Student Advisor Perspectives

We caught up with three student advisors that have been bringing their students to volunteer at APAP for a number of years and asked them why they encourage students to attend and how volunteering at APAP|NYC impacts their education and future careers.

DavidRowell

David Rowell — Assistant Professor – Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management, Point Park University’s Rowland School of Business

How did you hear about APAP and APAP|NYC?
I have been a member and involved with APAP since 1996 (22 years) and have had the pleasure of volunteering as a mentor/New Colleague since 1997. I am also a very firm believer in the student volunteer program and have brought students from Florida State University and Point Park University for many APAP conferences.

How did you discover APAP and what has been your involvement with the conference thus far?
My first year attending APAP was 1996 and it was amazing then and now. Throughout the years attending the conference, I have been there as a presenter, a teacher/educator, a workshop speaker, a mentor, a volunteer or combination of all of the above. Actually, the first person to tell me about APAP years ago was Neil Benson, who was with ICM back then.

What is unique about Student Volunteer Program and why do you continue to send students to our conference each year?
The student volunteer program is outstanding in that it gives students the opportunity to attend the conference, be exposed to new aspects of professional presenting, volunteer in different areas throughout the conference, attend professional development sessions and start to build their professional network. Bringing students every year is a given for me because, for many of them, it is the start of their introduction to the amazing world of performing arts presenting!

Would you recommend our Student Volunteer Program to other academic and program advisors?
For me, there is no hesitation on recommending the APAP Student Volunteer Program to any other program or advisor. Listening to my students each year after the conference excitedly talking about everything they got to do, see, and experience during the conference is the best recommendation I can give to the program. In many ways, it is a life changing experience for them.


BrandiColeman

Brandi Coleman, — Artist in Residence, Jazz Dance, Division of Dance, Meadows School of Arts at Southern Methodist University

Why is volunteering/attending APAP|NYC important for students?
Attending APAP is a vital part of the Dance Capstone course for the senior dance majors at SMU. As an instructor for the course, I accompany the students to New York to attend APAP and to help contextualize their experience as it relates to their career research and preparation.

How did you discover APAP and what has been your involvement with the conference thus far?
The SMU Division of Dance became involved with APAP through Charles Santos, executive director of TITAS (Texas International Theatrical Arts Society). As a presenter, he regularly attends APAP and thought it would be a good venue for our senior dance majors to explore many dance companies at one time. Subsequently, our students have volunteered at APAP for the last four years.

What is unique about Student Volunteer Program and why do you continue to send students to our conference each year?
We continue to send students to the APAP conferences as volunteers for several reasons. By volunteering for APAP, the students are surrounded by professionals in the field of dance - performers, artistic directors, and presenters - which is inspiring! They have access to a multitude of showcases which offers a rich opportunity for the dancers to: familiarize themselves with dance companies currently presenting work in the field of dance; gain insight as to current trends in dance performance; and gain a sense of where they might see themselves working as a professional dancer. This is especially relevant since we bring the students during their senior year of study - as they approach graduation, they are faced with the impending question of "What next?" While in New York, the students can take classes and attend auditions, see shows, and reconnect with our alumni currently living and working in New York. As well, by serving as volunteers for APAP, which includes executing a multitude of tasks related to the inner workings of the conference, the students gain a sense of service as it relates to the arts. They must learn to manage their time between their volunteer job at APAP and their attendance at performances, classes, auditions, and social activities. The feedback from our students has been overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to continuing our relationship with APAP.

Would you recommend our Student Volunteer Program to other academic and program advisors?
I would highly recommend the Student Volunteer Program to other academic and program advisors. It has served our students well in their research about career choices and professional development, as well as provided artistic and creative inspiration from seeing a multitude of dance performances throughout the conference.


GaryAllenWood

Gary Allen Wood — Director and Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment Management, the University of Miami, the Frost School of Music, and School of Law

Tell us about your APAP|NYC experiences.
My yearly APAP visits challenge me to consider and re-consider my view of the fields of arts, entertainment, arts presenting, and all that constitutes the best of being an artist and presenter, plus the magic of providing life-enhancing experiences for our audiences. The conference brings together the entire arts presenting family; thus, it is the place to be—for camaraderie, for inspiration, for making new and renewed connections, and for discovering new methodologies for solving the complex, yet super exciting challenges that come together to make our profession so remarkable.

How did you discover APAP and what has been your involvement with the conference thus far?
When I entered the exciting field of arts management, I heard immediately of APAP and the importance it serves for professionals in the field. It’s so easy to get locked into the complex work in our business or venue and forget about the network of remarkable artists and creators around us; APAP brings them all together to re-energize our artistry, priorities and goals, as well re-focus our work on what really matters. I set yearly conference goals for myself – to meet artists, managers, and leaders that I know are out there making a positive difference, to share my expertise in topics critical to the industries’ future and to listen to the great news derived from the work of outstanding professionals in the field.

What is unique about Student Volunteer Program and why do you continue to send students to our conference each year?
For my graduate degree program, the students are not really students—they’re young professionals already jam-packed with expertise, fresh ideas and a go-get-it-done spirit, so while they are taking classes and attending the conference to learn, they are there to engage the conference, meet professional across arts genres and industries, grapple with the ideas and issues confronting the field and asserting their points of view, too. My overriding goal is for students to utilize the APAP conference as a means of finding their artistic voice—as managers and innovators—and let their voices be heard as the rising generation of arts leaders. I admire their perspectives and how they engage the complexities of the arts in their exceptional, novel and never-say-die determination.

Would you recommend our Student Volunteer Program to other academic and program advisors?
Each year my students leave with a far more advanced and comprehensive understanding of the industry and all it offers, as well as a fresh list of contacts as they build their network of contacts, mentors and potential colleagues. It’s a gathering place to listen, gain insights, see and hear exciting and world-class artists of all types, but mostly the opportunity for students to confront the vast world of arts and entertainment head-on, test themselves in making the most of their experience and to walk away with an even stronger, more detailed perspective and conviction as to where they want to go in their career pathway. The conference offers this wonderful win-win collaboration whereby students lend a hand in making the conference run so seamlessly and have access to a first-class gathering sure to motivate them every moment.


Student Volunteer Perspectives

We caught up with three volunteers and asked them why they decided to volunteer at APAP|NYC, their experiences at conference and how it has helped shape their education and future careers.

TaylorRambo

Taylor Rambo — Development Associate at The Washington Ballet
Former Student Volunteer, APAP|NYC 2015 and 2018

Tell us about your history with APAP and APAP|NYC.
I've had the opportunity to work for APAP in various ways, as a conference volunteer, conference department intern, staff member, and returning professional volunteer. While I was a student, I volunteered for the conference in January 2015, and came to DC to work as an intern that summer. I was happy to be able to join the team as the executive and operations associate when my internship ended through Spring 2017, and to come back as a professional volunteer in January 2018 when I started working for The Washington Ballet.

When did you first volunteer for the conference and what was your experience?
I first volunteered for APAP in January 2015 while I was in grad school studying arts presenting and live entertainment management. It was an incredible experience! I learned so much about the actual business of the performing arts by supporting the conference. This included my experience of talking to industry professionals as I helped them check-in at registration, working the networking events, and watching the various showcases presented at the conference.

How has your Student Volunteer experience impacted your organization/professional network?
My student volunteer experience not only provided me the opportunity to network with established arts professionals, but also led to my first full-time job in the performing arts. Even after leaving my position at APAP, the network I created is helping me to support The Washington Ballet beyond my role in development and has helped me connect to a community of arts professionals in Washington, DC.

What would you tell someone that was interested in applying to be a student volunteer?
Do it! Experiencing the business of the performing arts firsthand adds great value to your work, no matter what direction your arts career path takes.


MeganRedmond

Megan Redmond — Conference Director, Association of Performing Arts Professionals
Former Student Volunteer, APAP|NYC 2010

Tell us about your history with APAP and APAP|NYC.
I would not be where I am today without the student volunteer program at the APAP|NYC conference. I had plenty of experience in the workforce before I went to grad school but volunteering at the conference pointed my career in a direction that I never expected it to go. My relationship with APAP continued after volunteering at the conference as a volunteer at board meetings, as a staff member, and now as the director of the conference that I attended as a volunteer and fell in love with.

When did you first volunteer for the conference and what was your experience?
I volunteered at APAP|NYC 2010 while in my first year of grad school. The whole experience was a whirlwind and I don’t have a lot of specific memories beyond being starstruck meeting Bill Ivey while working at registration. What did stick with me, however, was the feeling I got while I was there: the feeling of excitement, the energy that is generated; it drew me in and hasn’t let me go yet.

How has your Student Volunteer experience impacted your organization/professional network?
My student volunteer experience has opened up doors I never thought imaginable for me. I had built a network for myself as an artist manager in Los Angeles before grad school and I continued to expand that network as a grad student studying arts management, but because of the volunteer program, I connected with so many people and made connections that I can still call on today.

What would you tell someone that was interested in applying to be a student volunteer?
Do it, be as available as possible, and then wear comfortable shoes.

KristenYoung

Kristen Young — University of Delaware
Former Student Volunteer, APAP|NYC 2018

How did you hear about APAP and APAP|NYC?
One of my professors told me about the conference a few years back. I wanted to go ever since but this past conference was the first time I was able to not only attend but also participate in the volunteer program.

When did you first volunteer for the conference and what was your experience?
The first year I volunteered was in 2018. My experience was eye-opening. I learned new things about myself that I would have never discovered otherwise.

How has your Student Volunteer experience impacted your organization/professional network?
APAP brought my organization together during the conference. We bonded over our passion for the performing arts industry and created new experiences as an organization. I met performing arts professionals who have stayed connected with me since and given me opportunities further my studies.

What would you tell someone that was interested in applying to be a student volunteer?
Take advantage of everything that APAP offers. Introduce yourself to not just the other volunteers but also attendees. Follow up after the conference with people you had meaningful conversations with.