APAP Association of Performing Arts Professionals President and CEO


Association of Performing

Arts Professionals

President and CEO


The Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), founded in 1957 and based in Washington DC, is the national service, advocacy, and membership organization dedicated to developing and supporting a thriving performing arts presenting and touring field and the professionals who work within it. Its nearly 2,000 worldwide member organizations represent the leading commercial and nonprofit performing arts centers, municipal and university performance facilities, culturally specific organizations, and foreign governments, as well as artist agencies, managers, touring companies, international consulting practices, and a growing roster of self-presenting artists.

As a leader in the field, APAP works to effect change through advocacy, professional development, resource sharing, and civic engagement. In addition to presenting the annual APAP|NYC Conference—the world's leading forum and marketplace for the performing arts each January with approximately 4,000 attendees—APAP continues to be the industry's leading resource, knowledge, and networking destination for the advancement of performing arts presenting.

Values: Artistic Expression, Knowledge, and Cultural Inclusion

APAP’s board of directors and staff incorporate Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) as a top organizational priority that is woven into all organizational activities and strategic directions. APAP is dedicated to supporting REDI initiatives that have purpose for APAP membership and lead to meaningful, sustainable action in advancing access, equity, and inclusion in every part of the field.

Recognizing that all peoples, cultures, genders, and their performing arts contribute meaning to and understanding of humanity, APAP promotes the collective power of multiple voices. It is dedicated to support REDI initiatives that have purpose for APAP membership and lead to meaningful, sustainable action in advancing access, equity, and inclusion in every part of the field. Through REDI efforts with its members, allies, and partners, APAP strives together to create a more just performing arts community.

Vision for the Future

APAP envisions a world where all people experience the transformative power of live performance—a world where performing artists are integral to all communities, ideas circulate vigorously and freely, and people from all cultures affirm and understand themselves and each other through the arts. In April 2019 APAP’s full board and staff went through a facilitated strategic planning process, resulting in a Strategic Plan with four major and interconnected priorities that inform the work of both board and staff:

  • Strengthen Field Engagement
  • Increase Year-Round Professional Development Programs
  • Explore New Business Models
  • Continue Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) Work

APAP is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization governed by a board of directors comprised of up to 23 members who are elected by the membership for three-year terms. Karen A. Fischer serves as Chair. Mario Garcia Durham became APAP’s fifth President and CEO in 2011, guiding a staff of 17 full-time team members in six key areas: Membership, Conferences & Meetings, Programs & Resources, Marketing & Communications, Finance & Operations, and External Affairs. Its projected revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020 are $4.1 million, with 54 percent from conferences and workshops, 22 percent from membership revenues, 15 percent from sponsorships and grants, and 9 percent from advertising and other revenues.

Position Summary

The President and CEO will be a dynamic, flexible, and forward-thinking leader and administrator with an exceptional work ethic, passion for the performing arts, and solid experience in managing, mentoring, and motivating staff. This individual will have the ability to inspire those working with them to accomplish APAP’s shared values and objectives. The President and CEO will be responsible for operating APAP in a manner that successfully serves the membership, achieves the mission and strategic priorities, and ensures fiscal sustainability. The President and CEO will be accountable for collaborating with the board of directors in setting the long-term and implementing the short-term strategic vision and goals of APAP. This individual will serve as the public face of APAP, including in the organization’s relationship to funders and by participating in alliances and activities throughout the field.

Roles and Responsibilities

Visionary Leadership and Strategic Collaboration

  • Provide dynamic, visionary, and strategic leadership and direction.
  • Bring entrepreneurial sensibility and skills in working with the staff and board to fulfill strategic goals.
  • Maintain, advance, and reimagine APAP’s programs, services, and business model while managing risk and ensuring sustainability.
  • Balance an exciting vision for APAP’s future with a realistic understanding of the capacity of its human, financial, and technological resources.
  • Guide effective advocacy efforts and maintain, participate in, and build APAP’s vital relationships with colleagues in the field, including funders, peer organizations, and related alliances and networks such as the Alliance of Performing Arts Conferences, Performing Arts Alliance, regional arts service organizations and peer conferences, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Americans for the Arts, North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents, and many others.
  • Strengthen APAP’s commitment to REDI in all its leadership and strategic collaboration activities.
  • Perform other visionary leadership and strategic collaboration responsibilities as needed.

Member Relations and Proactive Engagement

  • Oversee critical services to membership, which includes working with the Conference Planning Committee and staff to ensure a focused and robust annual conference serving the diverse needs of members and other attendees.
  • Represent arts professionals as their public voice and serve as a thought leader in the field, which includes providing leadership to the government and public affairs efforts that APAP provides on behalf of membership.
  • Leverage the tremendous energy and enthusiasm of the membership with clear passion and a commitment to the performing arts community.
  • Communicate effectively and regularly with membership through a variety of convenings, written communication, and multilateral dialogues.
  • Establish annual membership goals with the board of directors and staff, partner with the board and staff to achieve membership goals, and provide substantial membership value that enables member retention and acquisition.
  • Ensure effective use of technology to improve service to membership and for initiation of innovative fundraising activities.
  • Demonstrate APAP’s commitment to REDI in all member activities.
  • Perform other member relations and proactive engagement responsibilities as needed.

Organizational Dynamism and Inclusion

  • Reimagine fundraising structures and implementation activities, collaborating with the board of directors and staff to support key initiatives, including increased identification, cultivation, and stewardship of annual giving priorities (foundations, sponsorships, and individuals), major gifts, and planned giving campaigns.
  • Seek out new sources of contributed and earned revenues in keeping with peak business model effectiveness and fiscal responsibility.
  • Inspire, motivate, and mentor a high achieving staff to continue reaching APAP’s strategic plan goals, quality service to membership, and thoughtful innovation that addresses changing times and environments.
  • Foster a hospitable and welcoming work environment that encourages high productivity, low turnover, a collaborative atmosphere, staff accountability and evaluation, professional development, and staff satisfaction.
  • Collaborate with the staff to maintain current information technology policies, oversee upgrades and improvements to support APAP’s goals, and plan for future technological developments.
  • Create and recommend the annual budget for board approval and manage APAP’s resources within the budget guidelines while maintaining its fiscal responsibility and service to its mission.
  • Manage human resources according to personnel policies and procedures that fully comply with current laws and regulations.
  • Support operations and administration of the board of directors by advising and interfacing with board members and staff, keeping the board informed of developments in the organization, membership, and field.
  • Demonstrate APAP’s commitment to REDI in staffing and in its organizational development activities.
  • Perform other organizational dynamism and inclusion responsibilities as needed.

Traits and Characteristics

The President and CEO will be a collaborative and visionary leader with high energy, drive, and fortitude to move an organization forward with strong financial, intellectual, and emotional competencies. This individual will value frequent interaction with others while developing meaningful and lasting relationships that are embedded in integrity, trust, and honesty. Receptive to new ideas and concepts, the President and CEO will be motivated by altruism as a service-oriented leader where a harmonious balance is found in subjective artistic and social experiences. This individual will regularly support and empower the senior team and will have a mindset focused on optimizing operations and resources. This individual will be an exemplary spokesperson for the value of the performing arts and its positive, reverberating impacts on society.

Other key competencies of the role include:

  • Leadership and Decision Making – The clarity to prioritize strategic initiatives and create a sense of direction that is grounded in the understanding of APAP’s active role with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Cultural Competency – A deep understanding of explicit and implicit bias and associated power dynamics with the ability to effectively recognize and acknowledge power imbalances and privilege within a membership that is diverse with regard to role (presenter, agent, manager, producer, artist) and locale, as well as broader diversity dimensions such as race, ethnicity, economic status, gender, disability status, gender expression, nationality, sexual orientation, and religion.
  • Interpersonal Skills – The authenticity to engage in meaningful dialogues with multiple stakeholders who seek a collaborative spirit in reaching mutually beneficial outcomes.
  • Member and External Partner Focus – The ingenuity to build rapport and effectively communicate and listen to a wide array of engaged stakeholders who have differing opinions yet an overarching common purpose.
  • Diplomacy and Negotiation – The capacity to deeply respect others, treating them fairly regardless of personal biases or beliefs, and maintain positive and productive relationships.
  • Personal and Professional Accountability – The ability to take responsibility for meeting the highest ethical and business standards in establishing specific, relevant, and attainable goals while anticipating the effects, outcomes, and risks of various options.


A demonstrated ability to plan, implement, and manage at strategic, financial, and sustainable operational levels is required. Exceptional communication skills (both oral and written) and the ability to travel regularly and frequently are required. Experience in advocacy and government relations is recommended, although those who are politically astute will be considered. A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 10 years of experience in the performing arts field or nonprofit service organizations, with at least five years in senior management positions, are required. A strong working knowledge of the performing arts or touring industry is preferred. A proven record of serving on or working with nonprofit boards of directors and in fundraising is desired.

Compensation and Benefits

APAP offers a fair, competitive, and equitable compensation structure with a benefits package that includes fully paid medical, dental, vision, life, and disability insurances.

Applications and Inquiries

To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments, please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/employment. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact us at:

Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau, President

Arts Consulting Group

292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel       (888) 234.4236 Ext. 201
Email    APAP@ArtsConsulting.com



APAP incorporates Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) as one of its top priorities,
woven into all its organizational activities and strategic directions. APAP commits to the work of REDI
with openness and deep institutional commitment, realizing that REDI is a sustained practice that
rejects tokenism and instead embeds equity across the performing arts field.



Click here for the downloadable PDF.

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