APAP Conference starts today

APAP Announces Programming Highlights for APAP|NYC+ 2021,
64th Annual Performing Arts Conference and First-Ever Held Entirely Online, January 8-12, 2021

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci smiles before a press briefing on the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic with members of the Coronavirus Task Force at the White House in Washington on March 26, 2020. Photo by Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Sipa USA(Sipa via AP Images)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Yo-Yo Ma, and Other Luminaries to Tackle Issues Key in the Industry’s Recovery: Health, Advocacy, Anti-Racism, and the Climate Crisis

The Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) has important programming highlights for APAP|NYC+ 2021, the world’s leading global performing arts marketplace and members conference, taking place all online from January 8-12, 2021. Additionally, from January 6-8, APAP will hold many pre-conference networking events and affinity group meetings, and, on January 13-14, select post- conference forums. Pre-conference and post-conference events are free and open to the entire performing arts field. The conference schedule-at-a-glance can be viewed here.

In a year upturned by a global health pandemic, the arts and cultural sector has been decimated with an estimated $14.8 billion in financial losses, the greatest impact being felt by the performing arts where 99% of presenters and producers have cancelled events, according to an Americans for the Arts report. A fall 2020 survey of APAP members indicated that 41% of performing arts professionals had a change in work status since March 2020, and of those, 55% were the result of cancelled performance contracts. The 51% whose work status did not change reported significant impacts on their work environments, including increased workload, reduction in pay, staff cuts, and shifting business models from in-person to online.

It is in this context that APAP presents its 64th annual industry convening. “This conference- –with our plenaries, information sessions, and specific fieldwide conversations—will be an agenda-setting conference, tightly focused on issues to help the field as a whole navigate the next 12-18 months,” asserts APAP’s new President and CEO Lisa Richards Toney. “We also want to make space for the field to be as visible as possible as it’s key to our pivot. APAP’s entry points are more accessible than ever which has been critical to serving the performing arts industry at this time.” APAP|NYC+ 2021 will be the first conference under the leadership of Ms. Richards Toney who joined APAP in July 2020, after the planned departure of Mario Garcia Durham.

The programming will heavily feature the key issues that will shape the recovery of the performing arts economy in 2021 and beyond, including reopening protocols impacting venues and touring artists; programming trends shaping the 2021-2022 booking cycle; establishing a new expansive advocacy agenda to support the diverse performing arts ecosystem through to recovery; rebuilding through an anti-racist lens and inviting the field to commit to specific, fieldwide goals; and developing and following more equitable and ethical practices between agents, mangers, artists and presenters to ensure all parties are left whole even when engagements get cancelled, postponed or renegotiated. All major programming will run on a single track for these important fieldwide conversations.

Day one of programming for the main APAP|NYC+ conference kicks off with leaders in the performing arts field demonstrating how they are pivoting in “The Art of Going Virtual: Digital Innovations in Live Performance” on Friday, January 8, 2021 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST. Lisa Richards Toney will then set the stage for the five-day main event in a “State-of-the-Field” opening plenary session from 4:30-5:30 p.m. EST during which she will reflect on the year that has been and the future that lies ahead.

On Saturday, January 9, 2021 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST, Dr. Anthony Fauci will be in conversation with Maurine Knighton of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in a plenary session titled “Public Health and Re-Opening the Live Performing Arts”. Called “the face of America’s fight against Coronavirus” (BBC), Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, where he oversees an extensive research portfolio focused on infectious and immune-mediated diseases. Dr. Fauci was recently named chief medical advisor to the incoming Biden administration.

On Sunday, January 10, 2021, APAP will start a day focused on the wellbeing of performing arts professionals with “Resilience and Mental Health for the Arts” from 1:00- 2:00 p.m. EST. Additional sessions on mental health tools and resources and on BIPOC professionals will follow that same day.

Monday, January 11, 2021 begins a series of three fieldwide conversations “Calling for Radical Change”. During the nearly year-long collective “pause” of most in-person performances, the field has been taking the opportunity to rethink how the industry operates. The series will focus on The Climate Crisis, Performing Arts Touring, and our Future (Monday, January 11, 2:45-4:00 p.m. EST), Building Back through an Anti-Racist Lens (Tuesday, January 12, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EST), and An Invitation to Ethical and Equitable Partnership (Tuesday, January 12, 2:45-3:45 p.m. EST).

“These are moments in which we will come together to share and advocate for new models of partnership and access, question our past, challenge our present, push through discomfort and hold ourselves and each other accountable to forge an equitable path to a new normal. Our field and our survival depend on it,” explains Krista Bradley, APAP Director of Programs and Resources.

With the latest COVID-19 relief legislation recently signed into law including elements of the momentous “Save Our Stages” proposal and as the field prepares for a presidential transition, APAP will host Arts Advocacy Strategies and Practices: COVID and Beyond

on Tuesday, January 12 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. EST. The session will be preceded by a primer on COVID relief at 12:30-1:15 p.m. EST.

Bringing the conference to a close on Tuesday, January 12 from 4:00-4:30 p.m. EST is the incomparable artist Yo-Yo Ma. Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted career is testament to his enduring belief in culture’s power to generate trust and understanding. Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, collaborating with communities and institutions to explore culture’s role in society, or engaging unexpected musical forms, Yo- Yo strives to foster connections that stimulate the imagination and reinforce our humanity. Among his many roles, he is the artistic director of the annual Youth Music Culture Guangdong festival and a UN Messenger of Peace and is the first artist ever appointed to the World Economic Forum’s board of trustees.

The conference will also feature virtual performance showcases—some now reconsidered for online audiences—and a virtual EXPO Hall—a directory of agencies and service providers with whom attendees can actively engage. The APAP Annual Awards Ceremony will be held in Spring 2021.

All conference events will be held online and accessible to conference registrants. View the complete schedule-at-a-glance here. To register for the members conference (January 8-12, 2021), visit apapnyc.org. For pre-conference events (January 6-8, 2021) and post-conference events (January 13-14, 2021), RSVP here.

Two sessions, the “State-of-the-Field” Opening Plenary on Friday, January 8 and “facebook.com/APAPNYC.

Learn more about the conference at APAPNYC.org, @APAP365, #APAPNYC
and facebook.com/APAPNYC. APAP membership information can be found at APAP365.org. APAP|NYC is a founder of JanArtsNYC. Online in 2021, JanArtsNYC is the most comprehensive annual celebration of the performing arts around the globe and annual convergence of major performing arts industry forums and public festivals.

About APAP, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals

APAP, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, based in Washington, D.C., is the national service, advocacy and membership organization dedicated to developing and supporting a robust, performing arts presenting field and the professionals who work within it. Our 1,600 national and international members represent leading performing arts centers, municipal and university performance facilities, nonprofit performing arts centers, culturally specific organizations, foreign governments, as well as artist agencies, managers, touring companies, and national consulting practices that serve the field, and a growing roster of self-presenting artists. APAP works to effect change through advocacy, professional development, resource sharing and civic engagement. APAP is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization governed by a volunteer board of directors and led by President and CEO Lisa Richards Toney. In addition to presenting the annual APAP|NYC conference—the world’s leading gathering and marketplace for the performing arts (Jan. 8-12, 2021)—APAP

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