The performing arts are at a critical point in the life of our sector and APAP’s placement within and service to the field is essential, so it is important at this moment to consider APAP’s identity and capacity. APAP also wants to ensure its sustainability moving forward and right-size itself doing what we can and should be doing given available resources.
About The Sustainability Planning Process:
To make this a reality, APAP is working alongside ADC Consulting
to create a Sustainability Plan that syncs a set of strategic priorities with a series of action steps that are expansive and future-forward.
The Plan aims We aim to respond to the needs of a changing presenting, booking and touring industry and to global shifts by reimagining an organizational structure that will best support performing arts professionals in our collective vision for a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable field.
The Plan will be developed through a series of five phases from October 2023- August 2024.
APAP exists to serve a flourishing national and international performing arts community of agents, presenters, artists, and performing arts professionals. Your ideas, needs, and feedback are critical to the success of the Sustainability Plan. We have designed a series of engagement opportunities so you can also be a part of this sustainability planning process.
About The Sustainability Planning Team:
To ensure APAP remains accountable with the community of artists, agents and presenters that we serve, APAP has established a Sustainability Planning Committee (SPC) to steward and inform the entire process. The committee is composed of the APAP board, staff, and our members! It includes:
VP International Programming and Dance, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
For over two decades, Alicia Adams has been presenting work from national and international arenas at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. As Vice President of International Programming and Dance, she produces the distinguished international theater series World Stages each year. Since 1997, Alicia has curated and produced major international festivals including most recently Artes de Cuba, an unprecedented festival in 2018 that brought together 400 Cuban and Cuban American artists. She also curates the Center’s Contemporary Dance programming and annual Lunar New Year Celebration.
Active in the performing arts community, Alicia has served on numerous boards and planning committees including the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts, the Caine Prize for African Writing (UK), Africa 95 (UK), the All Roads Project of National Geographic, Chair of the International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA), Executive Committee of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), the National Dance Panel of the New England Foundation on the Arts, the Advisory Council for Georgetown University's Laboratory for Global Performance and Circle World Arts. In 2011 she received the APAP Fan Taylor Distinguished Service Award for exemplary service to the field of presenting. She is also an elected member of the Cosmos Club. In 2013, Adams was awarded the Insignia of Member First Class of the Royal Order of the Polar Star by the Swedish government. In 2014 Adams was awarded Insignia of Knight, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland by the Finnish government.
Principal, Lamling Group
Amy Lam is an independent performing arts consultant based in New York and Boston. As the founding
principal of Lamling Group, Ms. Lam provides consulting services and customized strategies for a wide range of cultural and academic institutions as well as individual artists. Lamling Group’s primary functions include
artistic curation, strategic and business planning, producing and project management.
Ms. Lam most recently served as the Vice President and Executive Director of Tisch Music at the 92nd Street Y, New York. As the chief executive of one of the key program centers at the iconic cultural institution, Ms. Lam reinvigorated the multi-genre center by realigning and expanding its artistic portfolio, broadened the audience reach and stimulated organizational and financial growth during her tenure.
Before joining 92NY in 2021, Ms. Lam was 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.
Ms. Lam currently serves on the board of Association of Performing Arts Professionals. She was a member of the Artistic Committee for Music Accord, and also served on the boards of Dance/USA, Dover Cultural Council (MA), Soldiers Field Park Children’s Center at Harvard Business School, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts 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.
Director, Contenidos Artisticos
Cristina Vázquez has been a Mexican cultural manager for over two decades. She has a master’s degree in Management of Cultural Institutions and Companies from the Barcelona University, where she also obtained a postgraduate diploma in International Cooperation and Cultural Management.
She defines herself as a migrant woman, since almost ten years ago she arrived at Chicago. She had to deal with huge challenges in the United States for her independent artistic projects. Therefore, her main commitment is to give space, voice and work to women that create, manage, and produce in the performing arts field.
As of January 20, 2020, Vázquez is the first Mexican woman to be part of the Board of Directors of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP). Today she is the chairperson of the Communication Task Force of this organism.
She has a permanent presence in performing arts meetings, especially in North America and in other parts of the world. She also has a very active role in her country, where she works with different cultural institutions, both private and public, in the federal, state, and local levels, as well as with multidisciplinary festivals.
Her principal interest is to encourage exchange and collaboration projects, like the one she is planning to work with creation, education, production, and mobility between Mexico and the US.
Due to her passion for literature, Cristina has been involved with the publishing industry, where she complements her career in the performing arts scene.
Program Officer for Creativity and Free Expression, The Ford Foundation
Lane Harwell (they/he) is a nonprofit and philanthropic leader working to advance mission-driven organizations on the frontlines of social change.
Currently Senior 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 nearly $300 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 serves on the board of Funders for LGBT Issues. They co-chair New York Grantmakers in the Arts, a peer network of grantmakers. Lane is the 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.
Lisa Richards Toney
President & CEO, APAP
Lisa Richards Toney became President and CEO of APAP on July 1, 2020. Ms. 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. She most recently served as Executive Director of the Abramson Scholarship Foundation, where she increased funding and steered the foundation through a period of change management in programming, finance, development, and governance. She also improved the scholar experience by curating innovative professional development opportunities in financial literacy, professional visioning, and mental health awareness while utilizing professional networks to build exposure for scholars pursuing careers in the arts. As Deputy Director and later Interim Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, she worked tirelessly on behalf of the diverse resident artists and arts organizations of the District of Columbia. Her additional leadership experience includes Director, Writers and Schools at the Pen/Faulkner Foundation; Director, Literature to Life at The American Place Theatre, where she presented performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The Library of Congress; and the first Executive Director of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy.
In September 2023, Ms. Richards Toney was named among industry luminaries to the first NYC Live Entertainment Industry Council by New York Mayor Eric Adams. She was also named one of "The Next 50" as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She was previously a booking and producing consultant for cellist Okorie “OkCello” Johnson, consultant for the Reel to Reel Filmmaker’s Project for the Prince George’s County Arts Council, and provided tour management and planning support for Moving Forward Dance Company/Dana Tai Soon Burgess. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Drama and English as a Presidential Scholar from Spelman College, a Master of Arts Degree as a John Beinecke Scholar in Arts Education from New York University, and was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study Black Dance in London, as well as a Vilar Arts Management Fellowship with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Renae Williams Niles
Principal, Renae WN Consulting
Renae Williams Niles has served on 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. Renae served as APAP board chair, 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, United States Artists, three years with the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, 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.
Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Shanta Thake is the Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where she spearheads all artistic programming activities. Since her start in the fall of 2021, Shanta has been key to Lincoln Center's ongoing efforts to ensure the arts are central to the civic life of the city—welcoming new and returning audiences, championing genres historically underrepresented on campus, and ushering in accessible ticket models to help break down cost barriers.
Known for her work across disciplines, Shanta leads a team of curators to bring exciting emerging and established artists to Lincoln Center’s indoor and outdoor stages, and spearheads multi-genre collaborations with Lincoln Center’s resident organizations.
Prior to Lincoln Center, Shanta was Associate Artistic Director/Director of Artistic Programs at The Public Theater, overseeing the growth and development of Public Works, Mobile Unit, Under the Radar, Joe’s Pub, The Shakespeare Initiative, and Public Forum. Previously, she spent 10 years as the Director of Joe’s Pub, the intimate cabaret venue which hosts over 700 shows annually.
Shanta is also the co-director of GlobalFEST, North America’s world music festival, and in this role received the William Dawson award for Programmatic Excellence. She received a BA in theater and a degree in management from Indiana University, and currently lives in Brooklyn.