Small and Mid-Sized Presenters
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APAP's work on Small and Mid-Sized Presenters (SAMPs)---defined as nonprofit performing arts presenting organizations with budgets from $50,000 to $3 million that pay at least $25,000 in artist fees---was fueled by a notable lack of focused attention and research on these organizations that make up a substantial portion of performing arts presenting organizations in the U.S.
SAMPs are “small and mighty,” as they stretch their limited budgets, wear multiple hats to fulfill all job functions with extremely small staff, navigate polarized political climates and face daunting challenges, including—for some—continually justifying their very existence within large institutions. The “mighty” part plays out in these presenters’ abilities to manage budgets, know their communities, present successful events and navigate their challenges.
These presenters share a commitment to bringing performances of quality to their communities, and to providing ways for audiences to access, experience, and be transformed by the arts. Sometimes, they’re the only game in town, and they are vital to our presenting ecosystem and the fabric of our communities.
We recognize that Small and Mid-Sized Presenting Organizations (SAMPs) are the backbone of your communities and make up much of the presenting field. For that reason, we want to invite small and mid-sized presenters to join APAP at a very low rate of $150. Learn more here.
In September 2020, APAP released a new report, "Small and Mighty: A Study of Small and Mid-Sized Presenting Organizations in the United States". The first national study of its kind, APAP and its partner Callahan Consultants for the Arts focused on Small and Mid-Sized Presenters (SAMPs), a segment of the performing arts ecosystem that has been largely overlooked and whose experiences have been largely underreported.
In June 2020, APAP asked the original respondents to provide feedback on how the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting them. The new data became the foundation of the COVID-19 Supplement to the initial report.
SAMP Study Executive Summary SAMP Study Full Report SAMP COVID-19 Supplement
This study is part of APAP's growing focus on SAMPs, and the purpose of this research was to provide a greater understanding of this segment in order to build greater support for SAMPs.
You can read the initial pilot study, Small and Mid-Sized Presenters in the United States: Stories and Perspectives here and the Inside Arts interview where the report's collaborators talk about the takeaways and next steps.
Here are some additional resources SAMPs might find helpful:
APAP formed an affinity group for Small and Mid-Sized Presenters (SAMPs) in order to provide a space for connection, peer to peer support, professional development exchange, and resource sharing specific to those organizations who have an annual operating budget of under 3 million.
Join us for the November Affinity Group meeting on Thursday, November 19 at 3 p.m. (EST). Please provide your input on the topics you would like to cover most in the SAMP affinity group meetings by filling out this short questionnaire.