The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has selected Stephen Parker as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He began his tenure on January 3, 2023.
Parker brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to NIVA through his experience as a national association leader, a music policy champion, an advisor to federal, state, and local government officials, and a national coalition builder across diverse communities. For nearly a decade, Parker guided the National Governors Association as Director of Congressional & Intercontinental Affairs, where he served as a liaison between governors and the federal government and led education, labor, economic, and workforce development.
Throughout his expansive career, Parker has held positions as Vice President of Public Affairs at Gener8tor & Gener8tor Music, Consultant and Policy Advisor at Country Music Association, and Senior Policy Advisor at the Virginia National Guard. Parker serves on several nonprofit boards, including the Country Music Association Foundation and the Center for Music Ecosystems, a research-based nonprofit driven to elevate the power of music for communities. He is also on the Board of Advisors for Yale University State and Local Policy Review. Parker received a bachelor’s degree in history from Longwood University and a master’s degree in policy and management from Harvard University. Additionally, he was a Sorensen Political Leadership fellow at the University of Virginia.
In making the announcement, CEO of Frist Avenue Productions and Board President of NIVA Dayna Frank said, “It’s hard to believe that NIVA didn’t even exist just three years ago. We’re all very grateful for the founding executive director, Rev. Moose. His efforts and guidance during those incredibly frightening and formative times helped us pass the largest arts funding program in U.S. history. Now, we look forward with immense optimism to NIVA’s next crucial chapter of growth and development to best serve members who fight tirelessly to improve their communities, workplaces and entertainment experiences. With Stephen’s leadership, energy, and enthusiasm we are in the best possible hands. His experience with advocacy and relationship development in a longtime-successful association will ensure we flourish together today, tomorrow and in the future. We’re so lucky to have his determination and expertise.”
"Independent venues and festivals are a platform for artists, an inspiration for fans and an economic driver in every state and community," said Parker. “It is an honor to be selected as NIVA's Executive Director and to join an incredible team that has been working to preserve and promote the stages where music and comedy live. I look forward to working with the Board of Directors to ensure that live entertainment venues, festivals and promoters have the resources they need to survive and thrive, to advocate for equity across music and comedy ecosystems and to place NIVA at the forefront of policy discussions nationwide."
“Congratulations to the board and staff at NIVA on naming Stephen as its new Executive Director,” said ACG Senior Advisor Jane Hsu. “He is undoubtedly a skilled visionary and leader with a deep, shared commitment of preserving and nurturing the music ecosystem. We are excited to see the organization flourish in its next phases of growth.”