Several Dean College students served as volunteers at the 2020 Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) Conference held in New York City on January 8-14, 2020. The trip was planned and coordinated by Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Arts and Entertainment Management at Dean College, David Rowell.
APAP is the annual international conference for the presenting industry. Attendees of the conference included organizations from around the world; booking agents and managers who represent artists/performers; artists and managers who are self-represented performers; and performing arts industry professionals in the areas of programming, marketing, fundraising, facility management and more.
The group from Dean College arrived in New York City on Wednesday, January 8 to begin preparations for the conference. During that time, students worked as volunteers, assisting with registration, event management and support, attendance monitoring, customer service and overall conference support.
Part of the overall experience included attending two Broadway shows—the Tony Award-winning Hadestown on January 8 and Tony Award-winning To Kill a Mockingbird on January 14. After the performance of To Kill a Mockingbird, students were invited to meet with cast member, Rebecca Watson.
In addition to volunteering, students were able to attend a variety of professional development sessions, plenary sessions, showcase performances, masterclasses, regional and national arts associations meetings and more. Some standout experiences were a plenary session with musician and arts advocate Ben Folds, who spoke with the students after the presentation, and showcase performances by artists from all different genres of performing arts including magician Mike Super, Broadway stars Adam Pascal and Debbie Gravitte and comedians Yakov Smirnoff and Second City.
Students also had the unique opportunity to engage in professional networking with industry professionals and leaders throughout their trip.