National Performance Network > News > Greetings from Incoming
Board Chair Abe Rybeck

Greetings from Incoming
Board Chair Abe Rybeck

Posted: Friday, July 25th, 2014 at 11:49 am in News

Every two years the NPN/VAN board of directors elects new officers. This flow of new perspectives keeps our collective imagination sharp. At the same time, we keep an even keel by maintaining most of the executive committee, including a seat for the immediate past board chair. As of July 1, 2014 our colleague and leader Vicki Meek shifted into that role.

I thank Vicki for her wise and gutsy leadership of NPN/VAN and for the generous mentoring she provides me as I step into her fabulous shoes.

Please join me in thanking four terrific board members whose terms ended on June 30, 2014. Each remains seriously engaged in our ongoing work, but the end of their terms gives us a chance to thank them and wish them happiness in their other important ventures. Maria-Rosario Jackson’s national leadership will continue to amplify our voice in cultural policy arenas, as she did so effectively as chair of the NPN/VAN board for two years. James Kass keeps us plugged in with the burgeoning national spoken word and hip-hop performance scenes. New Orleans’ own Tom Reese has his finger on the pulse of cultural collaborations with academia. Performer Maurice Turner, one of several working artists on the board, helps keep our deepest values — and often a live tune! — in every discussion. We thank them and look forward to staying engaged!

NPN/VAN faces tough challenges as well as exciting opportunities.  One of my top priorities for my term as NPN’s board chair is to address the looming threats to the survival of many of our NPN/VAN Partners. Racism and other systemic barriers prevent many rural and culturally specific NPN/VAN Partners from thriving. As a network, we stand in solidarity. Through our critical policy efforts, we stand up for artistic vitality and cultural equity at local, regional, national and international levels. But we are doing even more. We are prioritizing the campaign to leverage our network, bringing in new resources and sharing among us the expertise we each hold. I look forward to the challenge.

Abe Rybeck is the founder and executive artistic director of The Theater Offensive in Boston, MA, an NPN Partner.


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