by Evangeline Kim
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Part I: Conference Framework
In his opening message for APAP’s 56th annual 2013 conference edition magazine Inside Arts, President and CEO Mario Garcia Durham, set forth the framework for this year’s catchy Lennon-inspired theme, “Imagine,” with the key concepts: “Innovation, entrepreneurship, and collaboration.”
To these he added “diversity and activism.” All were continuously reflected and given focus in the conference selection of keynote speakers, honored guests, and throughout scores of timely conference tracks including climate change and sustainability, fund-raising and capitalization, taxation, visa policies and procedures, and grants for artists and presenters. All took place at the New York Hilton and Sheraton, January 11-15.
“Diversity,” Mr. Durham wrote, “is not the easiest word to define – and we each tend to have a unique understanding of what it means. Implementing it can be even more challenging because it’s time-consuming and requires a sincere commitment and a strong will. But first and foremost is the decision to take action and engage. I challenge each of you to consider the role of diversity in your work and the centrality of its place in creating the richest world we can create.”
“At the heart of activism is a belief in the empowerment of a community to have impact and influence. We can look to the communities of sports and religion for models of “fans” and “congregations” that stand up for their passionate beliefs. How can we generate that same energy and strategy for the arts?”
Judging from the high levels of energy generated by the conference and over 1000 dazzling performing arts showcases around town (myriad diverse genres including classical, rock, pop, jazz, world music, dance, and theater), attended by 3,800 presenters, artists, managers, agents, emerging arts leaders, and media from 28 countries, APAP’s 2013 theme was a resounding success.
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