Focus on Excellence

Final day in EXPO Hall. Happily, I am hearing from many of my colleagues that this year’s conference was a good one. Interest, excitement, discussions — this year is recovering an energy that hopefully parallels an economic recovery (even a slow-moving one). I was happy with the traffic and the interest.

One of my artists was commenting today about the difference between the commercial music world and the world APAP represents. A veteran of SXSW, this was his first APAP conference and first showcase experience — a real eye-opener for him. Though we are all terribly conscious of the bottom line, our primary motive is to get good, exciting, sometimes challenging work into our theaters and the lives of our communities and our children. In the commercial world, he felt like a commodity. The expectations here remind him of the focus on excellence in performance.

Though the “marketplace” of EXPO Hall may indicate otherwise, the awards at lunch on Monday reaffirmed what we value in our work – not only quality arts of all stripes, but ensuring that arts are a part of everyone’s life experience, in performances that reach not only conventional ticket-buyers, but also our schoolkids, our multilingual communities, college campuses, festivalgoers. That’s why we do what we do — also because there is so much talent out there! The APAP convening reminds us how much.

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One Response to Focus on Excellence

  1. roger thom says:

    Thoughts from a newbie,
    Wow! As I finally settled down in my seat for the flight back to SLC I did a couple of things; breathed, took off my shoes and lastly smiled. I now know the reason many people come back to APAP year after year. It is not only to premiere your newest venue, showcase your next big thing or feel the pulse of the industry. It’s also to reconnect with those that made your job possible in the first place. Whether it’s a presenter that gave you a break, a fellow artist that gave you a tip or some crazy combination that could only happen in the arts. I came away with the feeling that things are changing there is no doubt, but change is good that is for sure.

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