APAP’S Conference Takeaways

Last week I mentioned some of my experiences at the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) conference.  The conference recently sent out a list of 10 takeaways for their own. The vast majority of them are focused on topics of striving for healthier work environments and practices with the goal of alleviating stress and unhealthy expectations of oneself and others.  That is probably a good indication about where things generally stand with arts organizations and practitioners across the country.

APAP cites a session panelist who reported:

Ryan George of Tour Health Research Initiative shared statistics from a 2019 study from the Journal of Psychiatric Research, “34% of touring professionals reported suffering from clinical levels of depression, five times higher than the regular population. 27% reported clinical levels of anxiety. Only 8% reported attending weekly therapy, and 73% attended no therapy at all. 83% reported feeling overworked or some degree of burnout. 26% reported serious suicide ideation, six and a half times more than the regular population….

The takeaway list also mentioned the ongoing effort to more formally track compensation practices among presenting organizations. There had been some crowdsourced efforts in the past where people were self-reporting data into shared spreadsheets. But that was limited by the fact that you needed to know about the effort and receive a link to the spreadsheet.

They provided information about the effort with a link to submit a request to join the next phase of the survey:

In fall 2022, APAP with AMS Analytics launched a pilot of a first-of-its-kind, industry-specific initiative and tool that will gather comparative compensation and demographic data in the field. The session “A Look at Industry Pay: Piloting the APAP Arts Compensation Project” gave an overview for the project, data from the 67 presenting organizations that participated in the pilot study, and an invitation to join the next phase of the survey.

These are only two of the ten takeaways. You can find the others here.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker (artshacker.com) website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (http://www.creatingconnection.org/about/)

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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