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January 12-16, 2018 - New York Hilton Midtown
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2017 Keynote and Plenary Sessions

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A highlight of the APAP|NYC conference, the keynote and plenary sessions bring together all attendees to hear from some of the most inspiring creative thinkers, thought leaders and artists from around the world who have influence on our field and our future.

2017 OPENING PLENARY - “MC (Makers of Culture) = FLOW: What is our role in affecting social change and resilience?”

Friday, January 6, 5-6:30 p.m.

In these challenging times, artists, in collaboration with agent/managers, presenters and other co-producers have the potential to serve as catalysts for positive community engagement that leads to social change and social justice. How can we cultivate, support and promote the value of this work in communities that are struggling against with issues and conditions that undermine safety and well-being?

Session included a creative moment by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Daniel Bernard Roumain.

Opening remarks: Ayad Akhtar, Pakistani-American playwright, novelist, actor
Bree Newsome, filmmaker and singer/songwriter
Ibtihaj Muhammad, Team USA Olympic Medalist
Martha Gonzalez, Chicana artivista, singer/percussionist with Quetzal
Moderator: Robyn Archer, Australian singer, writer, artistic director and advocate


SATURDAY FEATURED SESSION - "Changing the Flow - Creativity Innovation, and Disruption at Work"

Saturday, January 7, 9-11 a.m.

What is the vision for the role of artists and others to positively transform our society? Who should be engaged in defining core values and developing strategies that will make a difference? How can we strengthen and sustain our creative capacities to "advance culture, build community and address the most pressing challenges of today." (from the mission of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts)

Paloma McGregor, Angela's Pulse Performance
Aaron Dworkin, dean, School of Music, Theater, and Dance; University of Michigan
Michael Hawley, director, EG Conference
Moderator: Steven Tepper, dean, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

SATURDAY PLENARY SESSION - "The Creative Mind: Finding the Flow"

Saturday, January 7, noon-1:30 p.m.

What is it that nurtures creativity and innovation? How do creators find and maintain focus on their work? How do they define success and what are the contributing factors to arriving at that point? What is of greatest importance to them in today’s society? This popular plenary event celebrates the extraordinary work of five talented individuals who exemplify the key strands of the conference theme. Speakers will share insights, advice and stories of success in a rapid-fire, pecha kucha-style presentation interwoven with audience participation in the critical response process created by MacArthur “genius” grantee, Liz Lerman.

What is pecha kucha? Pecha kucha presentations (Japanese for "chit-chat") are designed to re-ignite the stage and spark conversation. In rapid-fire succession, each participant shares 20 slides in just five minutes for presentations that are a work of performance art in their own right. 

Session included a creative moment, "On Display," by Heidi Latsky Dance

Camille A. Brown, choreographer, dancer, dance educator
Gregg Mozgala, actor, writer and founding artistic director of the Apothetae theater company
Maysoon Zayid, Palestinian-American comedian, actor, writer
Paola Prestini, composer, creative and executive director of National Sawdust, co-founder of VisionIntoArt
Rulan Tangen, dancer, founding artistic director and choreographer of Dancing Earth
Moderator: Liz Lerman, MacArthur "genius" grantee


SUNDAY PLENARY SESSION - “The Creative Team: Finding the Flow Together"

Sunday, January 8, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The development, production, presentation and promotion of work is a collaborative effort – more so now than ever – in the presenting field today. What are key factors that are shifting the making, producing and presenting of work to more effectively connect with contemporary audiences while meeting the financial and other objectives of all who have invested in the process?

Jonah Bokaer, choreographer and media artist
Eddie Cota, founder, Champion City
Hadi Eldebek, Lebanese-born musician, composer, cultural entrepreneur
Allison Orr, artistic director, Forklift Danceworks
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founder, Urban Bush Women dance company
Moderator: Will Power, playwright and performer



Tuesday, January 10, 10-11 a.m.

Closing APAP|NYC 2017 is the incomparable playwright, actor, singer-songwriter and performance artist Taylor Mac. Mac’s most recent work, “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music,” is a transcendent 24-hour-long marathon of American song, which the New York Times observes is “about becoming who we Americans want to be, by recognizing who we have been.”


All photos by Adam Kissick/APAP: APAP|NYC 2017 Opening Plenary, APAP|NYC 2017 Saturday Plenary, APAP|NYC 2017 Sunday Plenary, APAP|NYC 2017 Closing Plenary