(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — More than 4,000 performing arts professionals from around the world will assemble in New York for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters' (APAP) 49th Annual Members Conference, January 20-24 at the Hilton New York and Towers. The conference includes four days of workshops, panel discussions, a Resource Room with over 350 exhibitors, and more than 1,200 live performances in venues throughout the city. APAP is the largest event of its kind in the performing arts anywhere in the world.
This year's opening plenary speaker will be Harry Belafonte; the closing plenary speaker will be poet and musician Sekou Sundiata; this year's Award of Merit will be awarded to Ornette Coleman.
The Conference theme – "Creative Change. Global Exchange" – makes this year's event particularly timely. "The 49th Annual Members Conference addresses the absolutely crucial need for global cultural exchange and diplomacy," said Sandra Gibson, president & CEO of Arts Presenters. "During the Members Conference, we will celebrate and focus on the power of the arts to cross geopolitical and cultural borders." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen