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APAP Blog: Diversity in the Big City

APAP Blog: Diversity in the Big City

Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Through our student employment program, we professionally involve students in every aspect of our organization here at TPA. However, we know that the professional arts world is so much bigger. To help our students break into that wider world, we take a select group of students to New York each year to attend the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) Conference and connect with our growing network of TPA alumni. We hope that their blog entries reflect their experiences and inspire them to become the next generation of arts leaders. 
–Tim Rogers, Assistant Director of Student Engagement

By Madison Sheridan ’22

New York City is like no other. I thought Austin was big, but I have never been somewhere like New York with so many people packed into such a tight space. It felt like despite the time, there were always the same amount of people on the streets. I absolutely adored the cultural diversity I witnessed, not only in the city itself, but at the APAP Conference. I met people from all over the world there, from Long Island to China.

I learned a lot while I was at the conference, from both the panels and people I met. Lately, I’ve been stressing about finding a job in the arts with my type of degree. However, it was comforting to have multiple people at the conference tell me that I didn’t need to worry about it and that there were plenty of opportunities. It seems that in the arts, it’s fairly common to find yourself in a job outside your degree.

The showcases were one of the highlights of the conference. There were Celtic magic shows, people reenacting  Greatest Piano Men, and so many a capella groups. I loved seeing the diversity in talent on-stage  as well. I feel like you could find pretty much any artistic form you wanted if you looked closely enough and knew the right people. My favorite performer was  Voiceplay, an a capella group I follow. It was a joy being able to watch them perform.

Of course, how could you go to NYC and not see a Broadway show? I spent most of the money I made over the holiday break on tickets to see HADESTOWN, BEETLEJUICE, and MEAN GIRLS, but it was so worth it. They were all such engaging, incredible shows. I hope they all perform in Austin while I’m still studying at UT. 

Ultimately, this experience  was worth the trip--despite my fear of flying by myself and being alone in a big city. You never really feel alone in NYC, regardless of the number of people there are around you.

Inspiring our students to be the next generation of arts leaders is one of the most important things we do. Learn more about our Student Engagement programs here
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