Day 5:

Today started with a member meeting (which included yummy breakfast treats), which acted as the annual business meeting….I’ll spare the details. 🙂

John Kani

After the meeting, Tony-Award winner and South African actor John Kani spoke for the closing plenary session.  It is difficult to put his thoughts into brief, academic statements, because his style is so conversational and anecdotal.  But I will attempt to do the job by bullet pointing the ideas as I was able to collect them:

  • Imagine if there was never any art.  The world would be a much different place.  As Kani said, “Art is more powerful than all the weapons in the world.”
  • He was a large part of the change from the apartheid in South Africa, and the theatre was his weapon.
  • Kani pointed out that despite the difference in finances, geography, etc., every person at APAP conference are coming from the same place.
  • “We need to understand that the only way we can succeed is if we get to 2.”  That was Kani’s quote about getting together and counting past just yourself (counting past “1”).  The arts community around the world has to unite to effectively advocate and convince people that we are a vital part of the economy.
  • “We tend to rise in protest of our leaders, but we forget one thing: it is their signatures we need.”  This was a great quote reminding people that protesting is fine, but we cannot anger or offend our leaders, because they are ultimately who makes the policies.
  • I love his quote on what a board should do.  “There are 3 G’s for a board, Give, Get, and Get out.”
  • He raised an idea for creating an arts bank that organizations can deposit their funds into and withdraw from.  But the large amount of funds will accrue a significant amount of interest that can be used for so many things.  I thought it was an interesting idea.

There is no possible way that I can do him justice, but John Kani was a wonderfully eloquent and warm speaker.  I will post his video in the APAP pictures and videos thread.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed attending the conference.  I learned some valuable ideas and made great connections.  I hope all the readers can draw something from these posts.  for any other info on the conference, visit the website apapnyc.org.  Thanks for reading.

– Steven Dawson
“The world needs art, not so they can escape, but so they can embrace.”

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