National Performance Network > News > 25th Anniversary Annual Meeting:

25th Anniversary Annual Meeting:

Posted: Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 at 3:00 pm in News

“the best ever…..”

Attendance hit a new record of 350, as NPN invited several special guests to mark the 25th Anniversary. The Dallas Meeting provided several occasions for CEO MK Wegmann, COO Wesley Montgomery and former/current board to publicly thank the many people who have had a role in NPN’s remarkable success and impact. The appreciations began on Friday morning, December 10, with NPN founder and keynote speaker David White.

Throughout the meeting, NPN honored former staff, especially Renata Petroni who first joined NPN as project coordinator while it was still sheltered under Dance Theater Workshop. Appreciations were also offered to former board members, including Jeremy Alliger who was on the first steering committee in 1985; Founding Partners (8 of the original 17 are still active in the Network); funders; and the artists themselves. Representatives from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Ford Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the NEA all had a moment in the spotlight. Rocco Landsman, Chairman of the NEA, sent special video greetings from Washington D.C.

A centerpiece of the Meeting was the five Re-Creation Projects, commissioned by NPN and 12 co-commissioners in 15 states. Two nights of performances at Dallas’ landmark Majestic Theatre impressed audiences, with Pomo Afro Homos’ Fierce Love, Elia Arce’s First Woman on the Moon, Pat Graney Company’s Faith Triptych, Jane Comfort and Company’s Faith Healing and Word becomes Flesh by Marc Bamuthi Joseph. Standing ovations, cheers and tears were the order of the day. These performances, as well as the Dallas showcases featuring five local artist companies, were live-streamed on #newPlayTV, an initiative of Arena Stage.

Another first was an opening showcase at the Latino Cultural Center of Dallas, curated by NPN’s Performing Americas Program. Toneladas de Luz, a solo work by Mexican choreographer Antonio Salinas, was followed by an opening reception co-sponsored by the Mexico Institute.

As NPN expands its well-established Central and South America networks, the Performing Americas Program has evolved to International Projects and now turns its attention to the East. After an exploratory trip to Seoul in the fall of 2010, NPN played host to a delegation of nine presenters and arts administrations from the Korea Arts Management Service, to introduce them to U.S. artists and their work during the Meeting.

Two professional development workshops for artists were offered on the final day of the Meeting. “The Balancing Act of Being an Artist & Administrator” was led by Juana Guzman in collaboration with the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, and Teatro Dallas offered a hands-on mask-making workshop. Both attracted scores of artists and colleagues while NPN Partners gathered for their mandatory annual meeting.

Thirteen different Idea Forums on Friday and Sunday engaged participants in a variety of topics, from Art as Healing, which received local press coverage ( to a funders’ conversation, to a PechaKucha (a Japanese term for ‘chit-chat’) which gave visual artists a chance to share lots of work in a very short time.

South Dallas Cultural Center Manager Vicki Meek and her host committee succeeded in integrating the Annual Meeting into the cultural fabric of Dallas, marshaling an impressive parade of Dallas leadership to greet and welcome attendees. Meek and company also excelled in garnering unprecedented levels of local press coverage, from a public radio interview the week before the Meeting, critical reviews of the showcases, and coverage of the actual content of the Meeting itself.

Onward….to the 26th Annual Meeting in Tampa, December 2011!

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