Dean College students had the opportunity to attend the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) Conference in January, prior to the start of the 2023 spring semester. Thirteen students made the trip to New York City, accompanied by Tracy Lane, Assistant to the Dean of the Schools of Dance and the Arts, and David Rowell, Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of the Arts and Entertainment Management degree program.
As the first in-person conference in three years, this year’s APAP Conference was a celebration of the arts and an opportunity to envision a better future. This was evident throughout every moment of the conference, starting from the opening plenary session, which featured Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell; Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League; Lisa Richards Toney, president and CEO of APAP; Senator Chuck Schumer; a second line led by Wynton Marsalis; and more.
Throughout the week, students volunteered at the conference, assisting with check-in and registration. They also attended professional development sessions, plenary and keynote speaker sessions and live artist showcases, in addition to visiting the expo hall and having plenty of opportunities for networking with booking agents, presenters, artists and industry leaders.
“One of the most valuable experiences during APAP was a brand-new session for this year - Mentor for a Moment with Future Arts Professionals,” said Tess Prusa ’23. “This session brought together students and young arts professionals with mentors who are already well established in the industry. We had the chance to connect with them, hear their origin stories, gather tips and advice, and ask them plenty of questions. Going into such a niche industry, it was incredibly valuable to connect with so many people who are all invested in the same path that I seek for myself.”
The trip also provided opportunities for students to explore New York City and experience the performing arts, including a visit to the Museum of Broadway and two Broadway shows – “The Piano Lesson” and “Six the Musical.”
Ultimately, the APAP Conference was a valuable experience for Arts and Entertainment Management students to immerse themselves in the industry.
“This trip was an eye-opening and hands-on example of what we have learned through our curriculum, applied to the real world, and showcased by these industry professionals,” said Heather Doyle ’23. “Having the opportunity to network with these individuals, take a seat in their sessions and affinity groups, and volunteer amongst some of the hardest working people in our industry was incredibly valuable to our education, and personally, my confidence.”