Four Days, Forty-five Hundred People, and We Go Forth

This past week we were at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters convention in New York city. If you’ve ever wondered how programming at your local performance center is created, this convention provides some of the answers. There are three main activities at the convention: selling, meeting and showcasing.

For the selling, agents, artists and a few national organizations have booths covering three floors of convention space at the Hilton Hotel that highlight their artistic works ready to tour: chamber music groups, dance companies, soloists, theatre ensembles, magicians and other speciality acts. The noise, multitude of opportunities, and occasional glimpses of desperation can all be quite daunting. Still, it is amazing to see so many possibilities for programming and so many determined to make it happen.

Meetings were organized around topics — Buzz Marketing, Digital Marketplace, Focus on Research, Global Perspectives, for example. At the ones we attended, the divide of the selling (this one’s offering, that one’s buying) was broken down for easy panel presentations and honest questions. One lesson was clear: both the makers and presenters of work can feel very much alone in their endeavors; they need to share knowledge, experience, and points of view.

The showcasing took place all over New York — from concert halls to small theatres to hotel meeting rooms. Here, agents would hustle and artists would perform (sometimes whole pieces, sometimes just a sample) to any and all willing to enter. Always the best selling point is the work itself. You have to tip your hat to performers trying to make their mark in a windowless room better designed for faceless bureaucrats sitting at a table with water, mints and hotel notepads.

For us, the best part was the opportunity to speak with current and future users of this site. From these conversations it was made clear to us how much this site can be of service to each constituency of the convention: artists, presenters, and national organizations.

For those centers that host festivals, they can input all their updated programming, ticketing, resources and practical information directly via the email link on their page on our site. (And email us to add their festival if we don’t have it already!)

For the artists, they can send us links to their work: reviews, profiles, samples of music, and photographs. When they appear at a festival this information will be used to create links from that festival’s page on our site.

As we round the track on our first half of beta testing, these kinds of additions move us from a site solely produced by us to one that is mutually produced with the field — and that field includes the audiences.

More to come on additions, designs and tools.

- Bill Reichblum

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace

One Response to “Four Days, Forty-five Hundred People, and We Go Forth”

  1. KadmusArts - where culture speaks » Blog Archive » Join the Party
    July 31st, 2006 01:11

    [...] Join the Party [...]

Leave a Reply