2007-2009: Laura Colby, Elsie Management


I had the pleasure of serving as President of NAPAMA during the years of 2007 and 2008. Over this period, our membership increased by 30%. We acquired a significant number of these members via our Welcome to the Market PDI, which we offered for its third and fourth years at WAA and its first and second years at Arts Northwest. We also initiated a new first-time membership level for PennPAT artists.

With the advent of the IRS’s threatening letters to numerous universities presenting international artists, NAPAMA turned its attention to the complex issue of U.S. Federal taxation on touring international artists. In an effort to better understand the IRS’s requirements and to ensure compliance, we formed the International Artists Taxation Task Force in concert with our colleague service organizations. We also assembled, coordinated and presented the first-ever workshops on this complex issue with a faculty comprised of IRS staff, lawyers and managers. By special invitation NAPAMA made its debut at CINARS with this panel in November, 2008.

The only service organization in our field with a state-by-state taxation guide, NAPAMA maintains this vital resource live on its website. In 2008, the Board published information on the taxation of U.S. artists touring in the U.S. on its website. In the same year NAPAMA offered the first-ever workshop on the issue of retirement for our field, the content of which now lives on our website. In preparation for this workshop, we conducted our first online survey of our members. Other NAPAMA educational sessions that were offered during this period included sessions on Exclusivity and Arbitration & Mediation, led by our brilliant Legal Affairs Advisor, Brian Goldstein of FTM Arts Law, PC.

In 2007, the Board began research on how NAPAMA could offer competitively priced, readily available General Liability coverage in annual and spot-coverage form to its members and their associated artists. In 2008, we were thrilled to launch this program as Associate Members of Fractured Atlas, a national service organization founded by artists serving artists needs. Brian Goldstein submitted the white paper "A License to Manage" which now lives on our website.

In 2007 NAPAMA’s Showcase Task Force was formed with the goal of creating the first-ever industry guideline to showcasing. In 2008, this industry-wide task force drafted these guidelines for membership review. In June, 2008, NAPAMA joined its service organization colleagues and participated in the organization and presentation of the first-ever National Performing Arts Convention that was held in Denver, CO.

In 2007 NAPAMA participated in the "Up Our Alley" annual AIDS bowling fundraiser, returning with a team in 2008. In 2008 the NAPAMA Award for Excellence in Presenting the Performing Arts was given to Charles Rogers from Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and in 2009 to Aaron Egigian from the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, California. This award remains the only award of its kind - with a contribution toward the venue’s endowment - in our field.

NAPAMA’s conference liaisons continued their crucial work of careful coordination with the conferences as issues such as "open access" hours, showcase logistics, booth hours, registration processes, database access, and load-in expenses were tackled.

All of this activity from the all-volunteer board comprised of your peers! What a ride!