APAP 2014 Reflections & Recap


The Association of Performing Arts Presenters 2014 Conference: “Shine”

Illuminating Events, Colleagues, and Showcase Concerts

Words by Evangeline Kim

Photos by Evangeline Kim, Craig S. Hyman, and Gabi Porter

The theme for the 2014 APAP conference is ‘SHINE’, and our intent is to shine a light on the work of the professionals in the performing arts presenting field. It is the time for our industry to take center stage – to propel our creative energy into the communities we serve, across America and across the globe, and to communicate our value as innovators and entrepreneurs for bringing people together and improving their quality of life. – APAP CEO and President Mario Garcia Durham

Just as the bite of the polar vortex lifted here in New York City, thousands of members of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), from all over the world arrived for its annual 2014 conference, January 9 -14. The catalytic role the conference fulfills in the performing arts industry makes the city spring to life with a whirl of events and showcase concerts. One must be nimble with focus and stamina to take in the daily conference tracks, visit the overflowing expo hall booth exhibits to sample talent agents’ roster offerings, and dash to showcases that stretch long into the night. The levels of energy and excitement were intense this year, balanced by APAP CEO and President Mario Garcia Durham’s enthusiasm, warmth, and calming presence as he presided over plenary meetings and happily greeted colleagues. Standing ovations over the course of the meetings were the barometer of yet another highly popular conference. We wonder sometimes, what other event could bring on such energy in this city to start the new year?

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APAP 2013 Reflections & Recap

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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Celebrating Cultural Activism in NYC: APAP Vision 2021 and Globalfest 2011

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Words & Photos By Evangeline Kim

The coming year, if not the next decade, offers great promise for worldly cultural activists, as evidenced by some of the key sessions held during APAP’s recent annual conference at the New York Hilton. (ed: APAP is the Association of Performing Arts Presenters).  Along with Globalfest’s splendid 8th edition at Webster Hall, all served to brighten the horizon towards improved international cultural appreciation and awareness in the U.S. and beyond.

APAP’s theme this year, Vision 2021, was thought-provoking: “2021 begins now. What will the culture of our lives be ten years from now? What are the implications for our work in the arts? What is our role and place in society in the future?” In partial answer to these challenging questions for the performing arts industry “that has at its heart human interaction and creativity,” APAP had programmed 3 outstanding session events for conference attendees.

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Sixth Annual globalFEST & Arts Presenters 52nd Annual Conference Ring In 2009

8941globalFEST Photographs by Benjamin de Menil
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This is the season of new beginnings all over the world and fueled by the excitement and anticipation of President Barack Obama’s new incumbency, the ever-expansive and felicitous 52nd annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference (‘APAP’ – www.apapconference.org), January 8 -12, at the Hilton in New York City, symbolized a fierce determination by the entertainment industry to serve up a great forthcoming year.

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