and is geared toward both emerging and established artists, as well as jazz and performing arts professionals and students.
Back at the Hilton, seven JazzConnect: Building Jazz Culture–Local To Global sessions will further the conference’s commitment to jazz, with some free and open to the public, others for APAP|NYC 2012 registrants only.
“The modern culture of music discovery is running at a breakneck speed, and jazz needs to insert itself in these new streams of access,” says Peter Gordon, music industry leader and JazzForward Coalition co-founder. “If given the tools to break out of old paradigms of thought and develop new models of thinking, all our horizons widen. This is our challenge for JazzConnect. We are here to motivate, provoke, stimulate and encourage new seeds of thought. Jazz has a well documented past, but now is not the time to be passive bystanders. Now is the time to race forward as active stakeholders in our future.”
Meanwhile, APAP has partnered with Under The Radar Festival artistic director/producer Mark Russell and The Public Theater in hosting the Under The Radar Festival, which presents theater pieces from around the world. The festival–and a special two-day symposium–takes place Jan. 4-15 at The Public Theater and partner venues.
“Our goal is to support all of the performing arts, and that’s reflected in our programming at APAP|NYC 2012,” says Mario Garcia Durham, APAP’s newly installed president/CEO. “For instance, Under The Radar Festival is a hotbed for new theater work; our speakers and awardees come from the worlds of dance, theater and music; and this year’s jazz track is an exciting collaboration–with jazz leaders, journalists and artists–that we believe will bolster an important American art form.”
Based in Washington, D.C., APAP is the national service and advocacy organization dedicated to developing and supporting the performing arts presenting trade. Its 1,400 national and international members represent leading performing arts centers, municipal and university performance facilities, nonprofit performing arts centers, culturally specific organizations and 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.
To this end, APAP|NYC 2012 will also feature over 370 exhibitors, 1,200 performance showcases at venues throughout New York, and some other 50 professional and leadership development sessions, consultations and meetings.
Subscribe to my lodeplus.com pages and follow me on Twitter!