APAP: Care of the Community

We preview the APAP New York conference in January

Based in Washington, DC, The Association of Performing Arts Professionals, better known as APAP (www.apap365.org), is the US national (but also international) service, advocacy and membership organisation for the live performing arts field. APAP is dedicated to developing and supporting a robust performing arts presenting, booking and touring industry and the professionals who work within it.

One of the highlights of the APAP year is its annual Conference – APAP|NYC+ – held each January in New York. The pandemic has meant that the past couple of years have been online events, so the 2023 get-together – to be held between 13 and 17 January – will be a special occasion.

The 2023 APAP conference, which will be held in New York City between 13 and 17 January, will be the first in-person get-together for the organisation and its members for three years. Regarded as world’s premier gathering of the performing arts presenting, booking and touring industry as well as being the annual members conference for APAP, CEO and President Lisa Richards Toney says it’s a ‘must-attend’ event, this year more than any other: “It’ll be more than a conference, it’s a celebration, a reunion and a welcome, all wrapped into one event”.

Featuring talks, artist showcases, debates and discussions, an exhibition and networking opportunities, it’s also an opportunity for professional development; and, as per the tagline, a chance to build links in the performing arts community, seal deals and create contacts, learn and discover new ideas and new talent. All are welcome.

For Ms Richards Toney, the event is a must-attend: “You’re still able to do your job, carry out your business, without attending APAP’s conference,” she told IAM. “But nothing happens with professionals working by themselves, in isolation.  Spending several days networking, learning, talking, listening will allow you to be better at what you do. You can have a conversation with someone by email, but until you shake hands, you don’t really get a sense of who they are and what they’re working for. It’s a chance to meet mentors and contacts, make new friends. There’s a chance to broaden your outlook, to discovery new things, at say, one of our sessions or showcases. At APAP we do community well, because we have to. Coming along is an opportunity to join the community, and benefit from that sprit”.

Among the headline speakers so far announced are US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson. Full details of the speakers, timetable, accommodation, venues and registration can be found at: https://apap365.org/conference/

For the full interview with Lisa Richards Toney, see the December 2022 issue of International Arts Manager.