Board of Directors
Board of Directors
The Board, working on behalf of Association of Performing Arts Presenters’s members, envisions the future of the association and the development of long-range goals and strategic priorities. The Board ensures that appropriate resources exist to carry out the strategic priorities.
Board members are accountable for understanding, accepting and interpreting the philosophy and purpose of Arts Presenters to its members and other important constituencies. Board members are responsible for ensuring and maintaining an understanding of demographic, cultural, social, and economic trends nationally and internationally and their implications for Arts Presenters. All Board members will exhibit demonstrated expertise with cultural diversity as it relates to leadership development, programming and audience development.
In carrying out its major responsibilities, the Board of Directors functions in the major areas of: (1) policy making; (2) fiduciary stewardship of the organization, its mission and its members; (3) helping to secure the organization’s future by active engagement in fundraising; (4) providing strategic leadership to oversee implementation of approved strategic direction and policies determined by the full board and carried out by staff; and (5) acting as an enthusiastic ambassador on behalf of the organization to its membership and the larger community.
Following a call for nominations from the membership, Directors are elected for three year terms with option for election for up to two consecutive terms. Board members may serve a maximum of six consecutive years unless serving as an officer; in which case, an individual may serve up to nine years or three consecutive terms.
Josh LaBelle has served as the Executive Director of the Seattle Theatre Group (STG) since the spring 2001. Prior to assuming leadership of the organization, he spent the previous five years directing programming and overseeing operations for STG's historic theatres, The Paramount and The Moore.
During Josh's ten years with STG, he was an integral part of the team that took the stewardship of these theatres from a then for-profit business under the moniker of the Seattle Landmark Association to the notfor- profit STG. This effort included installing a board of directors and an advisory board and refining the vision, goals and strategic plan of the newly formed not-for-profit.
Before joining STG, Josh spent several years working as a musician where he had the opportunity to record and tour alongside such legends as T-Bone Burnett and Sam Phillips. Yet, the roots of his music career can be traced back to the four years he spent with the William Morris Agency in Los Angeles. At William Morris, he started out in the mailroom and eventually moved up to the Music Division where he assisted agents and booked concerts.
Josh holds a bachelor's degree in world art and culture from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Terri M. Trotter assumed the position of chief operating officer of the Walton Arts Center in 2009. Previously she acted as interim president/CEO and vice president of external affairs. Terri Trotter came to Walton Arts Center in the fall of 1998 from Chicago as the vice president of communications, overseeing all communication functions for the center including marketing and public relations, ticketing services and patron relations. In this capacity, she led a major brand research and refresh project and public launch of a new visual identity. In 2005 she helped implement a merger of the communications and development departments that she then headed. As vice president of external affairs, she lead the fundraising and communication teams at the center. She brings a strong background in communications, marketing and entertainment management.
Prior to the Walton Arts Centers, Trotter was cirector of sales for a corporate special event company in Chicago, and the marketing and promotions director for contemporary hit radio stations in Chicago, Indianapolis and Minneapolis. Ms. Trotter is active in national professional organizations including Association of Performing Arts Presenters, The Broadway League, and Public Relations Society of America. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and a master's degree in telecommunications from Indiana University.
Board Vice Chair
President & CEO
EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts
Board Member through January 2015
Mr. Johann F. Zietsman assumed the role as president and CEO of EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts in Calgary on December 1, 2009.
Mr. Zietsman brings with him a wealth of experience in all aspects of arts management, including advocacy, corporate governance, strategic and facility planning, as well as fund development. Previously he held the position of executive director of the Mesa Arts Center in Arizona. He served as Chief Executive Officer of the International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA), a global network for leaders in the performing arts, from 2002-2007. Mr. Zietsman was Managing Director of VWV Events (Johannesburg, SA), Chief Executive Officer of The Playhouse Company (Durban, SA) and held various senior positions within a multitude of organizations in South Africa, his country of origin. Mr. Zietsman holds a Master of Music degree from Ithaca College and a bachelor's degree in architecture from University Orange Free State in South Africa.
At 36, Luis Alvarez is one of the youngest theatrical producers in Spain. After several years producing musical concerts with Spanish stars including Alejandro Sanz, Revolver and Sergio Dalma, Alvarez ventured into the world of theater and formed Wonderland Group to license a production of Alice in Wonderland. With its success, he was able to afford to produce other events, including Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Noah’s Ark, Merlin the Magician and the ultra-successful Cinderella starring Miriam Díaz Aroca.
In 2001, Luis successfully secured the live theatrical rights to 101 Dalmatians. The musical premiered at the Calderón Theatre in Madrid and became a tremendous success, simultaneously launching a tour playing to packed houses throughout Spain. In November 2003, Luis premiered We Will Rock You at The Calderón Theatre. His love for the Calderón Theatre was so strong he acquired it in 2004.
In January 2007, he renamed the theatre THE HÄAGEN DAZS CALDERON THEATRE, making this the most important naming rights deal ever in Spain. Later that year, Wonderland Group became the most profitable entertainment company in Spain.
Alvarez has carried his dream to the U.S., producing the musical 101 Dalmatians for North American audiences. The show toured nationally and is preparing a tour for Europe and Asia in 2012. Alvarez is also the President of ARTERIA, which oversees 16 theaters throughout Spain and South America. He currently lives with his 15-year-old daughter in New York City.
Michael Blachly, Ph.D., is Director of University of Florida Performing Arts.
Since arriving in Gainesville in 2000 from UCLA Performing Arts, Dr. Blachly has expanded the live performing arts for the heart of Florida community in his position as Director of University of Florida Performing Arts.
Dr. Blachly is responsible for all public performing arts events presented under the auspices of the University of Florida Performing Arts, as well as overseeing fiscal management, marketing, educational residency activities, community outreach, fund development, commissioning, technical production, and facility coordination and scheduling.
He has served as a campus wide resource as Co-Chair of the University Sesquicentennial Celebration, Chair of the Presidential Inauguration, Advisor to all homecoming activities, and on-campus committees for the Foundation, University Athletic Association and various university colleges and departments.
Dr. Blachly holds a BA in Speech and Theatre/Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, an MA in Communication Theory/Sociology, from Washington State University, and a PhD in Educational Psychology/Higher Education Administration from the University of Tennessee.
Director of Public Programs
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Board Member through January 2016
Bill Bragin is the director of public programs at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where he is responsible for curating the popular Midsummer Night Swing and Lincoln Center Out of Doors festivals held on Lincoln Center’s public plazas each summer. Throughout his career, Bill Bragin has presented a "who’s who" of the music world, from Brazilian, Latin, African and Asian artists to rock, jazz, hip-hop, country, electronic and new music, as well as modern and ethnic dance and spoken word events. He served as director of Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater from 2001 through 2007 where, during that time, he was dubbed by Time Out in 2005 as “New York’s Finest Music Booker.” While at The Public Theater, he presented more than 3,000 concerts, introduced the Joe’s Pub in the Park concert series at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, developed ongoing contemporary dance and family programming, and initiated the Public's acclaimed new rock musical Passing Strange. In 2004, he co-founded the annual globalFEST world music festival, presented with World Music Institute and World Music/Crash Arts, in order to expand the role of world music in the performing arts field in North America. In addition, Bragin programmed the multi-disciplinary Central Park SummerStage performing arts festival for five seasons, including three as artistic director, expanding its international offerings and developing a dance and live music commissioning program. Bragin was music curator at Symphony Space for two seasons, where projects included the acclaimed Wall-to-Wall Miles Davis marathon. Previous experience includes working in a programming and production capacity for various festivals at George Wein's Festival Productions and managing the launch of Allen Toussaint and Joshua Feigenbaum's NYNO record label. He began his career as director of the Alternative Concert Series at Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges. Bragin has also consulted on a variety of music and performing arts projects including Lincoln Center Festival, the TED Conferences, the Abril Pro Rock Festival and worked with choreographers Susan Marshall, Wally Cardona and Ben Munisteri. He also dj’s internationally as part of the GlobeSonic Sound System, spinning hybridized world and electronic music under the moniker Acidophilus.
College of Lake County - James Lumber Center
Board Member through January 2015
Gwethalyn Bronner has served as administrative head of the College of Lake County’s performing arts center since its opening in early 1997, leading the development and management of the facility that includes three theaters, rehearsal rooms, costume and set construction areas and classrooms for dance, music and theater. As executive director, she oversees facility operations and use by internal college and outside community organizations; develops annual department budgets and strategic goals, contracts and manages the professional touring event series; and completes grant applications as needed. With six full-time and over 40 parttime, temporary and student workers, Bronner is committed to staff development to provide professional event support for approximately 250 performances and rehearsals every year, including box office services, backstage and technical assistance (lighting and audio), coordination of internal college facility use, concession sales and merchandising, and community facility rentals in accordance with college policies.
The James Lumber Center plans and manages a vibrant season of 15 professional touring adult and family events, plus a daytime series of fourto- six shows with a total of 16-20 performances for elementary school students. In addition, the JLC supports approximately 60 annual college performances and programs, and 30 or more performances sponsored by various Lake County arts organizations. Currently, the JLC serves more than 40,000 patrons and facility users each year with a budget of just under $1 million. The organization enjoys membership in a variety of industry organizations, including the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Arts Alliance Illinois, INTIX, and the Illinois Presenters Network, where Bronner serves as a board member. In 2009, Bronner was honored for her efforts with the 2009 Woman of Achievement Award for Arts and Culture from the YWCA Lake County.
Prior to her current position, Bronner served as artistic director and program coordinator of Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre in Evanston, IL, a municipal program of the city’s Recreation Department. Providing artistic oversight of the annual four-show season, her management responsibilities included budget development, identification and contracting of season productions, hiring production staff (directors, designers and other support staff), coordinating advertising and audience development efforts, managing the box office, and occasionally directing or performing in FJT productions such as Sophisticated Ladies, Guys and Dolls and The Amen Corner. Related work experience includes 12 years as a project director for Analytical Computer Services, a firm specializing in data processing for marketing research and two years with Leo Burnett Advertising (media accounting).
A professional actress with AFTRA and SAG, Bronner has performed numerous roles on stage, in voiceovers, commercials and industrial films. Her academic training includes a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL as a theater major and a master’s degree in arts administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Colby began her arts administrative career as manager for several contemporary choreographers and companies, including Nancy Duncan's CoDanceCo and Michele Elliman's Neo Labos Dancetheater. She was the founding company manager (1997-2003) of Seán Curran Company. She formed Elsie Management in 1995 specifically to provide representation to colleagues and peers at the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters conference.
Since forming Elsie Management, Colby has represented over twenty-five performing arts touring companies from five continents, coordinating tours to over 200 global venues. She has served as project manager, forming presenter and funding consortiums to support the development, creation, and touring of new works. Currently, Elsie Management has a global roster of 20 performing arts companies including the world renowned Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca, the beloved Mummenschanz, and the singular Australia's Strange Fruit.
Colby served on the board of NAPAMA (North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents) for six years from 2002-2008, and as its president in 2007 and 2008. Under her direction, NAPAMA's membership increased 30%, the organization led the field in developing the industry's first educational sessions on the complex issue of US taxation of foreign artists and touring companies and NAPAMA secured access to General Liability coverage for its membership through a partnership with Fractured Atlas, among other accomplishments. In 2001, Colby founded Dance/USA's Agents and Artist Representation Council. She served as the Council's founding chair for three years and on the board of Dance/USA for four years.
Colby has been an invited speaker and panelist at industry convenings around the globe, conducting the first NAPAMA educational session down under at the 2010 Australian Performing Arts Market. She was the initiating facilitator between Dr. Edward Fishkin, medical director at Woodhull Hospital and Medical Center and the performing arts community in the creation of ArtistAccess, the groundbreaking healthcare program for artists and arts workers begun in May, 2005 that has now been launched at other New York City hospitals
Colby graduated with a BFA in dance from The Juilliard School and performed with the Limón Dance Company, Seán Curran Company and with choreographers Ann Carlson and Sara Rudner, among many others. An avid cyclist, Colby has ridden her road bike over 3,000 miles for AIDS charities and served as bike support for the 2005 and 2006 New York City Marathon. She lives in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope.
J C Enterprises Focused Learning
Board Member through January 2014
Jim Copenhaver is senior partner of the consulting firm J C Enterprises Focused Learning. The firm provides focused process management tools to assist non-profit organizations to fully achieve their purpose by utilizing the creative and innovative capabilities of leadership, employees and volunteers. The firm specializes in the areas of organizational development, governance models, self-directed teams, strategic business and marketing planning, and change management. Copenhaver's experience with organizations in transition reflects 31 years of management leadership with Honeywell. There he was involved in pioneering efforts to shift from traditional hierarchical structures to team-based and self-directed work teams.
Following his business career, he accepted the challenge to serve as the first Executive Director/CEO for the Colorado Symphony, the nation's first orchestra to create a working partnership of musicians, trustees and community. This new "partnership model" received national recognition as a viable alternative for non-profit organizations facing financial and operational issues. Subsequently, he has served as Interim Executive Director for the Western States Arts Federation, for Childsplay, a professional Theatre for Youth in Tempe, Arizona, for the Colorado Symphony again in 2002 and in 2003, and as Interim Executive Director for the Phoenix Boys Choir. In each of these positions, while assisting in the selection of the new Executive Director, he provided assistance to the Boards with strategic planning, governance, and facilitated changes required to deal with the impact on their missions caused by the changing environment for the arts.
In October 2011, he was asked again to serve as Interim President/CEO of the Colorado Symphony as it was faced with significant financial and operating challenges.
Copenhaver provides his business acumen and experience to assist a wide range of non-profit arts organizations. In addition, he currently serves on the following Boards of Trustees: Arts for Colorado (Vice President);Englewood (CO.) Cultural Arts Center Association (Vice Chair); Childsplay Theatre for Youth; Phoenix Symphony Board of Overseers.
Alaska State Council on the Arts
Board Member through January 2016
Shannon Daut is the executive director of the Alaska State Council on the Arts, where she leads the state's efforts to serve the citizens and communities of Alaska through the arts. Previous to her move to Alaska, Daut was deputy director of the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF). While at WESTAF, she oversaw the organization's work in the areas of cultural policy and technology. In addition, she worked closely with the state arts agency directors in the WESTAF region to help advance their work serving the citizens of the 13 western states. Daut also serves on the board of the National Performance Network and the Western States Arts Federation. She served as co-chair of the Create Denver Advisory Committee, a creative economy initiative of the city of Denver. Daut received her bachelor's degree in communication arts/film from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her graduate degree in communication/rhetoric from the University of Colorado-Denver.
A 2005 MacArthur Fellow and member of the Obama National Arts Policy Committee, Aaron P. Dworkin is the founder and president of the Sphinx Organization, the leading national arts organization that focuses on youth development and diversity in classical music. An author, social entrepreneur, artist-citizen, and avid youth education advocate, he has received extensive national recognition for his vast accomplishments.
An accomplished electric and acoustic violinist, Mr. Dworkin received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in violin performance from the University of Michigan School of Music, graduating with high honors. He attended the Peabody Institute, the Philadelphia New School and the Interlochen Arts Academy, studying with Vladimir Graffman, Berl Senofsky, Jascha Brodsky, John Eaken, Renata Knific, Donald Hopkins and Stephen Shipps.
In his role as a visionary leader, Mr. Dworkin has led two phases of strategic planning with the Sphinx Organization. He also served as the co-chair of the Arts and Cultural Education Task Force for the State of Michigan designing the required arts curriculum for Michigan schools and serves as co-chair of the Planning Task Force which oversees the strategic merger of ArtServe Michigan (statewide arts advocacy organization) and MACAA (Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies). In addition, Mr. Dworkin serves on other strategic planning committees including the American Symphony Orchestra League.
Mr. Dworkin currently serves on the Board of Directors of Michigan’s highly esteemed University Musical Society, Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, National Society for the Gifted and Talented, Artserve Michigan, Walnut Hill School, WRCJ 90.9 Detroit Classical and Jazz Radio and the NEW (Non-Profit Enterprise at Work) Center. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of ASTA Alternative Strings Awards, National Association of Arts Presenters, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Rachel Barton Pine Foundation and the Avery Fisher Artist Program.
A lifelong musician, Mr. Dworkin is an accomplished acoustic and electric violinist, a spoken-word and visual artist. He has strong interests in politics, world history and issues of economic and social injustice. In addition to various genres of music, he enjoys travel and culinary arts.
Director of Performance Programs
International Festival of Arts and Ideas
Board Member through January 2015
Cathy Edwards is a curator of live performance in multiple disciplines. She is recognized for her expertise in festival-related programming, her commitment to contemporary dance and for championing artists whose work embraces emerging ideas and forms. She is currently the director of performance programs at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, CT (September 2006 to present) and serving a three-year term as the artistic director of the Time-Based Art Festival at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art in Portland, OR (October 2008 to September 2011). Previously, she was artistic director of Dance Theater Workshop in New York City (1996 – 2006). Edwards has been recognized by The New York Times for supporting “provocative, experimental choreographers,” and for “daring curatorial choices [that] showed her to be as creative and imaginative as many of the artists she booked.”
Over the course of her career, Edwards has consistently dedicated resources and attention to commissioning and presenting a next generation of important performing artists; she has also introduced important international artists to the attention of U.S. viewers and programmers.
During her years at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Edwards has designed innovative programming initiatives in dance and emerging performance forms that have included such diverse performers and companies as the dance-theater ensemble Big Dance Theater (New York), the nouveau cirque artist Aurelia Thieree (France), dance company Chunky Move (Australia), the Apparatus Theatre Group (Russia), the theater ensemble Siti Company (New York), the sound and performance artist Ray Lee (UK), and the renowned American dance companies Mark Morris Dance Group, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane and Company, Susan Marshall and Dancers, and the Martha Graham Dance Company.
At the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, where Edwards is serving a three-year term as artistic director of the Time-Based Art Festival, she has introduced artists to Portland such as theatermakers Elizabeth LeCompte and the Wooster Group (New York), choreographer Raimund Hoghe (Germany), filmmaker Charles Atlas (New York), site-based theater ensemble Back-to-Back Theatre (Australia), contemporary choreographer Kyle Abraham (New York), ensemble theater company Rude Mechs (Austin, TX) and performance art duo RobbinsChilds (New York).
At Dance Theater Workshop, Edwards was instrumental in bringing the work of artists such as Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods (Belgium), Rachid Ouramdane/Association Fin Novembre (France), Jerome Bel (France), Maria Hassabi (New York), and Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People (New York) to the DTW stage. She developed program structures and committed resources to support artist residencies and commissions on a long-term basis.
Edwards has served on numerous grantgiving and funding panels, including for the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, United States Artists, the Japan Foundation, and Creative Capital. Edwards has also attended numerous international arts festivals and conferences as an invited guest and as part of international delegations as well as for curatorial research. Her writing has been featured in Inside Arts, the magazine of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, in the Dance/USA Journal, and in the USArtists Fellowship Catalogue among others. She served as a board member for the National Performance Network for six years, and currently serves on the board of directors for Movement Research in New York. Edwards is a mentor to young professionals in the performing arts and active in New England Presenters and in the professional development of artists in her local community.
Executive Director of Fine Arts Programming
College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University
Board Member through January 2015
Brian Jose is the Executive Director of Fine Arts Programming at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, a multidisciplinary presenter that serves Central Minnesota. Jose is responsible for establishing the strategic direction of FAP and is strongly committed to creating ongoing and meaningful collaborations between the performing and visual arts and academic life of the campus and community. He fervently believes that success in the future will belong to today's young people who engage in creative experiences.
Previously, Jose was the director of marketing and communications for the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland. His primary responsibility as a member of the Center's senior leadership team was brand development strategy. Mr. Jose has knowledge across a number of arts organizations and disciplines including orchestras, museums, theater, dance, visual arts, arts technology, and higher education. Before his tenure at Fine Arts Programming and the Clarice Smith Performing Art Center, Jose worked at the Arizona State University Herberger College of Fine Arts. Jose was involved with the opening of the new Phoenix Art Museum. His orchestral experience includes nine years between the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. He received a bachelor's degree in communications from Wittenberg University.
An occasional Republican, Brian is married to a beautiful Democrat, Patty Candella. They have four children, no pets and like cheese.
Nicole Borrelli Hearn is a manager of artists and attractions at Opus 3 Artists where she has been since 1998. She oversees project development and touring for The Joffrey Ballet, eighth blackbird, Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), Patti LuPone, Max Raabe & Palast Orchester, Mike Daisey, Imago Theater, Eileen Ivers and the visual installation artist David Michalek. Prior to her work at Opus 3 Artists she was the booking manager at International Production Associates in New York (1996-1998) where she booked tours for Philip Glass, Spalding Gray, Twyla Tharp, Elizabeth Streb, Richard Foreman, Lisa Kron and Diamanda Galas among others. Prior to moving to New York, Hearn was the producer of developing works at AMTF (Prince Music Theater) in Philadelphia from 1992-1996. Hearn served on the board of directors of the SITI Company (1998-2008) and the Theater Alliance of Philadelphia (1995-1996), and performed as a member of Comedy Sportz from 1992-1996. She lives in Brooklyn’s Park Slope with her husband John, son Hudson and daughter Vivian.
President, Performing Arts Division
The Roots Agency
Board Member through January 2014
Larry Kosson is a founding partner and an agent for SMG Artists, a performing arts agency representing international touring artists in disciplines that include classical, world and popular music, dance and theater for young audiences. SMG Artists represents Cathie Ryan, Calico Winds, the Chestnut Brass Company, the David Munnelly Band, GrooveLily, Pushcart Players, Robin Spielberg, Tales & Scales, and Yu Wei Chinese Dance Collection. While public performances for these artists are the primary focus of the agency, a strong emphasis is placed on arts-in-education and community engagement. Founded in 2000, SMG Artists has provided corporate sponsorship to the Association of Performing Arts Presenters' annual conference since 2002, along with various sponsorships of regional and state presenter conferences and consortia.
Larry began his career in the performing arts as a student employee for the Student Activities Department, and as a student presenter for the College Activities Board at the Rochester Institute of Technology. After receiving a BFA with high honors in professional photographic illustration, Larry worked as a legislative assistant to New York State Assembly member Richard Gottfried, a long-time advocate of the visual and performing arts.
Larry and his wife, pianist and composer Robin Spielberg (co-founder and chief financial officer of SMG Artists) also own an independent recording label, playMountain Music. Larry has executive produced eight recordings, including Robin's May 2008 release "A New Kind of Love" and is a voting member of the Recording Academy (GRAMMY). Larry and Robin live in New Freedom, PA, with their nine-year-old daughter Valerie, and their two fabulous felines.
Eric Lariviere was appointed Manager of the Markham Theatre for Performing Arts in Ontario in 2009.
From 2002 to 2007, Eric Lariviere served as general manager of the Florida International Festival and its Winter Season presenting division, Central Florida Cultural Endeavors (CFCE). In 2007, Lariviere became president of Daytona Beach International Festival upon the reorganization and renaming of the former Florida International Festival. Under his leadership, the event blossomed into the largest orchestral Festival in Florida while CFCE was the leading concert presenter in eastern Central Florida. During his leadership tenure, Lariviere was pivotal in launching a comprehensive strategic planning process and major organizational transition that led to repositioning the festival as a major cultural destination attraction. In addition, he implemented strategies to diversify funding sources that resulted in significant organizational and programmatic growth.
Prior to his arrival in the United States, Eric was general manager of the Societe du Centre Pierre-Peladeau, in Montreal, Canada. During his nine-year tenure, he developed and positioned the center as one of the prime performing arts venues in downtown Montreal, implementing multiple programs in music, modern dance and family entertainment. Lariviere also brought the 2003 International Performing Arts for Youth Conference to the Center.
Lariviere's management experience also includes work with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra as well as other cultural projects at the national and international level. Involved in the community, he was successively president of the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (the Pan-Canadian association for touring and presenting), president of the Volusia County Cultural Alliance, and has recently begun serving on the Board of Directors of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.
A native of Canada, Lariviere studied cello at McGill University and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Quebec in Montreal.
Steve Levine is executive vice president of the West Coast concert department for of International Creative Management, Inc., a talent and literary agency representing clients in the fields of publishing, motion pictures, television, music and theater. ICM, a privately held corporation, is one of the predominant agencies in the United States and Europe, with its principal offices in Los Angeles, New York and London. He oversees all comedy, music and other personal appearances out of the agency's Los Angeles office. Clients he represents include Jay Leno, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Aretha Franklin, David Spade, David Sanborn, Patti LaBelle, D.L. Hughley, Jim Belushi, The Temptations, Paul Rodriguez, Brad Garrett, Kathy Griffin, Howie Mandel, Rita Rudner, Ellen DeGeneres and Katt Williams. Mr. Levine joined ICM in 1987 as a booking agent, and was promoted to head of the West Coast music department in 1999. Prior to ICM, he ran his own agency, Independent Artes and Concerts, which specialized in representing Latin American artists and booking concerts in Latin America. Mr. Levine got his start in the entertainment industry at Spotlight Entertainment, a small independent booking agency. Before that he was, by his own admission, a mediocre musician and a pretty good waiter. A Philadelphia native, Mr. Levine attended Widener College, Temple University and West Chester State College. He lives in Studio City with his wife Linda and their daughter Sophie.
Jeffrey A. Parks is the president and chief quest officer (CQO) of ArtsQuest, a nonprofit community-based arts organization in Bethlehem, Penn. ArtsQuest is the largest presenter of live music in Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the U.S., offering more than 1,200 live shows annually. Parks is the principal founder of Musikfest, a 10-day music festival that features more than 500 live musical performances on 14 stages in Bethlehem’s two downtown districts each August. The festival has become internationally known for its variety of musical styles and its quality of presentation. With an average of more than one million attending annually, the event is one of the largest music festivals in the country.
ArtsQuest operates a visual arts and education center (the Banana Factory) and the SteelStacks cultural campus, which includes the ArtsQuest Center, Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks, the Air Products Town Square, PNC Plaza and the soon to be completed SteelStacks Hall. Opened in 2011, SteelStacks is located in the former Bethlehem Steel Plant, with venues surrounding the iconic blast furnaces on the site. Parks is credited with envisioning the campus and leading the efforts for this $70 million brownfields revitalization project that also includes a visitors’ center and the new headquarters for the regional PBS station.
ArtsQuest mission states: ArtsQuest will be an international model for providing access to exceptional artistic, cultural and educational experiences promoting individual and community creativity, enlightenment and fulfillment. In a region of less than 1,000,000 residents, ArtsQuest offers: a visual arts education program; studio space for 28 juried visual artists; five gallery and exhibit spaces for the visual arts; a two screen cinema featuring independent, foreign, documentary and scientific films; over 1,000 admission-free concerts by regional and community groups; over 150 concerts by regional, national and international artists in virtually all music genres in the Musikfest Café; and children and family shows and a comedy program.
ArtsQuest also presents festivals including Musikfest; Steel Jam (Jam Band Festival); Blast Furnace Blues; Oktoberfest; InVision (photography festival); Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem; Peeps Week (Children’s event); Sabor (Latin Festival); and special events for Memorial Day, July 4th and Patriot Day.
Parks has extensive experience in nonprofit management. He is an advocate for arts, culture and historic preservation as integral elements for community development.
Parks has served on the board of directors of Discover Lehigh Valley (regional tourism promotion agency), the Historic Bethlehem Partnership and the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. He also represented the Lehigh Valley in the 1995 White House conference on tourism, and he represents ArtsQuest in its membership with Americans for the Arts and Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania.
Parks graduated from Lehigh University, magna cum laude, majoring in government, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He resides in Bethlehem with his wife, Susan.
Aimée M. Petrin is the Executive Director of Portland Ovations (previously PCA Great Performances), a 77-year-old, Portland, ME-based, multidisciplinary presenting organization. While at Ovations, Petrin has directed an organizational strategic plan; launched a new arts education and community-based outreach program; lead Ovations’ first commission of a new work; introduced an expanded contemporary dance series and is actively building audiences in dance, classical (including non-traditional) and world arts.
Petrin is active in the performing arts field, participating regularly in regional and national grants panels, artist showcase juries, advisory groups, curating excursions, and panel discussions. In addition to serving on the Arts Presenters board, she is a member of the Maine Arts Commission and the Bates Dance Festival Advisory Board. Petrin is a former board chair for the Arts Presenters of Northern New England and has been instrumental in initiating and supporting regional performing arts projects. She is the former Northeast partner representative to the National Performance Network. She has twice been invited by the New England Foundation for the Arts to act as a delegate in international exchanges with Mexico.
Petrin previously served for 9 years as the programming manager at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, VT. While at the Flynn Center, her work with AXIS Dance Company helped garner the first Innovation in Arts Access awards from MetLife and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. In Vermont, she initiated longstanding partnerships focusing on diversity and arts access with the University of Vermont and other community organizations, designed and implemented artists' residencies, and produced site-specific performances with internationally recognized artists such as Meredith Monk, Eiko & Koma, Doug Varone and Joanna Mendle Shaw. She graduated with honors and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Vermont.
Alison Spiriti, a highly respected theater executive with extensive background in road programming, is currently serving as president of AWA Touring Services. AWA Touring Services is an industry leader in the booking and engagement management, fields for touring Broadway shows, family attractions and other live entertainment events. Its current roster includes the touring productions of The Phantom of the Opera, A Chorus Line, Cirque Dreams Illumination, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; the family attraction Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer Live! and the upcoming national tours of Dreamgirls, Xanadu, Vanities and Nickelodeon’s Storytime Adventures Live! This diverse roster gives AWA Touring a depth in the domestic marketplace, distributing events to theatrical venues of all sizes and to the network of US arenas.
Spiriti came to AWA directly from Live Nation Inc, where as senior vice president of programming for the company’s theatrical division she was responsible for the programming of more than 50 subscription series in markets across the U.S. and Canada. Shows she has worked on in various capacities, including routing and deal negotiating, are Monty Python’s Spamalot, Jersey Boys and Avenue Q., among many others. Spiriti has previously held positions at Disney Theatricals, The William Morris Agency and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. At BAM she worked alongside such esteemed companies and artists as the Royal Nation Theatre, Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal and Robert Wilson. She is an active member of the Broadway League and is on the board of directors of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.
Todd Wetzel, now in his 20th season as a presenter, serves as the director of Purdue Convocations, a collegiate multidisciplinary arts presenting organization that serves the regional audience of north central Indiana. After initially joining the Convocations staff in 1997 as the director of development, he became director in 1999. In his role as an artistic director, he selects and presents over 35 touring, professional presentations each season in a wide variety of genres: classical, jazz, world, rock, country, popular and folk music; theatre; dance; multi-disciplinary artforms; and living history. Additionally, he is responsible for strategic, fiscal, and management tasks of the $3M program, including budgeting and fundraising.
During his tenure at Valparaiso University (1990-1997), he participated in the design and construction committees of the $19.2M VU Center for the Arts, and served as the facility’s first director, with programming, marketing, budgeting, and facility management under his purview.
Growing up in the home of an artist, his education and training in the arts began informally at an early age in his mother’s painting studio. Musical studies beginning in elementary school included piano, woodwinds, guitar, and various Renaissance instruments, and formal instruction in piano began in an interdisciplinary music and business program. He subsequently earned the Master of Business Administration degree in the Krannert Graduate School of Business at Purdue University.
Throughout the past two decades, he has served the arts presenting field in numerous capacities: as the treasurer of the Indiana Presenters Network (1992-present); co-chair of the Midwest Arts Conference (2008); assistant chairperson for various committees for the Association of Arts Presenters's annual conference; and task force member for the North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents (NAPAMA) association. Additionally, he has served on grant review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Indiana Arts Commission and various local granting agencies.
His aesthetic and programmatic interests lie in creating rich connections between artists and the collegiate curriculum, the use of technology in the arts, as well as an exploration of global vernacular musical forms.
University Events Office
ArtPower! at UC San Diego
Board member through January 2015
As the director of the University Events Office at UC San Diego, Martin Wollesen oversees arts and event programs that enhance student life and support community involvement. As artistic director for ArtPower! at UC San Diego, Wollesen provides artistic guidance and strategic development for the university’s premiere multipresenting arts program in dance, music, spoken word and film. In 2007, Wollesen inaugurated ArtPower! Film, a series of interactive film experiences that compliment and extend the performing arts program, including the annual Up&Coming Film Festival dedicated to showcasing emerging student talent in a professionally juried context. In September 2008, he launched The Loft, a performance lounge and wine bar where emerging arts and pop culture collide.
The Loft programs an eclectic mix of performance experiences four-to-six nights a week and includes a public video gallery and visual art exhibitions. The Loft is the only venue of its kind on a college campus in the country, and was voted best venue in San Diego to appreciate music. In 2011, Wollesen created, in partnership with campus and community organizations, Wonderland, a biennial international festival of contemporary dance.
Wollesen has created and significantly broadened the ArtPower! Engagement programs. In 2006, he and faculty partners unfolded the Place Matters Project, the most comprehensive interdisciplinary arts initiative in the history of UCSD. This two-quarter residency with artists, faculty, staff and students explored issues of community, leadership and civic engagement using arts, and dance specifically, as a lens to address and respond to complex community concerns. In 2009, in collaboration with Wayne McGregor|Random Dance, Wollesen inaugurated the Innovator-in-Residence Project that explored choreographic cognition, creativity and learning distribution with UCSD faculty researchers, graduate and undergraduate students in cognitive science.
Wollesen has served on the board of directors for the Western Arts Alliance, serving as chair of the Mentor/New Colleague Committee and co-chair of Professional Development Committee and received the 2009 WAA Betty Connors Award in recognition for outstanding volunteer service to the Western Arts Alliance and the performing Arts in the West. He currently serves on the board of directors of California Presenters as treasurer. Wollesen was named by San Diego Magazine as one of “50 People to Watch in San Diego in 2011” and was named a “San Diego Trailblazer” by 944 Magazine.
Previous to assuming his role at UC San Diego in 2004, Wollesen was associate director of programming and director of education at Stanford Lively Arts, where he created the largest campus-wide arts residency project in the history of Stanford University with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Wollesen served as the director of arts and lectures at UC Santa Cruz prior to Stanford. He has lived in Singapore, the Philippines, Egypt, Israel and Portugal.
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