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 Maria Burgee ’21
I am so honored to have been selected to go to the Association of Performing Arts Professionals Conference in New York City with Texas Performing Arts this year. As a born and raised Texan, New York City is unlike any place and is truly magical. Although this was my fourth time visiting New York, it was one of my favorites.
The APAP Conference was an exciting and informative experience. As a Butler School of Music student, there aren’t that many experiences to learn about the business side of performing arts. I would like to pursue a career in the music business, so this information is vital to my success.
As volunteers, we had the opportunity to sit in on expert lecturer panels that discussed diverse performing arts spaces for all artists, performers, and curators of the arts. Speakers also discussed strategies to share the arts throughout the country. I saw performances for comedians, singing groups, and aspiring artists including Ben Folds. When I met Chubby Checker, I was so excited that I sent a text immediately to my mom!
Additionally, I enjoyed meeting TPA alumni, exploring their workplace, and learning about their jobs in NYC. While not every career fits my desired path, it was still helpful to know that degrees don’t always define career paths.
Outside of APAP events, I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chinatown, Washington Square Park, and New York City Center. I was also able to see BEETLEJUICE on Broadway with the original cast, which was a truly amazing and a once in a lifetime experience. This trip only reinforced my plan to live in New York City someday.
It also taught me that the performing arts world is far bigger than I could have imagined. I'm very grateful for the experience and the exposure to the arts world I received from attending the APAP Conference.