Wednesday, March 25, 2009


By Ben Thiem, Director of Member Services

I am writing this post from the city of Boston, where for the next few days I am at the annual Association of Performing Arts Service Organizations (APASO) conference. The APASO conference is an annual gathering of performing arts service organizations from across the US and Canada to share best practices, challenges and successes, and discuss how we can best serve our constituents and collaborate nationally to advance the performing arts. There are representatives from all across the United States and Canada including Theatre Bay Area, Theatre Puget Sound, Austin Circle of Theatres, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Atlanta Coalition for the Performing Arts, Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, Theatre Communications Group, and Theatre Development Fund to name a few. This is my fourth APASO conference, so I know the staff at many of the other organizations pretty well now and it feels a bit like a family reunion when we gather again each year.

It's an exciting and intense three days full of group discussions, breakout sessions, panels and speakers. The conference provides an opportunity to reflect on what we're currently doing at the League and do some big picture thinking about the future. I always leave APASO feeling rejuvinated and filled with new ideas to bring back to Chicago. While each city and performing arts community is unique, we share many commonalities and the need for us to gather and share knowledge and resources is important and valuable, especially in these challenging times.

If you are interested in some of the topics that we'll be discussing, follow us on Twitter the next few days and I will see you back in Chicago.

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