2017 APASO Attendees at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ

2017 APASO Attendees at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ

The Association of Performing Arts Service Organizations (APASO) began almost 30 years ago when a group of organizations providing services to their performing arts communities got together to share their experiences as a way of learning from each other. Today APASO is an international association that includes cross-disciplinary nonprofit arts service organizations, performing arts service organizations, and cultural alliances from all across the globe.

We share many common goals, and many common passions drive our work. Almost all of us work to increase public awareness of, engagement with, and support for the arts in our local communities. Almost all of us engage in public advocacy for the arts and for arts in education.

Many of us provide similar services to our constituents: marketing, ticketing, technical support, capacity building, and professional development. Some of us serve only other arts organizations, and some serve organizations and individual artists. A number of us have developed specialized services in the area of online calendars, ticketing services, fiscal sponsorship programs.

We meet once a year to share best practices, share resources, and recharge our batteries. It’s the one time we meet with our peers, with others who are doing what we do. It is enormously helpful and strengthening to the field. We stay connected with each other throughout the year via a very active listserv.

Some of the initiatives that have come out of our APASO meetings include Free Night of Theatre, “Big Lists” (shared community marketing databases), discount ticketing systems, and the expansion of the Artsopolis network of calendar sites. A soon-to-be shared initiative is a new 15-city study of the intrinsic impact of the arts.

APAPO began and still is an informal, unincorporated, ad hoc learning community. We are not an incorporated dues-paying association. Any nonprofit arts/cultural organization providing similar services to their constituents is always welcome to join us at our conferences. Meet our members.