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PROFILE : SCOTT STONER’s Advice on what to see ! Arts Programs at #APAP

A visionary thinker and huge proponent of Arts Education and Leadership Development, SCOTT STONER, the Director of Programs and Resources for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, recently graciously consented to a chat about the Association and its 2014 Conference.

About the Association of Performing Arts Presenters
The Association of Performing Arts Presenters, based in Washington, DC, is the national service and advocacy organization dedicated to developing and supporting a robust performing arts presenting field and the professionals who work within it. Their 4,500 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. As a leader in the field, 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 & CEO Mario Garcia Durham. In addition to presenting the annual APAP|NYC conference – the world’s leading forum and marketplace for the performing arts (Jan. 11-15, 2013) – APAP continues to be the industry’s leading resource, knowledge and networking destination for the advancement of performing arts presenting.

Scott Stoner sketch APAP

Scott: In addition to the Conference, we spend a good part of the year providing other programs and resources to benefit our members — Grants programs, Subsidies, Professional Development and Leadership programs, Webinars. There are regional conferences as well. The annual Conference is important, but it isn’t the exclusive way we serve our members.

How do you decide the programming ?

Scott: We actually start at least 6 months in advance. With the member tracks, there is an intensive push to involve our membership in the process. We conduct an Arts online process, there is a complement of networking and we find the Evaluations interesting and often the most valuable.

The evaluations provide Great feedback! There might be 5-600 responses on one topic. We’re able to evaluate responses from the commercial side, from exhibitors, sometimes even on riders, and there is an integration of individual and small group consultations. We can put those responses together with information and suggestions we get as a result of the regional conferences held during the year.

We have7 defined tracks of knowledge during the Anuual Conference. Tracks provide you with customized, suggested APAP|NYC professional development based on specific topics of interest:

(Details and suggestions below)

Smaller and mid-size orgs benefit the most during the Annual Conferences because they don’t have the financial resources to travel everywhere during the year. There are cost issues in trying to travel to every area to establish programming and find the people and artists you hope to find. There are travel costs, hotel costs. Some of these organizations may have 2 -5 people active in the day to day organization of their office. The regional and annual Conferences provide an avenue to get them the information, contacts and programs they need on a level playing field with the larger organizations.

How do you plan the sessions?

Scott: We curate the featured and plenary sessions. We put a call out to receive proposals. We organize the Pitch sessions on knowledge: How well the proposals can engage the audience and how easily the audience can apply that knowledge to their individual situations;  we were able to field more than 60 proposals that found a place in our programming for the Conference. I recommend them all, but I will give you a few examples.

We think some of the exciting topics that our members actively respond to analyze efforts for Catalyzing Communities.

Sunday morning we have a Farai Chideya session, we have Abigail Washburn who can provide knowledge from her experience in the legal and political field in China; Baratunde Thurston, Taylor Mac, Fiona Shaw are all powerful and amazing choices.

Phillip Glass, Diane Paulus are among the sterling examples of Resilience and rethinking how you operate in changing times.

Part of session involves the group behind CREATIVE CAPITAL — they exemplify some of the most adventurous risk taking.

And we really look forward to hearing Jennifer Wright Cook, who has conducted studies on success and failure, and she has worked as a Presenter of the Field, and some of her conclusions on success and failure will yield remarkable discussions for the audience and members.

But, in addition, our work at the Association throughout the year provides Online tool kits for our members.

We have  “Animating The Creative Campus” at the Conference. There have been 14 campuses funded over past 6 years.

You’re able as a member to go Deeper in the Online track – there exist lots of video clips talking about the artist residencies and sustainability.

We are also strong with our Leadership Development Institute—we organize around 2 concepts with 14people, and they have a distinct focus :

1)    Mission, vision, and values And 2) Creating communities

We are aided with the result of work done with the CIRM Center for Action Research at NYU. They establish the “Essential questions” and factors: i.e., “Here are some of the key questions to ask and the essential factors for success in connecting with communities”. That’s what we provide through the Leadership Development Institute.

Another interesting factor in the Leadership and Emerging Leader development sessions that you might appreciate: in the Emerging Leader Development group, statistically 75-80% of the participants are women. 8-9 come from some form of agent/manager background, with 5-7 years in the field.

The Leadership Development group usually has a background coming from the Mid-career perspective of 7-10 yrs experience.

On Another topic: engaging audiences and communities: Where are the new audiences emerging?

Scott: The issue of sustainability may fall on Baby boomers. Arts and aging become areas of opportunity – older generations turning to the arts. Audiences get engaged when they feel it is part of the community in which they live. How do we engage them? New Experiences of presenting the arts are coming from the partnerships between presenters and artists. Presenters feel the need for new audiences, and are giving audiences a different experience, offering a more robust set of choices. Instead of presenting one choice at night, there might be an afternoon session with an opportunity to talk to the artist.  There might be a hands-on session where the artist describes his work and there is an informal get-together as part of a series. There are many new opportunities to present work in different locations, some in locations right in the center of the community, areas that might have been underutilized in the past.

Engaging in site specific work? I think the dance world pioneered that approach –yes?

Scott : Think of the Circus as another major form of the presenting arts – circuses now are much different from yrs ago. Actually, Europe and Australia have long been doing site specific work and the U.S. is building on that tradition.

At the Conference itself, is it a good approach to try a bit of everything  in each track?

Scott:  Actually, I recommend that it’s probably best to choose a track and focus on and build on those skills. That’s how you will accomplish the most out of the experience.

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Board Track

The APAP|NYC Board Track is a series of sessions that recognizes the benefits of confident leadership at the board level. Board members of APAP member organizations will learn how to set long-term goals, advocate for mission and vision, provide program support, engage with audiences and operate according to best practices. Register for the board track.

Arts, Education and Interdisciplinary

Learn about the intersection of the arts with non-arts content areas to build knowledge and create broader appreciation for the role of arts in education (K-12 through higher education). Sessions will focus on projects among artists, presenters, and partners from educational, civic, and cultural institutions or organizations that have deepened learning, spurred innovation, and catalyzed action in communities across the U.S.

  • Animating the Creative Campus, Saturday, 3-3:50 p.m.
  • Being the Creative Campus, Saturday, 4-4:50 p.m.
  • Creative Intersections: Arts, Science and Technology, Part I, Saturday, 9:30-10:25 a.m.
  • Creative Intersections: Arts, Science and Technology, Part II, Sunday, 9-9:50 a.m.
  • The Voice of the Performing Arts Radio Show, Sunday, 9-9:50 a.m.
  • Workshop: Performance as Curriculum – Connecting Artistry and Education, Monday, 9-10:30 a.m.
  • Do Performing Arts Field Trips Matter?, Monday, 9-9:50 a.m.
  • Arts Administration Degrees: Building Skills and Career Longevity, Monday, 10-10:50 a.m.

Arts and Issues

These sessions focus on the capacity of artists and carefully curated arts programming to transform the ways in which we think about key issues that affect our world today. Discover how your colleagues in the presenting industry are working to better inform the public and change perceptions around diversity, equality, sustainability, and other issues that are at the core of our global health and well-being.

  • Imagine A World That Operates Differently Than This One, Saturday, 9-9:25 a.m.
  • The Creative Case International: Arts Practice with Diversity and Equality at Its Heart, Saturday, 9:30-10:25 a.m.
  • Future Shift: Nonprofit Arts Models for a Sustainable Planet, Saturday, 3-3:50 p.m.
  • Catalyzing Communities and Creating Cultural Equity I, Saturday, 3-3:50 p.m.
  • Artists and Our Environment: New Work, Saturday, 4-4:50 p.m.
  • The Emerging Role of the Citizen Critic, Saturday, 4-4:50 p.m.
  • PLENARY SESSION: The Luminosity Factor – Enlightenment Through the Arts, Sunday, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Diversity: Trends, Issues, Opportunities in the Presenting Industr, Monday, 10-10:50 a.m.

The Business of Presenting

The way we do business continues to change. This series of sessions addresses nuts and bolts, tools, resources, strategies, skills and models for success in the 21st century presenting industry. Colleagues from across APAP membership sectors offer case examples based on practical experience.

  • Social Media Use for Arts Organizations, Saturday, 3-3:50 p.m.
  • Accessibility for All Artists and Audiences: Tools and Practice, Saturday, 4-4:50 p.m.
  • Making Artistic “Cents” IV – Rider Nuts and Bolts, Sunday, 9-9:50 a.m.
  • Becoming an Engagement Agent, Sunday, 9-9:50 a.m.
  • Catalyzing Communities by Building Successful Touring Networks, Sunday, 10-10:50 a.m.
  • Under New Management: Collaborative Producers and Innovative Performance, Sunday, 10-10:50 a.m.
  • Workshop: Sponsorship Development, Sunday, 3-4:30 p.m.
  • The Value of Presenting: A Landmark Canadian Study I, Monday, 9-9:50 a.m.
  • Turning Followers into Partners and Audiences into Advocates, Monday, 9-9:50 a.m.
  • Persuasion: Getting to “Yes,” 9-9:50 a.m.
  • The Value of Presenting: A Landmark Canadian Study II, Monday, 10-10:50 a.m.
  • ArtsReady: Before the Curtain Rises, Monday, 10-10:50 a.m.
  • Shine the Spotlight on Patrons and Watch Sales Grow, Monday, 2-2:50 p.m.
  • The Grateful Dead “…Let It Shine…”: An Innovative Model for Success, Monday, 2-2:50 p.m.
  • Processes for Changing the Faces of Governance, Monday, 2-2:50 p.m.

Community Cultural Development

Communities of varied size, demographics, and geographic locations have discovered the capacity of the arts and arts organizations to be key players in transforming their economic health in addition to other indicators of a bright and sustainable future. Learn about strategic partnerships and strategies that have reversed the outlook for arts organizations and the communities in which they operate.

  • Imagine A World That Operates Differently To This One, Saturday, 9-9:25 a.m.
  • The Creative Case International: Arts Practice with Diversity and Equality at Its Heart, Saturday, 9:30-10:25 a.m.
  • Creative Intersections: Arts, Science and Technology, Saturday, 9:30-10:25 a.m.
  • Arts Districts: Challenges and Opportunities for Presenters, Saturday, 3-3:50 p.m.
  • Right Size to Catalyze: Balancing Authenticity to Inspire and Empower, Sunday, 9-9:50 a.m.
  • Amplifying the Arts Through Strategic Partnerships, Sunday, 10-10:50 a.m.
  • Workshop: Performance as Curriculum: Connecting Artistry and Education, Monday, 9-10:30 a.m.
  • A Prism of Possibility: Transforming Organizations Into Magnetic Community Centers, Monday, 9-9:50 a.m.

Connecting to Audiences

As community demographics continue to change, we are discovering more opportunities to target and engage new audiences. Learn about effective strategies to expand participation in the performing arts across generations, across cultures, across genres, and other factors that are having a dramatic impact on the way work is created, presented and marketed today.

  • Partnerships with Unlikely Bedfellows, Saturday, 9-9:25 a.m
  • The Big Shift: The Velocity of Change in America’s Aging Society, Saturday, 9:30-10:25
  • Creative Intersections: Arts, Science and Tecnology, Saturday, 9:30-10:35 a.m.
  • The Lullaby Project: Catalyzing Community Through Song, Saturday, 9:30-10:25 a.m.
  • The Arts and Aging, Saturday, 3-3:50 p.m.
  • All-In: Re-imagining Community Participation, Saturday, 4-4:50 p.m.
  • Increasing Student Arts Engagement on College Campuses I, Sunday, 9-9:50 a.m.
  • Successful Tools for Engaging Your Latino Community, Sunday, 9-9:50 a.m..
  • Increasing Student Arts Engagement on College Campuses II, Sunday 10-10:50 a.m.
  • Audience (R)Evolution: Succesful Models for Audience Engagement and Community Development, Sunday, 10-10:50 a.m.
  • The Value of Presenting: A Landmark Canadian Study I, Monday, 9-9:50 a.m.
  • Turning Followers into Partners and Audiences into Advocates, Monday, 9-9:50 a.m
  • The Value of Presenting: A Landmark Canadian Study II, Monday, 10-10:50 a.m.
  • Collaborating With Caregivers and Other Community Partners, Monday, 10-10:50 a.m.
  • Sending the Right Message: Using Market Segmentation to Increase Revenue, Monday, 10-10:50 a.m.
  • National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military, Monday, 2-2:50 p.m.

Presenting International Artists

Our connections and collaborations with international colleagues in the presenting industry continue to grow and flourish. Discover and explore the many ways in which performing arts presenting is building audiences and catalyzing communities in other countries and regions of the world. Meet potential partners and develop strategies to successfully integrate or expand global arts and culture in your presenting program.

  • International Members Welcome and Orientation, Friday, 1-3 p.m.
  • Support for Young Chinese Artists Through International Cooperation, Saturday, 3-3:50 p.m.
  • Cultivating a New Generation of Global Leaders, Saturday, 4-4:50 p.m.
  • Successful Tools for Engaging Your Latino Community, Sunday, 9-9:50
  • Bi-Cultural Road Show: Artist Driven Models for Long-term International Collaboration, Sunday, 9-9:50 a.m.
  • Impact and Critical Success Factors: Attendance at International Festivals and Events, Sunday, 10-10:50 a.m.
  • China On Stage: Sino-U.S. Cooperation on the Performing Arts, Sunday, 3-3:50 p.m.
  • Spanish-Speaking Salon, Sunday, 5-6:30 p.m.
  • Getting Artists Booked in Canada, Monday, 9-9:50 a.m.
  • The Performing Arts in Norway: Alternative Venues and Site-specific Work, Monday, 10-10:50 a.m.
  • Mexican Regional Music in Your Community, Monday, 2-2:50 p.m.

Performing Arts Programming

It’s important to gain a different perspective on a particular arts genre, or cross-genres that may in fact be a great fit for your next season. These sessions are meant to be both informative and provocative in their focus on how to engage audiences in a specific arts genre or style. Whether bluegrass, opera, world music, or the circus – there should be something of interest for everyone in the performing arts programming track!

  • Second City Goes to Lyric Opera, Saturday, 3-3:50 p.m.
  • Global Music Infiltration, Saturday, 3-3:50 p.m.
  • Second City Goes to Lyric Opera, Saturday, 4-4:50 p.m.
  • Becoming an Engagement Agent, Sunday, 9-9:50 a.m.
  • Integrating Spoken Word Events in Your Season, Sunday 9-9:50 a.m.
  • Introducing World Music to Your Community, Sunday, 10-10:15 a.m.
  • Dance Touring for the 21st Century: Beyond Nutcracker for the Holidays, Sunday, 10-10:50 a.m.
  • Under New Management: Collaborative Producers and Innovative Performance, Sunday, 10-10:50
  • Artists and Presenters Confab: On Success, Failure, and Privilege, Sunday, 3-5 p.m.
  • Presenting Works by Indigenous Artists, Monday, 9-9:50 a.m.
  • Running Away with the Circcus: Exploring Contemporary Circus, Monday, 9-9:50 a.m.
  • Running Away with the Circcus: Exploring Contemporary Circus, Monday, 10-10:50 a.m.
  • The Grateful Dead “…Let It Shine…”: An Innovative Model for Success, Monday, 2-2:50 p.m.
  • Presenting Bluegrass: Engaging A New Audience, Monday, 2-2:50 p.m.
  • globalFEST World Music Speed Dating Session, Monday 2-3 p.m.

Thank you, Scott!

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January 11, 2014 - Posted by | ART, BUSINESS, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, opportunity, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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