Students participating in the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) Conference

Dean College students had the opportunity to attend the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) Conference in January, prior to the start of the 2022 spring semester. Originally, the 13 students were scheduled to attend and serve as student-volunteers at the conference in New York City, as they had in the previous year, but due to the Omicron surge, the conference pivoted to a virtual setting using the Swapcard platform a week prior to its start.

The students (“Team APAP”) included Cammi Bailey, Casey Carlino, Rachel Castagnetti, Haley Custodio, Mickey Dorsey, Kaitlyn Epps, Eileen Kean, Breawna Kraske, Katherine Magley, Nicholas Maloof, Katherine Montgomery, Baxter Nichols, and Bradley Robinson. They were joined by group leaders 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. “I am proud of our students rolling with the punches and diving into the virtual conference with great energy and noted enthusiasm,” said Rowell. 

The students were able to attend professional development sessions, plenary and keynote speaker sessions, artist showcases and networking opportunities, in addition to visiting the virtual expo hall and conducting personal meetings with booking agents, presenters, artists and industry leaders throughout the weeklong virtual conference. Some of the professional development sessions included “The Arts in 2022 – Recovery, Resilience and Purpose”; “Contracting in a New Era”; “The Loyalty Highway with Patrons”; “Time to Flip Some Tables: The Future of Nonprofits, Philanthropy and the Arts”; and others. 

The APAP Conference took place virtually on Swapcard, a conference and meeting platform that connects people remotely to attend synchronous meetings and sessions, view artist showcases, attend networking opportunities, connect with conference attendees, schedule meetings and much more. One of Dean’s Team APAP students at this year’s conference was recognized as “Most Engaged” on Swapcard – congrats to Baxter Nichols, who won a full 2023 conference registration in recognition of being the “Most Engaged”!

In addition to the professional development sessions, there were hundreds of artist showcases available throughout the week, including live streamed showcase performances by major dance companies as part of a festival connected with the conference. The expo hall featured virtual booths and meeting opportunities with booking agents from around the world representing thousands of different artists, from Broadway touring to major symphony orchestras to professional touring dance companies to Cirque-style artists to outstanding solo performing artists, and beyond.

The students also had the chance to meet as a group with industry leaders, including Erika Finley, booking agent with Live Arts and Attractions; Mary Katz, Executive Director of the Carson Center; Mister Mojo, self-managed artist and mentor; and Lisa Richards Toney, President/CEO of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP).

Dean students also received a formal “shout-out” from Lisa Richards Toney, APAP’s President and CEO, who delivered the speech during the conference’s closing plenary session and who commended their remarkable energy and their representation of the future of the performing arts industry.

Learn more about the School of the Arts and the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance at Dean College.