APAP|NYC 2024 Attracts Largest Attendance Post-Covid

Live appearances by Terence Blanchard, Mandy Gonzalez, John Cameron Mitchell, and Sasha Velour inspire attendees at APAP|NYC 2024.

By: Jan. 16, 2024
APAP|NYC 2024 Attracts Largest Attendance Post-Covid
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APAP|NYC 2024, the annual international industry-wide conference of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) concluded today in New York City, reaching a post-Covid high attendance figure of more than 3000 attendees. From January 12-16, 2024, participants from 29 countries, 5 continents, and all 50 U.S. states immersed themselves in panel discussions, networking, sessions, a 300+ booth EXPO space, and more than 1000 performing arts showcases throughout New York City and at the conference headquartered at the New York Hilton Midtown.

APAP|NYC is the world's premier gathering of the performing arts presenting, booking, and touring industry and the annual members conference of the APAP organization. For countless solo performers and groups across the performing arts, making a strong showing at APAP|NYC can be a key factor in determining their economic viability over the next few years.

From being an arts leader in politically fractious times to truly embracing accessibility and inclusion to attracting to the performing arts new generations of Americans who receive less and less free arts education in public schools, APAP|NYC 2024 included a wide breadth of important seminars and, once again, became an ideal opportunity for members to share their perspectives and establish lasting connections.

APAP|NYC 2024

The conference was further galvanized by live performances from gender-fluid drag queen, winner of Ru Paul's Drag Race and performing artist Sasha Velour and leading Broadway performer Mandy Gonzalez at its opening session.

John Cameron Mitchell, the multi-talented writer/performer/director/producer whose inspired list of credits includes creating and starring in Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Shortbus reflected on the importance of arts and expression in today’s political climate during his insightful, hilarious Q&A segment at the conference’s closing session. He observed: “Propaganda doesn’t last. Only art forces you to meet something halfway and make a decision.”

Seven-time Grammy winner and two-time Academy Award nominee Terence Blanchard, who was honored with APAP’s Award of Merit for Achievement in the Performing Arts for 2024 delivered a stirring acceptance speech on Monday, January 15. Reflecting on his work as both a consummate artist and his recent appointment as Executive Artistic Director of SFJAZZ, Blanchard told the APAP audience:

“I see the landscape changing in our world. When I came along, there were record companies and radio stations that could promote new artists and help break new artists. But it really doesn’t exist in the same way today, so I look at what we do as presenters as vital to helping to bring new music and new ideas and new operas and new works at different types to an audience that’s willing and waiting to be entertained. 

When my opera went to the Met, it was proof that there’s an audience out there that hasn’t been served. To see the diversity in that audience, and to see the admiration they had for those beautiful voices and dancers proved to me that we have a lot of work to do, because patrons are out there, they’re waiting for us to create those works that are going to touch them deep in their soul.

Music saved us during Covid and got us through a very scary time. On a day that we’re honoring Martin Luther King, we have to celebrate our differences and love each other and support each other throughout these turbulent times…There are dark forces out there that are trying to separate us, but it’s the art that keeps us together and keeps us moving forward.”

The APAP Honors

The APAP Honors were presented in person for the first time since COVID-19. Blanchard was among the seven APAP Awards 2024 recipients whose names were previously announced before the APAP Awards ceremony on Monday, January 15. The list includes game-changing dance and arts managers Lisa Booth and Deirdre Valente; Lincoln Center’s Chief Artistic Officer Shanta Thake; nationally renowned arts researcher Randy Cohen, prominent arts philanthropists John W. Brown and Rosemary Kopel Brown, and emerging dance artivist Ruby Morales. Booth, who died earlier this year was awarded posthumously.

Additional awards from APAP partners were also presented. The CIPA (Creative Independent Producers Alliance) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Creative Production was awarded to Claudia Norman, award-winning multi-lingual creative producer, cultural consultant and arts manager and faculty member at The New School in New York City.

Also announced at the ceremony were the North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents (NAPAMA) Award for Excellence in Presenting the Performing Arts to Tommy Hensel, Senior Director of Performing Arts, Elgin Community College (Elgin, Illinois) and The Liz Silverstein Award for Agent-Manager of the Year to Crandall Rogers, Founder and President of FourMortals Productions (New York).

The APAP Honors is sponsored by IMG Artists (https://imgartists.com/)

Voted to APAP Board of Directors

During APAP|NYC 2024, it was announced that APAP members had elected the following individuals to become part of its Board of Directors:

Delbert Anderson, Artist, Educator, & Festival Director, Delbert Anderson Trio & DDAT Management (Farmington, New Mexico); Shane Fernando, CEO, Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts (Wilmington, North Carolina); Ally Haynes-Hamblen, Executive Director, Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts (Richardson, Texas); Rika Iino, Founder & Producer, Sozo Artists (Oakland, California); Shelley Quiala, Executive Director, International Festival of Arts & Ideas (New Haven, Connecticut); Aparna Ramaswamy, Executive Artistic Director, Choreographer, and Principal Dancer, Ragamala Dance Company, (California/Minnesota); and Mark Wilson, Executive Director, Zoellner Arts Center, (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania).

The following people were renewed to be part of APAP’s Board of Directors:

Alicia B. Adams, Vice President, Dance and International Programming, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC); Christopher Harrington, President & CEO, The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (Saint Paul, MN); Beth Macmillan, Executive Director, Artown (Reno, NV); Stephanie McKee-Anderson, Executive Artistic Director, Junebug Productions (New Orleans, LA); and Jill Robinson, CEO & Founder, TRG Arts, (Colorado Springs, CO).

APAP, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals is the national service, advocacy and membership organization dedicated to developing and supporting a robust, performing arts presenting, booking, and touring field and the professionals who work within it. Our 1,700 national and international members represent leading performing arts centers, artist agencies, managers, touring companies, and performing artists. APAP is the producer of the annual APAP|NYC conference (apapnyc.org)—the world’s leading gathering and marketplace for the performing arts—and is an industry leader, providing year-round resources, programming, and services.

The APAP|NYC conference is the catalyst behind what has effectively become the SXSW for the performing arts throughout New York City every year. Under the Radar and globalFEST at Lincoln Center are just two examples of high-profile January festivals that were incubated via the annual APAP|NYC conference.

APAP|NYC is a founding partner of JanArtsNYC, the annual convergence of world-class public festivals and innovative industry gatherings taking place throughout the month of January at various NYC venues, supported by the NYC Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment. 


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