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APAP Blog: Learning through Volunteering

APAP Blog: Learning through Volunteering

Friday, February 21, 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


APAP Blog: Learning through Volunteering

By Julio Munoz '20

As a university student, I rarely travel since I don’t have a lot of money and I don’t find much interest in crowded touristy areas. When I heard about the opportunity to travel to New York and volunteer for the APAP Conference, I decided that it was time for me to move out of my comfort zone and apply. When I received the email that I was chosen to go, I was excited, but I had no idea that this trip would be so amazing and informative. 

Before the conference, volunteers were called to discuss duties and set up. We got to know plenty of the other volunteers and discover a good portion of the venue. I was offered the position of a shift leader. This volunteer role acts as a leader and liaison between the other volunteers and official staff. I accepted the position and learned to take on the responsibility. As this leader, I gained so much experience and met so many people at the conference. I had my work cut out for me as at this event but it was worth the time and effort. I met some of the speakers before their sessions and learned more about their work and internships, which was an opportunity I may have missed if I wasn’t a volunteer. 

Volunteering aside, the event itself was also impressive. We also visited UT alumni that are in the New York professional arts work force. We took tours of alumni’s work venues and asked questions about transitioning into the field. It was an amazing opportunity. 

In addition to the conference sessions, there were also artist showcases. Although there were many forms of art presented, I went to musical showcases because I love music.  All of the musical groups were fantastic. Lastly, the ability to explore New York outside of the conference was a great additional adventure. I had great experiences being able to discover The Museum of Modern Art, The Nintendo Store, The Lego Store, the 9/11 Memorial, and many other spaces.  

Additionally, since New York is the home to Broadway, I had the saw the musical Beetlejuice. All of the adventures outside of the conference just amplified the experience of the trip. Overall, this experience helped me develop skills that I can hopefully take into my future in the arts. 

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