Arts Presenters Programs Support Vision

Sep 15, 2010


The Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) 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.

APAP "envisions a world where all people experience the transformative power of live performance -- a world where performing artists are integral to all communities, where ideas circulate vigorously and freely, and where people from all cultures affirm and understand themselves and each other through the arts."

Among the organization's values are cultural inclusivity: "We believe the performing arts bridge differences among individuals, communities, and cultures. For the performing arts to flourish, we must have cultural diversity in our membership, our presentations, and our audiences."

Arts Presenters supports this vision with a number of programs. Below you will find information on relevant awards, grants, think tanks, and other resources.


Arts Access Awards

The goal of the Arts Access Awards is to recognize performing arts presenters and venues that demonstrate innovation, leadership, and a commitment to the full integration of older adults, immigrants, people with disabilities, and underserved communities as equal partners in the performing arts. Made possible by the MetLife Foundation, Arts Access Awards is in its seventh and final year.  Learn about 2010 award recipients in the categories of Engaging Underserved Communities and Engaging Individuals with Disabilities.

Expanding Access to the Arts

Arts Presenters developed this interactive program to provide in-depth information and useful tips on accessibility and inclusion in the arts. Arts Presenters' goal is to increase knowledge and encourage participation by profiling the work of exemplary awardees and highlighted leaders in the field of presenting who consistently demonstrates dynamic accessibility initiatives. This link features best practices of the eleven performing arts organizations recognized by Arts Presenters since 2005.

Five Years of Expanding Arts Access

A brochure highlighting five years of the Expanding Arts Access program.


"Reaching is Believing" by Dan Vergano

"When arts organizations extend a knowing hand to their community members and understand neighborhood history, accessibility becomes part of their success. And the MetLife/Arts Presenters Award offers a round of applause."


The Cultural Exchange Fund is a travel subsidy program supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to assist U.S. based presenters in building partnerships and collaborations with international touring artists, companies, and their collaborators and in seeing the work of artists from around the world in its cultural context.

The Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program identifies, supports, and documents cross-campus interdisciplinary collaborations that integrate the work of performing arts presenters in the academy and the surrounding community. It emphasizes diverse collaborations among artistic, educational, and community sectors, and it frequently involves multicultural individuals and communities.


Tomorrow's Jazz Audiences: Where Are They?
"'Everybody has a place in [jazz]... it's intergenerational, it is cross-cultural, it is different backgrounds and classes,' in other words, the music is inclusive." This is an executive summary of a meeting that took place at APAP's 2010 annual conference identifying questions about the supposed diminishing jazz audiences.

Classical Music Think Tank 2007
"This was the second such 'think tank' held as an initiative of Arts Presenters' Classical Connection - an endowed program dedicated to advancing the presention of and increasing participation in classical music... The purpose of the think tank was to identify issues, trends, and challenges in the classical music field, and develop strategies for taking indvidual and collective action."

U.S. Classical Music Leadership Think Tank 2005
"Change offers the opportunity to retreat, or to advance. The Association of Performing Arts Presenters asembled a cross-section of classical music professionals to brainstorm on the theme of change and opportunity... Implicit in [questions raised] is the feeling that old methods of discovery, programming, and promotion are decreasingly effective. The intent of the Think Tank was not merely to air frustrations, or to raise more questions, but to capture some real answers. Which perhaps may provoke changes in programming, audience development, and community engagement."


Beyond the Ramp: Accessibility as an Organizational Asset

by Johanna Misey Boyer, JMB Arts Management

"If you add together the increasing number of older adults and the number of people with disabilities, and factor into the equation their spending power plus the importance of ticket sales and fundraising, the sum is clear: accessibility equals good business. There are a myriad of reasons other than revenue why accessibility is important, and - beyond the dollars - infusing awareness of accessibility and diversity into the organization and planning for accessibility will help make all audience members welcome." This paper looks at what presenters can do to become more accessible philosophically, and through leadership, and planning and evaluation.

"Conscious Connections"

Keynote Address by Nancy Cantor, Chancellor and President, Syracuse University

"The arts can span the divides created by age, ethnicity, culture, and class, and they are powerful engines of hope."

"Thriving in an Uncertain World: Arts Presenting Change and the New Realities"

by Kenneth J. Foster

"It is my contention that, more than just an economic collapse, we are at the moment of a potential cultural shirt, one that has important implications for the work that we do." Arts Presenters commissioned this new business white paper on presenters, the economy, and the potential cultural shift.