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Board of Directors

The APAP board or directors are APAP members who work on behalf of members of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals. The APAP board envisions the future of the association and the development of long-range goals and strategic priorities.
APAP Board of Directors

Board Members

Christopher Heacox, Board Chair

Executive Director, Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center, Auburn University
Board Member through January 2025
Christopher J. Heacox is the Executive Director of the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center at Auburn University, opening in August 2019. As Executive Director, Mr. Heacox has overseen the construction of the performing arts center since groundbreaking. He leads the artistic and administrative direction of the Gogue Center in bringing world-class performances and educational experiences to Auburn University and the surrounding communities. Prior to his appointment at Auburn University, Mr. Heacox served as the Executive Director of Opening Nights Performing Arts at Florida State University.

Mr. Heacox is the Immediate Past President of the Florida Professional Presenters Consortium. This fifty-plus member organization is charged with elevating the professional performing arts in the State of Florida. His board and organizational service includes the Council on Arts and Culture (Tallahassee/Leon County) Board of Directors, Tallahassee/Leon County Cultural Plan Review Committee, STAGE Committee for the Capital City Amphitheater, State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs Strategic Planning, Leadership Jacksonville (class of 2011), and Opportunity Tallahassee. Mr. Heacox is a graduate of Florida State University (B.A. in Music) and the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester (M.M. in Jazz and Contemporary Media, Performance).

Beth Macmillan, Vice Chair

Executive Director, Artown
Board Member through January 2027
Beth Macmillan joined Artown as Festival Manager in February 2001 and was promoted to Executive Director in November of 2003. Macmillan, formerly a professional dancer and actress expanded into arts administration through various roles such as Production Company Manager, Public Relations Manager, Assistant Stage Manager, Founder and Owner/Director of a small, highly successful arts education business, Executive Director of a major dance organization and business owner and distributor.

Macmillan thrives in a fast paced work environment while managing a wide range of responsibilities. As Executive Director she has produced Artown events, created “out of the box” approaches and strategic partnerships to presentations, co-presentations and future Artown commissions. Currently, Beth has expanded her commitment to the Arts with a recent two-year appointment as President of the Western Arts Alliance (WAA), a membership association of performing arts professionals throughout the western states and provinces.

Macmillan was awarded Woman of Distinction and Woman of Achievement in 2009. She has made several presentations about Artown regionally and nationally including Arts Presenters, California Travel & Tourism Commission, Nevada Travel and Tourism, World Choir Games, and several regional service organizations. In 2016 Beth was presented an award from The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) for exceptional leadership.

Alicia Adams, Vice Chair

Vice President, Dance and International Programming, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Board Member through January 2027
Alicia B. Adams is the Vice President of International Programming and Dance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She joined the Kennedy Center in 1992.

Adams curated the Center’s major international festivals: IRELAND 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts and Culture (2016), IBERIAN SUITE: Global Arts Remix (2015), Nordic Cool (20130, maximumINDIA (2011), ARABESQUE: Arts of the Arab World (2009), JAPAN! Culture + Hyperculture (2008), the Festival of China (2005), African Odyssey (1997-2000), AmericArtes (2000-2003) among others. Additionally, she curates the World Stages Series and Contemporary Dance series.

Adams has worked in the field of arts management for arts institutions including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Belafonte Enterprises, Inc., New York City Center Theatre, Harlem School of the Arts and International Production Associates (NYC).

She serves as a Trustee of the Williamstown Theater Festival, International Society for the Performing Arts(ISPA), Founding Council of the Caine Prize for African Writing (UK), Africa 95 (UK), and on the Advisory Council for Lab Think Tank, Global Performance and Politics Georgetown University. She is a member of the Conference Committee for Association of Performing Arts Presenters(APAP); Advisory Council, American Dance Abroad and Advisory Committee for Harlem School of the Arts. Adams has also served as a Trustee of the All Roads Film Festival, National Geographic and; as a panelist for National Dance Panel, and Center Stage, New England Foundation on the Arts(NEFA). In 2017 she co-hosted the ISPA Congress(NYC) and curated the American Dance Platform, the Joyce Theater(NYC).

Adams has an MA from Columbia University, a BS from New York University and a Certificate in Arts Administration from Harvard University’s School of Business Administration. Adams was the APAP recipient of the Fan Taylor Award in 2012. In 2014, she was decorated by Sweden with the Royal Order of The Polar Star and by Finland with Knight, First Class, of the Order of the Lion.

Francine Sheffield, Secretary

Founder/Director, Sheffield Global Arts Management
Board Member through January 2026
Francine Sheffield started her dance career in New Jersey, where she was born and raised. She went to Montclair State University where she received her BFA in dance performance. Francine has performed with choreographers such as H.T. Chen, Wendy Perron, Amy Pivar, Marlies Yearby and Baraka De Soleil. She was a company member of Urban Bush Women under the leadership of Jawole Willa Jo Zollar for 6 years, where she traveled and performed all over the world. Francine pursued and received a MA in Performing Arts Administration from New York University, where she interned at IMG Artists as a Dance Division Representative in New York and ADAD (Association for Dance of the African Diaspora) as the Audience Development Specialist in London, England. She also studied abroad in Uganda, East Africa, for a cultural exchange of learning and teaching dance to underserved children. Francine then went on to work as Artist Representative for Pentacle, where she booked engagements for emerging dance companies. With her knowledge of dance and skills in arts administration, Francine decided to start her own arts management company, Sheffield Global Arts Management in 2014.

As an APAP exhibitor, Francine was selected for the Emerging Leadership Institute, class of 2013 and was a recipient of the inaugural scholarship, APAP|NYC Participation Assistance Fund for the 2016 conference.

Amy Lam, Treasurer

Principal, Lamling Consulting
Board Member through January 2026
Amy Lam is the Vice President of Tisch Music at the 92nd Street Y, New York. In this capacity, Ms. Lam serves as the chief executive and primary spokesperson of one of the key program centers at the iconic cultural institution. She provides and articulates Tisch Music’s long-term vision in alignment with 92NY’s institutional goals, guides the center’s artistic and strategic direction that aims to expand the artistic portfolio, deepen relationships with artists and patrons, and stimulate organizational growth.

Before joining 92NY in 2021, Ms. Lam served as the Artistic Director of the Celebrity Series of Boston. Under Ms. Lam’s direction of over two decades, the programming palette of the Celebrity Series expanded beyond the tradition of presenting the world’s finest classical artists to include a variety of disciplines such as new music, modern dance, contemporary folk music, speakers, theater and interdisciplinary productions.

Since 2008, Ms. Lam also served as a consultant to a wide range of cultural institutions. Recent projects include guest curation for American Dance Platform at the Joyce Theatre, NYC, project management and international relations for New England Conservatory, artistic planning for Milton Academy, strategic planning for Boston University Tanglewood Institute, among others.

Prior to joining the Celebrity Series in 1991, Ms. Lam held positions at Aaron Concert Management in Boston, MidAmerica Productions in New York City, and the Anderson Center for the Arts in Binghamton, NY.

Ms. Lam serves on the board of Association of Performing Arts Professionals. She was a member of the Artistic Committee for Music Accord, a national consortium of performing arts presenters dedicated to new music commissioning. She was also a board member of Dance/USA, Dover Cultural Council (MA), Soldiers Field Park Children’s Center at Harvard Business School, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in Massachusetts and Boston Dance Alliance.

Ms. Lam holds an MBA in Arts Administration from Binghamton University of New York, and graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a BA in Music.

Cristina Vázquez, At-Large

Director, Contenidos Artísticos
Board Member through January 2026
In 2013, Cristina Vázquez founded Contenidos Artisticos, Produccion y Difusion A.C. in Mexico. Working in partnership with other performing arts and culture producers, she facilitates events and performances. To-date, these have included: the Jose Alfredo Jiménez International Festival (2012 & 2013); operas for the Teatro del Bicentenario (2011-2016); and performing arts programming for the State Institute of Culture of Guanajuato (Since 2013). Vázquez developed and staged the concept of the Urban Encounter: Todo sobre Ruelas (Everything of Ruelas) in the city of Zacatecas; and the Anniversary Parade of Leon, Guanajuato (2018). Since 2013, Vazquez has worked as a producer for the National Institute of Fine Arts and the National Dance Company, and since 2015 for the National Opera Company and the National Theater Coordination. Currently Vázquez is the acting producer of the international piano festival “en Blanco y Negro” at the National Center of the Arts (CENART).

Cristina Vázquez is a specialist in Cultural Management, certified by institutions such as the Secretary of Mexican Culture and the 17 Institute of Critical Studies. She received certification in Critical Thinking in Cultural Management (2013) and Cultural Management in Latin America (2005) from the 17 Institute of Critical Studies. Vazquez’ achievements in arts and culture include: consultant for the Municipality of Zacatecas in the preparation of its cultural development plan (2010); National Book Fair (FeNaL) Coordinator (2006 – 2009); consultant for Hay (literary festival, 2009) Zacatecas; programmer of the Teatro del Bicentenario, Leon, Guanajuato (2010). In 2006 Vázquez graduated from the University UNIVER in her hometown of León, Guanajato with a BA of Arts, majoring in communication. She currently lives in Chicago.

Jacob Yarrow, At-Large

Director, Green Music Center at Sonoma State University
Board Member through January 2026
Jacob Yarrow is executive director of the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University in Sonoma County, California. He oversees hundreds of annual activities including the presentation of performances by touring artists and hosting concerts by student groups and resident companies. Under his leadership, the Green has embraced the role of university presenter by prioritizing the support of artists, exploration of ideas, interdisciplinary approaches, and deepened engagement with Sonoma State students and the region's communities. He also serves a campus leadership role as a member of the Sonoma State Cabinet.

Prior to moving to Sonoma County in 2017, Jacob was programming director of the University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium where he led creation of a multidisciplinary presenting season with 25-30 performances each year and a wide variety of education and artist residency programs, totaling over 100 annual activities. During his eight-year tenure, Hancher mostly operated as a presenter without a facility and used more than a dozen different performance spaces each year while a new performing arts center was planned and built. He programmed the first two seasons in the new Hancher Auditorium.

Jacob also worked as executive director of Garth Newel Music Center (where he founded the Virginia Blues & Jazz Festival), and as education director at the Association of Performing Arts Professionals in Washington, DC. He began his career as a touring musician and as a junior high music teacher. He holds degrees in music performance from the University of Michigan and University of North Texas. He lives in Petaluma, California with his wife Debbie. His daughters Grace and Ella are both in college.

Jacob has served on numerous grant panels, committees, and boards including the National Theater Project, Chamber Music America, and Any Given Child-Iowa City. He has been involved with a variety of APAP committees and projects throughout his career.

Aisha Ahmad-Post

Executive Director, Newman Center for the Performing Arts, University of Denver
Board Member through January 2026
Aisha Ahmad-Post is the Executive Director of the Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Denver, helping to raise the organization’s profile as a dynamic space to see marquee names and rising stars from a variety of genres and perspectives. She was the inaugural Director of the Ent Center for the Arts at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs where she established the center as a fixture of the local arts community, bringing many touring acts into the city for the first time. Earlier in her career, Ahmad-Post served as the Producer of Public Programs for The New York Public Library, and before transitioning into the nonprofit sector, she held positions at Columbia Artists Management and Barrett Vantage Artists. Ahmad-Post received her bachelors and masters from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She is an alumna of Cohort IV of the APAP Leadership Fellows Program as well as the Jacobs Pillow Dance Presenters Forum. Ahmad-Post was appointed by Mayor Michael Hancock to the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs in 2021.

Mercedes Caxaj

Head of Programs, Small World Music & Artistic Co-Director, Sunfest-London Committee for Cross Cultural Arts
Board Member through January 2025
For the past decade, Mercedes has been the Artistic Co-Director for Sunfest-London Committee for Cross Cultural Arts, which presents thoughtful, innovative global arts programming in London, Ontario. She is also now Head of Programs for Small World Music which produces the music conference, Global Toronto, and the Emergence Music Incubator, which showcase and support culturally diverse artists and partners in Toronto, Ontario. Mercedes has grown her career within the realm of arts and cultural work by contributing to the success of a range of arts and non-profit organizations and festivals across southern Ontario — and is responsible for logistics, development and partnership building, marketing and branding, as well as scouting and programming artists.

In addition, Mercedes has served as a jury member and panelist for both national and international music meetings, conferences and major granting agencies where she discusses artistic programming, community program development, cultural advocacy and strategy, and prioritizing representation. In 2019, Mercedes was awarded the Contributor of the Year Award from the Forest City London Music Awards for her work in the London music scene and has continued to serve as a contributing member of the City of London’s Business of Music Committee, prioritizing programming with a focus on intersectional representations, all while also serving as a board member of Tourism London.

Born in London, Ontario, Mercedes’ family first came to Canada as refugees from Guatemala. Over the years Mercedes has studied and worked in France and holds a Master of Arts in French Studies from the University of Waterloo with a post-graduate diploma in marketing communications from Conestoga College, and is fluent in English, Spanish, and French.

Shane Fernando

CEO, Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts
Board Member through January 2027
Shane Fernando has been serving in the arts and public administration fields for over twenty years. He is Chief Executive Officer of Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Wilmington, North Carolina, one of the oldest operating venues in the United States at 165 years old.

In 2019, Shane was recognized as Presenter of the Year by the North American Performing Arts Managers & Agents. He also served on the APAP Equitable Partnership Working Group, as well as being a co-author for the working group’s document. A major focus of his work has been to engage students through education, employment, service, and advocacy, including the recent establishment of a statewide Stage and Film Apprenticeship to support the training and hiring of BIPOC technicians in the field.

Prior, he served as executive & artistic director of the Wilson Center and director of Campus Life Arts and Programs at UNC Wilmington; He also worked in the United States Senate.

Shane serves as a trustee and secretary for Dance/USA. He served from 2017-2021 as an advisor to the National Dance Project by the New England Foundation for the Arts, and is a cohort member of the South Arts Dance Touring Initiative. His work over the years has supported the development of new work, including techs for national Broadway tours and dance companies, creative residencies, and most recently workshopping a new musical with actor, BD Wong.

Shane also serves on the boards of Arts North Carolina, as well as the Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County. He is past-president of the North Carolina Presenters Consortium and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). Shane is also a backyard beekeeper.

Jamie Grant 

Grant Management Group
Board Member through January 2025
Jamie Grant has been a leader and innovator in the performing arts for more than three decades. Described as a “numbers guy” with a focus on the big picture and metrics; combined with the passion for great work and a love of fundraising to make it happen. He was recruited to join the McCallum Theatre as President and CEO during the pandemic and prepared the institution for re-opening with an emphasis on safety protocols and investments; donor relations; and changing the corporate culture. The Theatre was one of the few in the country to refund 100% of ticket sales for postponed and cancelled performances.

Jamie was the President and CEO of Ordway Center of the Performing Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Ordway, recognized as one of the United States’ leading not-for-profit performing arts centers, is home to a wide variety of performances throughout the year that encompass the finest in American musical theater, world music, dance, and vocal artists in its Music Theater and its Concert Hall. Ordway is home to the Flint Hills International Children’s Festival, one of the top festivals of its kind in America. Under Jamie’s guidance, the organization implemented a strategic plan that focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion, community engagement, sustainability, and telling the unique Ordway story.

Prior to arriving in the Twin Cities, Jamie was the President and CEO of the Long Center in Austin, Texas. He was hired following an international search to develop a sustainable operating plan for the performing arts center. The Long Center opened in 2008 to great acclaim, but without a clear plan to meet the very high expectations set for it. It is a complex organization with many competing interests. Jamie began work in September 2011 and has transformed the organization. Following four years of shortfalls (the facility opened with seven figure deficits) Long Center had three consecutive years with six figure operating surpluses and a dramatic increase in attendance (all done without any operating subsidy). The Long Center has become a focal point in Austin.

For 13 years Jamie was the general manager of the Centre in the Square in Kitchener, Ontario, an award-winning multi-purpose performing arts center with a main hall of 2000 seats, plus an art gallery and studio theatre. During his tenure at CITS the venue became and remained debt and deficit-free, with working capital and an endowment fund. Jamie has accomplished the rare feat of opening many new performing arts centers, including Imperial Theatre in Saint John, NB, Heritage Theatre in Brampton, ON, Skylight Theatre in Toronto and was the founder and Producer of Theatre Malton.

Jamie is a founding member of Canada’s National Theatre Festival - Magnetic North Theatre Festival, and served as Chairman of the Board; he helped to found eye-GO to the Arts, a program designed to encourage youth to attend the performing arts and was the founding Chair (eye-GO, which began in Kitchener-Waterloo has now become a national program in Canada and is also a success in many States in the US); he helped to found the organization that became the Atlantic Presenters Association (APA); he is Past-President of CAPACOA (Canadian Arts Presenting Association) and Ontario Presents; he is the founding Chairman of the Board of the Alliance for a Grand Community (a unique multi-disciplinary alliance of the leading arts organizations in the KW area); and he was instrumental in developing a block booking model which is used throughout Canada today.

Community service is a hallmark of Jamie’s leadership, and he was the Treasurer of the Minnesota Citizen’s for the Arts, served on the Boards of Texas State Arts Board, Canada’s Technology Triangle, Creative Enterprise, and Grand River Hospital Foundation. Jamie was an active member of the Broadway League, is a current member of the national board of Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP). An adjunct lecturer at the University of Waterloo, Jamie taught for almost a decade for the Centre for Cultural Management and is a regular lecturer, panelist and guest speaker for other universities, colleges, and professional conferences.

Chris Harrington 

President & CEO, The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
Board Member through January 2027
Christopher L. Harrington, Ordway President and CEO, has a passion for connecting people from all walks of life through arts and culture and has a successful track record in audience development, revenue generation strategy, innovative programming, and leadership.

Harrington joined the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota as its 12th President and CEO and provides strategic and community leadership that leverages the expertise of the board and staff in advancing and championing the Ordway's mission, vision, and values for the benefit of the community. He oversees the organization’s wide variety of performing arts, community engagement, and education programming which take place in state of the industry campus featuring a 1,900-seat Music Theater and the 1,093-seat Concert Hall.

Before joining the Ordway, Harrington served as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Senior Director of Jazz and @ The Max, where he was responsible for marketing, programming local, national, and international talent, and ensuring a sustainable business model. Harrington also worked in various capacities for the Detroit Jazz Festival and WDET-FM, Detroit’s NPR station.

He holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Music from Wayne State University. He completed National Arts Strategies' eight-month Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy, a partnership with the University of Pennsylvania, and a ten-month intensive leadership program with the League of American Orchestras.

Harrington served as a proud mentor in Wayne State University's Mike Ilitch School of Business Corporate Mentor Program, and has served on grant review committees, on the executive team for Detroit Young Professionals, and as a panelist at national conferences.

A trusted advocate for the arts and local community, Harrington currently serves on the boards of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), Live Arts Centers of North American (LACNA) Foundation, the Saint Paul Downtown Alliance, and the Arts Partnership, a unique collaboration comprising Minnesota Opera, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Schubert Club, and the Ordway. Harrington is the recipient of the inaugural Marlowe Stoudamire Award for Innovation and Community Collaboration, presented by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Wayne State University’s Arts Achievement Award.

Lane Harwell

Program Officer of Creativity and Free Expression, Ford Foundation
Board Member through January 2026
Lane Harwell (they/he) is a nonprofit and philanthropic leader working to advance mission-driven organizations on the frontlines of social change.

Currently a Program Officer of Creativity and Free Expression at Ford Foundation, Lane manages a national grants portfolio focused on the intersection of arts and culture, civic engagement, and justice. They are responsible for Disability Futures, a fellowship program to advance disabled artists and journalists; and Reclaiming the Border Narrative, a storytelling and archiving effort to strengthen immigrant rights. Lane also co-manages America’s Cultural Treasures, Ford’s transformational initiative to advance Black, Indigenous, and people of color arts organizations nationally and increase giving by other donors and foundations. This program was launched in 2020 and has raised $276 million in pooled funds.

Prior to Ford, Lane was the Executive Director at the advocacy and service organization Dance/NYC. They founded Dance/NYC as an independent nonprofit in 2012 and grew it from the ground up to serve more than 1,200 dance makers and companies.

Lane’s professional and educational background encompasses creative, business, and civic realms, including an MA in Performance Studies from UC Berkeley, an MBA from Columbia Business School, and an early career as a ballet dancer. They trained at School of American Ballet and San Francisco Ballet and performed with American Ballet Theater Studio Company.

Lane currently co-chairs New York Grantmakers in the Arts, a peer network of grantmakers. They are past chair of the Steering Committee for the New York Dance and Performance Awards and the Arts Committee of the Municipal Art Society.

Lane identifies as white, queer, disabled, and nonbinary, and is committed to anti-racism and elevating issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Ally Haynes-Hamblen

Executive Director, Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts
Board Member through January 2027
Ally Haynes-Hamblen is the Executive Director of the Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts, a city of Richardson, Texas facility. Previously, she served as Director of the City of Las Vegas’ Office of Cultural Affairs, Director of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, and Tour Manager/Associate Producer for Late Nite Catechism and Menopause The Musical’s first national tour.

Originally from Denver, Colorado, Haynes-Hamblen earned her M.B.A. from Regis University and B.A. in theater from the University of Denver. She is a member of the 2nd cohort of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals’ (APAP) Leadership Fellows Program, completed the 2015 International Festival Encounters course with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the 2013 California Presenters Mentorship Program, and the 2012 Emerging Leadership Institute of APAP.

Ms. Haynes-Hamblen currently serves on the board of California Presenters as the Treasurer/Vice President, the National Performing Arts Presenters Consortium and is a member of the Year-Round Programming Committee for APAP. She previously served on the APAP Conference Committee for four years, two as a Conference Co-Chair.

Rika Iino

Founder & Producer, Sozo Artists
Board Member through January 2027
Rika Iino (she/her), founder of the international arts agency and incubator SOZO, embodies two decades of purpose-driven work at the intersection of social impact, innovation, and the arts. As a creative producer and manager, her dedication to artists as change agents has shaped global projects. Deeply engaged in independent artist advocacy and leadership development, Rika serves as a coach, mentor, and speaker at institutions like Stanford, Yale, and UC Berkeley. Co-creator of the systemic allyship program HEALING FORWARD and co-chair of Building Ethical and Equitable Partnership, APAP's national initiative on equitable contracting, Rika made history in 2021 as the first woman of color to receive the Patrick Hayes Award for transformative leadership from the International Society for the Performing Arts. In 2023, she earned the Mentoring Award from Western Arts Alliance and the CALI Catalyst Award from the Center for Cultural Innovation, acknowledging her extraordinary efforts in realizing greater inclusion and equity in the cultural sector.

María López De León

Retiring President & CEO, National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures
Board Member through January 2026
María López De León is the President, CEO and board member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC). In January 2013, President Obama appointed Ms. De León to serve on the National Council on the Arts. In 2012 and 2013, Ms. De León was named among the nation’s Fifty Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts.

Ms. De León has been with NALAC for twenty-two years and has served as President and CEO for five years and Executive Director for nineteen years. Ms. De León has been involved in all aspects of development and implementation of the NALAC programs and strategic initiatives. Under her leadership, NALAC developed and launched four grant programs including the NALAC Fund for the Arts (NFA), a grant program for Latino artists and organizations; the Catalyst for Change, a grant program for artists whose work focuses on radical solutions to achieve racial justice; the Actos de Confianza, a pandemic emergency relief grant for artists and organizations; the Transnational Cultural Remittances (TCR), a grant program for artists and organizations in the U.S., Mexico and Central America; She has directed the continued development of twenty editions of the renowned annual Leadership Institute and ten convenings of the Advocacy Leadership Institute in Washington, DC; co-founded the Intercultural Leadership Institute; directed the convening of eight NALAC National Conferences and twenty-nine Regional Arts Training Workshops across the country.

Ms. De León is an arts administrator and cultural practitioner dedicated to strengthening communities through the arts and has multiple years of experience working with Latino artists and arts organizations. She serves on multiple arts and culture policy panels and is a noted speaker and advocate for the arts, cultural equity and social and economic justice. Ms. De León serves on the National Council on the Arts and on the boards of the First People’s Fund, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, the Performing Arts Alliance, the Lewis Prize for Music and the United States Department of Arts and Culture. She is an advisory council member of Women of Color in the Arts.

Stephanie McKee

Executive Artistic Director, Junebug Productions
Board Member through January 2027
Stephanie V. McKee-Anderson is an artist, organizer and cultural strategist born in Picayune MS and raised in New Orleans. She is the Executive Artistic Director of Junebug Productions, Inc. an organization birthed out of the Free Southern Theater (FST), which was formed in 1963 as one of many cultural arms of the Civil Rights Movement. FST would eventually be a tremendous influence on the BlackArts Movement. Mckee has a long history of creating powerful performances that she strategically leverages for social change. McKee is a 2018 Urban Bush Women Choreographic Fellowship recipient and under McKee’s leadership, Junebug Productions was a recipient of a Surdna Foundation's Artist engaged in social change award for Homecoming Project, and the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) Theater Project grant for Gomela to Return/Movement of Our Mother Tongue which was her directorial debut. McKee serves on the board and executive committee of National Performance Network, is a member of Alternate ROOTS, a 2007 New Voices emerging Leader alumnus, a 2015 Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) Leadership Fellow and a Group Leader for the 2017 APAP Leadership Fellow Co-hort.

Renae Williams Niles

Principal, Renae WN Consulting
Board Member through January 2026
Renae Williams Niles has served on multiple local and national boards since 1997 including serving on the Dance/USA Board of Trustees and a 13-year tenure on the Western Arts Alliance (WAA) Board of Directors in various officer positions including President. She has been an active member of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) since 1995 and also served on APAP’s Innovation Lab team and membership committee prior to joining the board in 2017 as well as roles on the Board’s Executive, Governance, Conference and Finance committees prior to being named board chair for Jan 2021 through Jan 2024.

Renae Williams Niles has worked in the nonprofit sector for 30 years serving in many capacities including executive director of an education foundation, the first chief operating officer/associate dean of administration/diversity liaison for a university dance school, dance company manager, arts grantmaker for Los Angeles County, VP of Programming for The Music Center, chief content and engagement officer for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, adjunct professor for Claremont Graduate University, grant panelist/nominator, consultant, guest curator, and moderator of conversations with renowned artists.

Renae has served as a panelist/advisor for national grantmakers such as the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, National Dance Project and United States Artists, and as a nominator for private foundations. She also regularly mentors artists and dance companies. Renae received the 2017 WAA Service to the Field Award and in 2021, she was recognized as an Unsung Hero by the State of California Legislative Black Caucus.

Shelley Quiala

Executive Director, International Festival of Arts & Ideas
Board Member through January 2027
Shelley Quiala has been the Executive Director of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut since August 2020. Arts & Ideas presents hundreds of artists and speakers annually in venues in and around downtown New Haven. Since 2020, these have included Wynton Marsalis, Baratunde Thurston, Angelique Kidjo, Brooklyn Rider, Toshi Reagan, Jon Secada, and Dolores Huerta. During Shelley's tenure, Arts & Ideas began offering programming in Spanish, built a full-time staff and board to more closely align with the racial diversity of New Haven, and increased contributed revenue by fifty percent. The work has been recognized and awarded by the Greater New Haven Chapter of the NAACP, the Gateway Community College Foundation New Haven’s Freddy Fixer Parade Committee, and the Jamaican American Connection.

Shelley previously served as Vice President in Programming, Education, and Community Engagement at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Under her leadership, concerts, comedy, dance, and educational programming reached more than 150,000 people annually.

Among her community service efforts is serving as a current board member of TYA USA and a former board member of International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY). In 2021 and 2022, she led humanitarian and cultural delegations from Connecticut to Havana, Cuba for the Havana Jazz Festival. Shelley graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with a double major in Spanish and Performance as a Medium for Social Change.

Shelley has been an active participant in APAP for the past decade as a member, showcase attendee and professional development facilitator.

Aparna Ramaswamy

Executive Artistic Director, Choreographer, and Principal Dancer, Ragamala Dance Company
Board Member through January 2027
Aparna Ramaswamy helms the artistic and organizational direction of Ragamala Dance Company, the foremost dance institution representing the South Asian American community in the United States. Through her leadership, Ragamala's ethos, cultural values, and artistic lineage have made the organization vital to the American dance landscape, catalyzing transformative change in the field.

Ramaswamy’s performances range from intimate solo presentations with live musical accompaniment to large-scale, multidisciplinary theatrical works that have toured widely throughout the U.S. and abroad. With her creative partner, Ranee Ramaswamy, her work has been commissioned and presented by the Kennedy Center, American Dance Festival, Lincoln Center, Joyce Theater in New York, Harris Theater in Chicago, Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College, Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai, the Music Academy in Chennai, and the Soorya Festival in Kerala, India, among others.

Ramaswamy’s awards and honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Research Fellowship (Italy), Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship (Italy), Joyce Award, Bush Fellowship for Choreography, and four McKnight Artist Fellowships, among others. Ramaswamy is a former board member of Dance/USA.

Jill Robinson

CEO & Founder, TRG Arts
Board Member through January 2027
Jill S. Robinson is a driving force in the arts and culture sector who has inspired leaders and organizations for more than three decades. From early career achievements with regional symphony orchestras to her leadership building TRG Arts (The Results Group for the Arts) into a renowned international, data-driven change agency, Jill’s expertise and counsel are sought out by arts and cultural executives worldwide. Jill believes in the transformative power of arts and culture experiences, and that positive, profound change in the business model of arts organizations leads to artistic innovation that can inspire entire communities.

With Jill’s leadership, TRG Arts has doubled in size, opened a location in the United Kingdom, and served more than 1,200 clients in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K. and Europe. Under her guidance TRG Arts has developed the largest (and growing) global arts and cultural consumer dataset in the industry, the COVID-19 International Sector Benchmark. In 2020, TRG was named one of Colorado’s Top 100 Women-Owned Companies by ColoradoBiz magazine, and was presented with the 2017 Create Award by Colorado Business Committee for the Arts.

Jill’s strategic vision for TRG Arts has benefited prominent arts organizations from the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and The Australian Ballet to the Museum of Popular Culture (MoPOP) in Seattle, Canada’s National Arts Centre, and theatres and venues throughout the U.K., including Theatre Clywd, Sheffield Theatres and Nottingham Playhouse.

A sought-after speaker, Jill has delivered her insights at countless industry conferences, including keynotes at the UK Theatre Touring Symposium in London, the Broadway League Spring Road Conference in New York City, the Dance/USA International Dance Managers Conference in Copenhagen, and the annual Conference on Marketing in the Arts in Madrid and Barcelona. She is a trusted source for a wide range of media covering arts and culture issues, including The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor and Inside Philanthropy, among others.

Jill is an adjunct professor of the Master of Arts Administration/Master of Business Administration program at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX and an inaugural faculty member for the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Cultural Leadership Program. She serves on the Advisory Board for SMU DataArts and has served on the board of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Murielle Borst Tarrant

Cultural artist, director, playwright
Board Member through January 2025
Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna/Rappahannock) is an author, playwright, director, producer, cultural artist, educator, and human rights activist. Author of the fantasy series The Star Medicine, she studied at HB STUDIOS in New York City, studied and interned with Spiderwoman Theater, and is also a graduate of Long Island University. She works on the deconstructing of methods of the arts in Native communities in urban areas across the country, Canada, and in the New York City education system. She also consults with many urban and non-urban universities on the development of Native theater programming.

Nominated for the Rockefeller grant in 2001, Borst-Tarrant won a Native Heart Award and was the only Native American Woman to be selected by the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia at the Sydney Opera House for her one-woman show, More than Feathers and Beads. She served as the Special Assistant and Liaison to Tonya Gonnella Frichner, the North American Regional Representative to the United Nations’ Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and served as Chairwoman for the Woman’s Caucus for North America from 2013 to May 2014.

Borst-Tarrant directed Muriel Miguel, founder of Spiderwoman Theater in Red Mother nationally and internationally, and was the Keynote Speaker for the Indigenous Women’s Symposium at Trent University. She was recently selected to speak on “Repetition, Tradition and Change: Native oral history and contemporary art practice in hostel post-colonial times” at the International Conference at the Muthesius Academy of Art in Kiel, Germany and the Norwegian Theater Academy. Named in American Theater Magazine as one of the most influential women in American Theater, Borst-Tarrant is the Artistic Director of Safe Harbor Indigenous Collective and consultant for La MaMa Experimental Theatre Indigenous Initiative. She has recently produced, written, and directed Don’t Feed the Indians—A Divine Comedy Pageant! at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club.

Beatrice Thomas

Consultant, Arts Equity Strategist, Artist
Board Member through January 2026
Beatrice Thomas is an arts equity consultant, multi-disciplinary artist, and creative producer whose social practice lies at the intersection of arts, equity and accountability. Thomas nationally advances the work of queer, trans and POC artists. And for nearly a decade, she has worked in a number of arts sectors in from Austin, TX to the San Francisco Bay, dedicating her career to philanthropy and professional development for individual artists. Previously she held senior and senior consulting positions at San Francisco Arts Commission, foolsFURY Theatre, and SAFEhouse Arts. She was an inaugural APAP Leadership Fellow, is an 2020 APAP conference co-chair and received her MFA from the University of Texas.

Lisa Richards Toney, Ex Officio

President and CEO, APAP
Lisa Richards Toney became President and CEO of APAP on July 1, 2020. She will work with the APAP board of directors and staff to address both the strategic vision of the organization and the immediate and emerging needs of the performing arts field in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Richards Toney brings more than 20 years of experience leading a range of small and large arts and humanities organizations, managing change and building stability.

Read more about Lisa here.

Mark Wilson

Executive Director, Zoellner Arts Center
Board Member through January 2027
Mark Wilson is the Executive Director of Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University. He has a passion to connect rural, suburban, and urban communities together through the arts. He is an arts administrator who understands the importance of community organizing and co-curating programming with traditionally marginalized communities.

Mark has been part of the APAP conference planning committee for the 2022, 2023, and 2024 conferences. He has co-advised the Black Affinity group from 2022-2024. He is currently a board member at large for CONSERT and the Secretary of Board for PA Presenters. He has enjoyed being an adjudicator for many regional arts grants throughout his career.

John Zion

Managing Director, MKI Artists
Board Member through January 2026
John Zion serves as the Managing Director of MKI Artists, one of the leading classical music management agencies in the United States where he directs the careers of a prestigious roster of artists, ensembles, and composers. He is also a co-founder of OurConcerts.live that produced and streamed more than 300 concerts during the pandemic and continues to provide access to live music to audiences around the world.

Also an active consultant, John works with artists, administrators, and arts organizations on career development, project management, and digital marketing. John serves on the board of Chamber Music America and has guest lectured and presented on arts-related issues at the Colburn School of Music, University of Michigan, Manhattan School of Music, Banff Centre, APAP|NYC, and Chamber Music America’s National Conference. He was named one of the “Rising Stars in the Performing Arts” by Musical America in 2012 and received a BM in Violin Performance from the Hartt School of Music.

Roles and Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the Board of Directors

Board members are accountable for understanding, accepting and interpreting the philosophy and purpose of APAP to its members and other important constituencies. Board members are responsible for ensuring and maintaining an understanding of demographic, cultural, social, and economic trends nationally and internationally and their implications for APAP and the members. All board members will exhibit demonstrated expertise with cultural diversity as it relates to leadership development, programming and audience development.

In carrying out its major responsibilities, the board of directors functions in the major areas of: policy making; fiduciary stewardship of the organization, its mission and its members; helping to secure the organization’s future by active engagement in fundraising; providing strategic leadership to oversee implementation of approved strategic direction and policies determined by the full board and carried out by staff; and acting as an enthusiastic ambassador on behalf of the organization to its membership and the larger community.

Responsibilities of the Board of Directors

Following a call for nominations from the membership, directors are elected for three year terms with option for election for up to two consecutive terms. Board members may serve a maximum of six consecutive years unless serving as an officer; in which case, an individual may serve up to nine years or three consecutive terms.

Board Alumni 

The Board Alumni consist of past members of APAP's Board.
Camera Crew at APAP|NYC by Adam Kissick/APAP
  • Ismael Ahmed
  • Judith Allen

  • Luis Alvarez

  • Neill Archer Roan

  • Maure Aronson

  • Lulani Arquette
  • Caron Atlas

  • Tom Bacchetti

  • Larry Baza

  • Neil Barclay

  • Neil Benson

  • Philip Bither

  • Michael Blachly

  • Lisa Booth

  • Nicole Borrelli Hearn

  • Murielle Borst-Tarrant
  • Ron Bowlin

  • Dianne Brace

  • Krista Bradley
  • Bill Bragin

  • Gwethalyn Bronner
  • Linda Brumbach
  • Wende Cartwright

  • Kim Chan

  • Ann Cochran

  • Shelley Cohn

  • Laura Colby
  • Alvan Colon Lespier

  • Jean Cook
  • William Cook

  • Susan Coon

  • Jim Copenhaver
  • Eddie Cota
  • Janet Cowperthwaite

  • Shannon Daut

  • Jackie Davis

  • William Dawson

  • Carolelinda Dickey

  • Martha Dodson

  • Jay Doty

  • Alejandrina Drew

  • Mario Garcia Durham
  • Aaron Dworkin

  • Duane Ebata

  • Cathy Edwards

  • Adrian Ellis
  • Susie Farr

  • Karen Fischer
  • Ken Fischer

  • Arni Fishbaugh

  • Ken Foster

  • Nancy Gabriel

  • Olga Garay-English

  • Sandra Gibson

  • Dawn Gibson-Brehon

  • Charlotte Giles

  • Anna Glass
  • Victor Gotesman

  • Pam Green

  • Nicole Borrelli Hearn

  • Theresa Holden

  • Kathy Hotchner

  • Stephanie Hughley

  • Kendra Whitlock Ingram
  • Maria Jackson

  • Rea Jacobs

  • Frank Jacobson

  • Colleen Jennings-Roggensack

  • Jennifer Johnson
  • Terre Jones

  • Brian Jose
  • John Killacky

  • Emil Kang

  • Maurine Knighton

  • Larry Kosson

  • Josh LaBelle

  • Eric Lariviere
  • Margaret Lawrence

  • Wayne Lawson

  • Steve Levine

  • Abel Lopez

  • Joan Lounsbery

  • Alycia Mack

  • Arnie Malina

  • Robert Marshall

  • Brian McCurdy

  • Joe Melillo

  • Cora Mirikitani

  • Bill Mitchell

  • Sharon H. Moore

  • Lorna Myers

  • Halsey & Alice North

  • Jan Oetinger
  • Don Osborne

  • Jeff Parks
  • John Patches

  • Jeanne Pearlman

  • Ira Perman

  • Lynne Peterson

  • Aimee Petrin

  • Georgiana Pickett

  • Robb Pocklington

  • Colleen Porter

  • Michael Reed
  • Mary B. Regan

  • Malik Robinson

  • Pedro Rodriguez

  • Anna Rosenthal

  • Michael Ross

  • Daniel Bernard Roumain
  • David Rousseve

  • Ralph Sandler

  • Anita Scism

  • Mikki Shepard

  • Susan Sheppard

  • Toni Sikes

  • Larry Simpson

  • Alison Spiriti

  • Susie Surkamer

  • Chuck Swanson

  • Ivan Sygoda

  • Terri Trotter

  • Toby Tumarkin
  • Tim Van Leer

  • Huong Vu

  • Evy Warshawski

  • Marianne Weems

  • Todd Wetzel

  • Jed Wheeler

  • Peter Wilt
  • Marty Wollesen

  • Johann Zietsman

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