National Performance Network > About NPN/VAN > 25th Anniversary: 1985-2010

25th Anniversary: 1985-2010

A message from NPN’s then-President & CEO MK Wegmann, in 2010, reflecting on NPN’s first 25 years and the future:

This is an amazing place to be, launching a year-long celebration of NPN’s 25th Anniversary. I’ve been privileged to be a part of the National Performance Network’s history over this entire span of years. I remember clearly the excitement I felt when David White approached organizations that were potential NPN members (then called Primary Sponsors) at a NAAO conference (National Association of Artists’ Organizations) in Chicago. Fourteen organizations attended an initial planning meeting, and 19 organizations made up the first pool of members. Now the NPN membership is 69 organizations strong, including our new Visual Artists Network Partners (VAN).

As we launch NPN’s 25th anniversary year, we are looking forward to remembering and re-connecting with artists, former NPN Partners, staff and colleagues who have been part of our history. We are celebrating our 25th in concert with many others, such as Urban Bush Women and Jump-Start Performance Co., to name just two. Our host in Knoxville, Carpetbag Theatre, is celebrating its 40th, as is Appalshop. Time passes in a blink but we are all looking forward to many more years of serving the field. We’ve proven our ability to not just survive, but to thrive.

Last year we were filled with a tremendous sense of excitement and promise following the election of Barack Obama as U.S. President; now we are faced with the challenges of realizing that promise, work that requires us all to continue speaking out and acting on our commitments to make substantive and lasting changes. The strength and success of the work that NPN and our colleagues have been doing for the last 25 years gives us the ability and courage to continue doing that work into the future, and I look forward to it.

Read the stories of people who have participated in NPN programs over the past 25 years.




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