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Matt Dreier

Performing Arts Managers Conference 2014

by Matt Dreier Wednesday, March 5, 2014

“Creating a place where people create is a real blessing”
-2014 PAMC Keynote Address


On February 21, five students from the Bolz Center and our Director, Sherry Wagner-Henry, traveled to the Performing Arts Managers Conference (PAMC) in Kansas City, Missouri. PAMC is a conference dedicated to the managers of amphitheaters, performance halls, and performing arts centers. The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) is the parent organization for PAMC and includes other venues, such as arenas and convention centers. Each year, PAMC is held in a different city across the country, focusing on current events in the performance arts and allowing industry professionals to share valuable information.


We were thrilled to have five of our students attend this conference—in fact, the Bolzie group was the largest contingency of students!  


One of the most educational parts of the conference was the variety of presentation sessions. On Saturday, we began the conference with a boot camp. This event focused on three different aspects of performing arts management: backstage, front of house, and programming. It was great to work with the managers on variety of hands-on activities. On Sunday, we participated in several great conference sessions including one that had a format I had never seen before. This Town Hall session removed the moderator and allowed individual members to speak about any topic they choose. As questions were asked, other managers answered, providing valuable insight into their experiences. This model provided a great opportunity for everyone to learn from their peers. Several other sessions were in more traditional formats, but revolved around a variety of important topics ranging from emergency planning to programming.

Each day culminated in a trip to a local arts venue including the Kansas City Convention Center’s Music Hall, the American Jazz Museum, and the Kauffman Center. These trips provided a great opportunity to introduce ourselves to the managers in an exciting atmosphere. We walked away with a new network of working professionals and the understanding that there really is something magical about creating a place where others can create!