News & Events

Notices for partners, news for artists, announcements from the field, job postings.

Live & On Stage Artists Announced for the NPN/VAN Annual Conference in San Francisco

Posted: Friday, August 11th, 2017 at 3:02 pm in News

Live & On Stage is a two-night production that will take place during the NPN/VAN Annual Conference, December 15 and 16, 2017. This year’s production will be hosted by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and will feature the work of nine Bay Area performing artists/artist companies.

Live & On Stage provides an opportunity for conference attendees to experience the work of artists living and working in the Bay Area. It also provides those performing artists an opportunity to show their work to the attendees of the Annual Conference, an audience made up of presenters, curators, colleagues, funders, and artists from across the nation.

The selection process included a full application and review by a panel comprised of the Bay Area Host Committee, NPN/VAN Partners, NPN/VAN staff, production staff, and artists. Applications were evaluated based on feasibility, stage readiness, potential audience, and Partner interest. All artists are creating work in alignment with NPN/VAN’s commitment to anti-oppression and freedom of expression, and we are thrilled about presenting them this December.

In an effort to provide attendees the opportunity for deeper local engagement and organizing, all performers were chosen from a pool of artists nominated by members of the Bay Area Host Committee. Nine artist companies were chosen that represent the racial, geographic, aesthetic, career stage, disciplinary/genre, and cultural diversity of the Bay Area artist communities.

The Bay Area artist companies selected for the 2017 Live & On Stage performances are:

  1. DelinaDream Productions, An Open Love Letter to Black Fathers
  2. Embodiment Project, Ancient Children
  3. Echo Brown, Black Virgins Are Not for Hipsters
  4. AXIS Dance Company, Divide
  5. Campo Santo, H.O.M.E. (Hookers On Mars Eventually)
  6. Ryan Nicole Austin, If You Give a Black Girl a Lemon
  7. Guerrilla Rep, Mommy Queerest
  8. Star Amerasu, Rebecca
  9. Rotimi Agbabiaka, Type/Caste

Announcing the next LANE Cohort!

Posted: Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 at 1:51 pm in News

LANE: Leveraging A Network for Equity. See leaders. Make change.

The National Performance Network/ Visual Artists Network is excited to introduce the next cohort of organizations to join Leveraging A Network for Equity (LANE). In partnership with the Nonprofit Finance Fund and with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, these organizations will engage in a four year process to develop sustainable business models that are rooted in their cultural and community strengths. The process includes cohort convenings, subsidized consultancy, general operating support, recovery capital and change capital.

These amazing organizations were selected through a rigorous panel process. We look forward to supporting their leadership and growth.

LANE Beta Cohort

More information about LANE:

Seeking Development & Communications Manager

Posted: Thursday, July 20th, 2017 at 11:49 am in Job Announcements

Download a pdf copy of this job posting

Development + Communications Manager

The National Performance Network / Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN), a national, nonprofit arts organization based in New Orleans, LA, seeks a Development + Communications Manager. This new, full-time position requires excellent oral, written, and computer skills; strong attention to detail and project management timelines; and the ability to coordinate work across multiple departments. The NPN staff is a collegial, energetic team, and we offer a flexible environment, excellent benefits, and opportunities to travel.

The National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network believes artists and arts organizations are essential for creating a just and sustainable world, and we believe communities deserve broad access to art and culture that reflect their own experiences and inform the experiences of others. Through our commitment to building an arts sector rooted in justice, the mission of NPN/VAN is to foster a group of diverse cultural organizers (including artists) working to create meaningful partnerships and to provide leadership that enables the practice and public experience of the arts in the United States.

In collaboration with more than 80 partner organizations across the U.S., as well as Latin America and Japan, NPN/VAN seeks to provide original, risk-taking performing and visual artists with the resources needed to develop and tour new work, to ensure arts leaders have the skills and opportunities to be change-makers in the arts presenting field, and to influence cultural policy for more just and artist-centered practices. Learn more about our programs at

The Development + Communications Manager is an opportunity for an energetic professional to work collaboratively with NPN/VAN staff across departments to drive the creation, management, and execution of development and communications activities. The ideal candidate will enjoy crafting communications strategies that better message and integrate our many programs, execute project management skills to coordinate development and communications activities across departments, and contribute to a holistic and evolving strategy to tell the stories of our organization’s impact.


  • Research and track new funding opportunities
  • Manage fundraising calendar and track development activity in Salesforce (database) for current and upcoming grants and individual donors
  • Proofread and edit development submissions
  • Coordinate the submission of letters of intent, proposals, support materials and reports to funders
  • Work with staff to create and evaluate development plans and priorities


  • Manage and execute communications efforts for the organization, including monthly e-newsletter, periodic e-blasts, social media posts and other communication platforms
  • Develop and manage communications calendars and timelines
  • Coordinate and edit communications content developed by each department
  • Coordinate marketing efforts, particularly for facility rentals and fiscal sponsorship
  • Liaison to web developer / designer to ensure up-to-date messaging and content
  • Work with staff to create and evaluate communications plans and priorities


  • At least 3 years of relevant experience
  • A deep commitment to social justice and equity
  • Energetic, positive, and self-motivated
  • Excellent command of English language and grammar, both verbal and written
  • Proficient with computer applications, including Salesforce or a similar CRM and Microsoft Office. Graphic design, photo editing, and social media development a plus.
  • Proficient in social media platforms
  • Excellent organizational skills with the ability to pay close attention to deadlines and detail
  • Ability to work individually and collaboratively
  • Experience providing day-to-day support to team members


  • Reports to:Chief Operating Officer
  • Full-time, salaried position
  • Salary: $36,000-40,000/year
  • Benefits: 100% of individual health and dental plans; annual FSA (Flexible Spending Account) plan; vacation, personal and sick leave; life insurance; professional development and travel opportunities


  • Application deadline August 15, 2017. The position is available immediately, and we expect to begin the interview process within 2-3 weeks of the application deadline.
  • Please include cover letter, resume/CV, and at least two writing samples (may include catchy headlines, short blurbs, long articles, blogs, grant proposals, press releases, inspirational e-blasts, etc.!). Email to (no phone calls or snail-mail submissions, please).


In alignment with NPN/VAN’s commitment to creating an arts sector rooted in justice, we are committed to ensuring a space that is free of racism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, misogyny, classism, or other bias. NPN/VAN does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, creed, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, mental or physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation, physical characteristics, marital status or military status, in any of its activities or operations. We encourage diverse applicants to apply.

E-Newsletter / June 26, 2017

Posted: Monday, June 26th, 2017 at 12:23 pm in E-Newsletters

Say Hello to Meijun Wang, NPN/VAN’s New Intern

Posted: Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 at 2:44 pm in News

NPN/VAN is happy to introduce Meijun Wang, our new intern, to the Network.

Meijun is from Guiyang, the capital city of Guizhou Province, in southwest China. She obtained a bachelor’s degree at the Arts College of Guizhou University, majoring in dance performance, teaching, and choreography. She also spent four years learning professional Chinese folk dance, including Tibetan, Uyghur, Mongolian, Northeast Yangko, Dai, Miao, Buyi, Tujia, Yi, as well as Korean, Spanish, Latin, and American Modern dance.

Meijun began studying dance when she was five years old and has participated in performances and dance competitions across China and in the United States. She performed as a dancer in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and the Shanghai 2010 World Expo Opening Ceremony. In 2010, she was honored to perform for the Chinese Spring Festival, which was broadcast nationally on China Central Television 1 (CCTV). She is proud to have received numerous national dance awards thanks to these opportunities.

Meijun participated in a dance learning exchange with American arts and dance schools in 2009 and credits this experience with sparking her desire to study abroad. After graduating from Guizhou University in 2011, Meijun decided to study in the United States and studied English for a year in preparation. She moved to New Orleans in 2013 where she met her husband, Cheng. They have a two-year-old daughter, Melanie.

This year, Meijun completed the coursework for a master’s degree from the Arts Administration Program at the University of New Orleans and is spending the summer as an intern at NPN/VAN, working with the National Programs staff.

Meijun is a welcome addition to the NPN/VAN team!

Photo description: The Flower Blooming in the Spring – Dance from the Miao culture of Guizhou Province, southwest China.

The NPN/VAN Local Program in the spotlight again!

Posted: Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 at 2:27 pm in News

NPN/VAN is proud to be the recipient of another award for its contributions to its home community. The New Orleans Chapter of the National Conference of Artists annually honors outstanding individuals and organizations whose work enhances the creative, cultural, and economic climate of New Orleans. Stephanie Atkins, Director of Local Programs, accepted the award during the 6th Annual Margaret Burroughs Symposium on Saturday, June 10th. Other 2017 organizational honorees were the Center for African and African American Studies at SUNO and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. In the outstanding artists category were Mapo Kinnord, L. Kasimu Harris, and John Barnes; Dr. Stella Jones was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement in the Arts award. Past recipients include the Amistad Research Center, Arts Council of New Orleans, Ashe Cultural Arts Center, L9 Center for the Arts, McKenna Museums, New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Neighborhood Gallery.

The National Conference of Artists (NCA), founded in 1959, is devoted to the preservation, promotion, and furtherance of African and African American culture, and the creative forces of the artists that emanate from the African World experience. The NCA proudly proclaims its existence as the oldest African American visual arts advocacy organization in the United States. Its members include artists, educators, scholars, exhibitors, art distributors, art collectors, and supporters of African and African American art and culture. The New Orleans chapter has been at the vanguard of progressive cultural enlightenment by providing economic development, exposure, and acknowledgment for the arts and artists.

NEA Awards Two Grants to NPN/VAN

Posted: Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 at 1:12 pm in News

In June, the National Endowment for the Arts announced 1,195 grants totaling $82.06 million to support arts activities in every U.S. state and jurisdiction.

In the Art Works: Dance category, NPN has been awarded $50,000 for programs that support contemporary U.S. choreographers, dance artists, and presenters to create, commission, tour, and engage diverse communities with new work across the United States. The programs will support the development and touring of innovative, new dance works; nurture the careers of hundreds of dancers; and create spaces for authentic dialogue between diverse dancers and audiences across the United States. Art Works is the NEA’s largest category and focuses on funding the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and strengthening of communities through the arts.

NPN/VAN has also received its first Our Town grant. The $75,000 award will support the Knowledge Building Initiative, NPN/VAN’s creative placemaking research and archiving project. NPN/VAN is partnering with Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, PhD, and Elliat Graney-Saucke, to research and archive creative placemaking case studies and best practices in the 33 states represented by NPN/VAN’s network. The work will result in a series of written reports, blog posts, and filmed short interviews and oral histories, all of which will be accessible through NPN/VAN’s website. Research findings will also be disseminated through dedicated sessions at NPN/VAN’s convenings. Through this project, NPN/VAN will deepen engagement with its partner organizations, promote effective reflection and evaluative efforts, and better articulate the social change benefits of artistic production. The project will reach NPN/VAN’s national network of 84 organizational partners and their communities. Our Town is the NEA’s signature creative placemaking program that supports partnerships of artists, arts organizations, and municipal governments that work to revitalize neighborhoods. This practice places arts at the table with land -use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies to address a community’s challenges. Creative placemaking highlights the distinctiveness of a place, encouraging residents to identify and build upon their local creative assets.

Read more…


About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit

E-Newsletter / May 22, 2017

Posted: Monday, May 22nd, 2017 at 1:23 pm in E-Newsletters

U.S.-Japan Connection Travel 2016-17:
Blog Reflection: Julie Bates MacGillis

Posted: Friday, May 19th, 2017 at 5:04 pm in International Program Reflections

Blog Reflection: Julie Bates MacGillis
Cultural Affairs

We had a great meeting with Dale Kreisher, Cultural Affairs Officer and Akihito (“Aki”) Nakanishi, Cultural Affairs Specialist, Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Our goal was to meet these supporters of arts and culture and introduce them to our work in Japan. Our time with the officers was short, but we made the most of our 30-minutes at the US embassy. They were incredibly warm, positive and interested in the work we are doing in Japan. They had been working for Caroline Kennedy until the Trump administration took over and recalled all ambassadors. As no replacement has been appointed, they are in a bit of a holding pattern right now waiting for the new ambassador, and to learn who that person is and what their priorities are.

By the time we left, they were enthusiastic and very shocked they hadn’t known about this project before now. For their part, they brought up the issue facing Japan of having literally thousands of museums, and very little training available for curators. They are particularly interested in connecting with Western institutions for curatorial exchanges (for both performing and visual arts, though this seems more established in visual arts and more need in performing arts) to mentor Japanese curators.

They loved the project. They really want to stay in touch, and they were impressed by our emphasis on real two-way exchange between cultures, as well as the curatorial exchange aspect, rather than simply a touring program for individual artists and shows.

U.S.-Japan Connection Travel 2016-17:
Blog Reflection: Colleen Furukawa

Posted: Friday, May 19th, 2017 at 5:03 pm in International Program Reflections

Blog Reflection: Colleen Furukawa
International Commonalities

This was my first foray into meeting a variety of artists from around Asia on non-US soil. It was an interesting first day of attending different roundtables on a wide range of areas artists are working in. The world gets smaller and smaller as we find we all know common artists, shared interests, and commonalities on social issues, cultural perpetuation, activating, facilitating and community engagement. Through these exchanges, we have gained new awareness and insight into the impact of social structures in different cultures that are causative forces in the kinds of social issues that we all face. The power of one-on-one conversation is sharing knowledge.

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