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: Navigating a Future Career in the Arts
By Olivia Naworol '20
When I tell people I’m studying Art History, they usually ask, “What are you going to do with that?” After attending the APAP Conference, I can now give a confident reply. “Anything.”
I never realized how many jobs there are in the fine arts/performing arts world until I attended this conference. There were professional development forums for all sorts of jobs, from development and marketing, to producers and directors. I felt special sitting in on these forums and hearing experts in the field discuss how to improve marketing strategies, become a more inclusive organization, and encourage new people to come to events.
As a volunteer, I met people from all over the world. All of the professionals I met were very kind and excited to share stories about their work in the arts. The EXPO hall allowed attendees to communicate with various companies and seek out resources for their work, which was a wonderful way to meet new people. Also, the showcases were incredible! I saw an amazing wildlife photographer as well as an illusionist that left me in awe.
When I wasn’t volunteering, I was also fortunate enough to be able to explore New York City. I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as the Museum of Modern Art, and I geeked out as I walked through the galleries. My friends and I walked through Central Park and just enjoyed ourselves being in the city. I was even fortunate enough to see a bunch of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows while I was there, including Beetlejuice.
We also met up with Texas Performing Arts alumni at the New York City Center and the Park Avenue Armory. Both venues were so beautiful that they took my breath away! The alumni were very kind and helpful, answering all of our questions about what it’s like to live in New York, as well as questions about their jobs and job hunting. Meeting TPA alumni gave me the confidence to find a job in the arts or move to New York in the future.
Attending this conference was invaluable for me as I navigate my way towards a career after graduation. I enjoyed my time at the conference so much that I hope to attend again after graduation. I’m incredibly grateful to Texas Performing Arts for giving me this incredible opportunity. I know I’ll always carry memories from this trip with me.