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Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission Announces Professional Development Institute

Apr 10, 2019

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Topeka, Kan. – The Kansas Performing Arts Conference for performing arts venues and presenters will take place on Thursday, April 25. The event begins at 1 p.m. at the C. L. Hoover Opera House in Junction City, KS.

The Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission and The Kansas Historic Theatre Association invite Kansas-area performing arts venues and presenters to a conference featuring nationally recognized speakers Randy Cohen (Americans for the Arts) and Mario Garcia Durham (Association of Performing Arts Professionals).

These inspiring and dynamic speakers will share the importance of theaters and the performing arts to the economic impact and quality of life in Kansas communities. The event will also provide an opportunity to network with regional presenters from across the state.

Registration is $25 and can be made online at: – Kansas Performing Arts Conference or by calling the box office at (785) 238-3906.


12:00 – 1:00 pm    Registration in Walker Lobby

1:00 – 1:10 pm     Welcome and Introductions

1:10 – 1:55 pm     Randy Cohen

1:55 – 2:40 pm     Mario Garcia Durham

2:40 – 3:10 pm     Networking break with complimentary refreshments

3:10 – 4:00 pm     Q & A time with Randy and Mario

4:00 – 6:00 pm     Dinner on your own

6:00 – 6:30 pm     Networking and complimentary champagne & cheesecake

6:30 – 8:30 pm     Evening Showcase TBA

About Randy Cohen 

Randy Cohen is Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading arts advocacy organization. A member of the staff since 1991, Randy stands out as a noted expert in the field of arts funding, research, and using the arts to address community development issues. He publishes Americans Speak Out About the Arts, the nation’s largest public opinion study about the arts, and produces the two premier economic studies of the arts—Arts & Economic Prosperity, the national economic impact study of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences; and Creative Industries, a mapping study of the nation’s 675,000 arts businesses and their employees. His 10 Reasons to Support the Arts blog recently received the Gold Award from the Association of Media & Publishing—their top honor for best blog post of the year. Randy led the development of The National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of arts in the U.S. as well as the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual convening of leaders who focus on the advancement of American culture—launched in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute. A sought-after speaker, Randy has given speeches in all 50 states, and regularly appears in the news media—including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on C-SPAN, CNN, CNBC, and NPR.

About Mario Garcia Durham

In October 2011, Mario Garcia Durham became the fifth President and CEO of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) since its founding in 1957. Prior to his leadership role with APAP, Mr. Durham was posted at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) where he served as Director of Artist Communities & Presenting from 2004 – 2011. At the NEA, Mr. Durham contributed to programs such as An Evening of Poetry hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama and the NEA Opera Honors. He inaugurated the NEA’s Artist Communities granting program and was the initiator of Live from Your Neighborhood, a groundbreaking study of the impact of outdoor arts festivals in the U.S. After holding numerous management positions and serving as artistic director at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in the 1990s, he founded Yerba Buena Arts & Events in 2000, the producing organization of the annual Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. The outdoor event offers more than 100 free performances by the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Ballet and more for an audience of 100,000 attendees. Throughout his career of over 20 years as a presenter, Mr. Durham has served on numerous boards, special advisory committees and funding panels. He is currently on the board of the Alliance of Artist Communities and Data Arts (formerly the Cultural Data Project). Durham serves as the vice chair of the Performing Arts Alliance, a board of the leaders of the major performing arts service organizations in the U.S. Durham had previously served on the APAP Board of Directors and on the Executive Committee. He is on the Community Advisory Council of the PBS station WETA in Washington, DC and on the American University Arts Management Advisory Council. A graduate of the University of Houston, Durham is passionate about a broad range of performing arts and evolving forms of performance and media arts.

About the Kansas Historic Theatre Association

The Kansas Historic Theatre Association is a non-profit organization formed to promote understanding, education and preservation of the rich heritage of Kansas’ theatres for the benefit of their communities and future generations. KHTA’s goals are to preserve the theatres as an example of an important architectural and cultural period in our history and to put the buildings to practical use as a source of civic pride and financial stimulation to their cities.

About Professional Development Institutes 

Throughout FY19, KCAIC will institute an annual series of professional development events focused on arts organizations of related types and disciplines. These PDIs will provide meaningful leadership development from national leaders in their respective fields and foster peer networks that further develop specific communities of practice.

This program is supported by the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.