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Matt Dreier

APAP 2014

by Matt Dreier Wednesday, February 5, 2014

“The nexus for arts presenting worldwide” - Association of Performing Arts Presenters

Welcome back to the Bolz Center blog! I hope you had a great holiday season with family and friends.  I know I typically start off each blog with an inspirational quote, however this ‘quote' is actually the motto from a great organization. The Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) is the national service, advocacy, and professional organization for presenters of the performing arts. This includes students, artists, agents/managers, and presenting organizations.

Each year, APAP holds a conference in New York City, which is attended by over 2,000 artists and presenters. The APAP|NYC conference offers professional development sessions, live artist performances, and a three story EXPO Hall! This year, the first year Bolz Center students were invited to APAP|NYC. During the four day trip, we really got a chance to dive into the thick of the issues surrounding arts presenters across the country. My favorite experience was definitely the professional development sessions, allowing me to connect with great arts leaders and learn how issues are affecting their communities. A great example is the session I attended regarding Creative Capital (an amazing organization you should check out if you haven't already!). Five grant award winners presented their work and then we broke into table sessions to discuss how best to engage new audiences for their artwork. It was really reaffirming to see the business knowledge we've been studying here at the Bolz Center put to good use for great artists!

Together, the Bolz Center and APAP have established the Dawson Research Initiative, a project dedicated to adding quantitative and qualitative research to the field of arts presentation and performance. The first year students are responsible for developing a direction for the research, culminating with an individual who will deliver our findings to APAP at their offices in Washington DC this summer. Currently we are in the process of identifying our direction for the project, but it looks like it will primarily revolve around unique partnerships in the arts. More specifically, talk about the indicators that suggest a successful partnership.  If we can isolate good examples across the country, we might be able to find very interesting results.

My time at APAP|NYC was truly amazing. We saw a bunch of amazing artists and met a lot of passionate arts presenters. It was a great feeling to see such a large group of dedicated professionals striving to push performing arts presenting into the future. I'm looking forward to returning to APAP in the future!