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APAP awards over $2 million through ArtsForward Grant Program

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The Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) is pleased to announce that it has awarded $2.065 million from The Mellon Foundation to artists and presenters through ArtsForward, a new program to support the performing arts field’s safe, vibrant, and equitable reopening and recovery. As venues reopen, tours resume, and audiences reconnect, these grants will fuel collaborations between APAP presenter members and partnering artists/ensembles. 

The APAP ArtsForward program awarded 47 grants of $50,000 and $35,000 to APAP presenting organizations working in partnership with an artist or ensemble. The program placed priority on funding small and mid-sized presenting organizations with operating budgets of less than $5M, and, as part of a growing movement to promote greater equity between presenters and artists, it will distribute at least half of the funds directly to artists over the course of their engagements. As the performing arts collectively recovers, grantees will also participate in peer gatherings.

“These 47 partnerships represent a shift in the ecosystem among artists and presenters, as well as the spirit of APAP’s 10/20/30 Pledge,” said Lisa Richards Toney, President and CEO of APAP. “Thanks to The Mellon Foundation, as we emerge from the biggest challenge in our field’s history, artists, working with presenters, producers and agents, can lead the way.”

“As our peer panel observed, the special relationships between artists and presenters were evident in the applications and grounded the selection of grants,” said Krista Bradley, Director of Programs and Resources at APAP, who oversees the program. “The applicant pool confirmed that equitable relationships among presenters, artists and agents are vital to our industry, its reopening, and its future success.”

Selected by a panel of experts in the performing arts field, the 47 grantee collaborations support a variety of presenting organizations, a diverse array of artists, and a broad range of approaches to reopening. They include emerging artists who are finding their voice as well as established artists passing on their traditions. 

Among the 47 partnerships are presenters with a range of budget sizes, working independently as well as within colleges, universities, museums, and other larger institutions. Artists funded work in blues, jazz, vocal, pops, mariachi, world, and other musical genres; African, aerial, contemporary, hip-hop, hula, modern, tap, flamenco, and marching band dance; solo and ensemble theater; and an array of multidisciplinary forms. 

Engagements will take place in-person, through performances, showings, readings, classes, talks, workshops and other interactive formats in indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as virtually. Many collaborations will begin with residencies that offer artists time to create, along with opportunities for artists to connect with communities in classrooms, college campuses, festivals, parks and online. 

The majority of artists will tour to presenters’ communities to interact with audiences that include adults, college and K-12 students, families and the general public. Select projects are designed for specific audiences, such as the LGBTQ and disability communities.

A complete list of grant-supported collaborations can be found here.

Read the full press release here.

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  • Recording of plenary sessions that is intended for broadcast or webcast requires prior arrangement and permission through APAP;
  • Advance scheduling is required for all filming during exhibit hours; 
  • Advance scouting, without cameras, is required; 
  • All camera crew personnel must wear press badges, and badges must be visible while on the exhibit floor; 
  • All camera crews will be escorted by a representative of the Conference while on the exhibit floor; 
  • A list of filming needs, indicating company name and booth number, must be approved by APAP in advance of any filming; 
  • Permission must be granted by each exhibitor before any filming begins. Camera crews must provide release forms before filming; 
  • If you ?need power, other than battery pack, advance arrangements are required and can be arranged by contacting Leah Frelinghuysen;
  • You will be responsible for any costs related to electrical needs; 
  • Interviews for exhibitors in the EXPO Hall should be scheduled up to one week before the conference starts (January 10, 2020) and advance scheduling is required for all filming during exhibit hours

Press Contact:
Leah Frelinghuysen
Media Relations Consultant, APAP|NYC 2020
Association of Performing Arts Professionals

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