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Guest Blog: Pulling Together the National Performance Network's Annual Meeting

by Anne Bothwell 11 Nov 2010 4:10 PM

The National Performance Network, a group that champions and nurtures emerging – and sometimes controversial – artists, is holding its annual meeting in Dallas in December. Vicki Meek, head of South Dallas Cultural Center and an NPN board member, pulls back the curtain on how such a big event comes together.


Marc Bamuthi Joseph

How does a national arts convention get organized? Guest blogger Vicki Meek is the head of the South Dallas Cultural Center. She’s also on the board of the National Performance Network, which will have its 25th anniversary and annual meeting in Dallas in December. Here she gives some background on how it’s being pulled together.

Whenever someone talks about the people in Dallas who have been die-hard arts supporters, one person’s name invariably shows up: Veletta Lill. Oh there are others to be sure, but whenever the support category contains not just arts institutions but individual artists as well, the list gets decidedly shorter and Veletta’s jumps right to the top! So it should come as no surprise that when I needed a champion to sound the call to action for the National Performance Network’s Annual Meeting that’s coming to December, I went straight to Veletta!

When the South Dallas Cultural Center bid for the NPN 25th Anniversary Annual Meeting two years ago, I envisioned our City being one of the best places to host this exciting meeting. With our new Arts District additions about to open and the excitement surrounding them, I was sure the rest of the country needed to join in our joy. The subsequent choice of the Fairmont Hotel by the NPN meeting coordinator as the meeting hotel, cinched the deal. Veletta worked with me to develop a stellar local host committee that was charged with drumming up awareness and support for the meeting. Our primary task centered on raising the visibility of NPN in Dallas and involving Arts District tenants in the meeting schedule. The host committee has been working hard and it looks like NPN will enjoy an exuberant welcome to Dallas!

The Pat Graney Company

I am excited that the Dallas Museum of Art will host one of the artist workshops and the Fairmont’s Venetian Room will be the venue for five fresh Dallas performing artists showcases and the scene of some very unique visual arts installations. The Majestic Theater will see five exciting artists from around the country grace its stage with dynamic performances and the Latino Cultural Center will welcome an award-winning Mexican performance artist for a special evening of entertainment.  The ATT Performing Arts Center stepped up quickly to assist and will serve as the ticketing entity for all the NPN 25th Anniversary Annual Meeting public performances. In between these performances are a wide range of workshops, discussion forums, and presentations on the state of contemporary arts that 25 Dallas area artists are invited to join with the 250 plus artists coming from around the country, Latin American and Korea.

I am thrilled to be able to introduce the Dallas Arts District to the National Performance Network, most of who have never been to Dallas before.  We know we have something to gloat about but now other arts presenters and performing and visual artists from around the world will too! And I have Veletta Lill to thank for making sure the Dallas Arts District plays “the host with the most” to this important international arts event. Stayed tuned for more on this unique gathering of artists and arts presenters!

What: NPN 25th Anniversary Annual Meeting
When: December 9 through 12, 2010
Location: Fairmont Hotel & Dallas Arts District