Welcome #OAPN2022 Plenary Speaker - Ruby Lopez Harper


We are thrilled to announce that Ruby Lopez Harper, Vice President of Equity & Local Arts Engagement at Americans for the Arts, will be our plenary speaker! She will kick-off OAPN's 2022 conference during our morning breakfast on Monday, September 12 at 9 AM with an inspirational and educational discussion on equity in the arts. Ms. Lopez-Harper will also make herself available for one-on-one's and sit in on our "Diversify Your Programming" panel discussion. Plan your travel and arrive a night early to enjoy our Sunday night free pre-conference events so that you don't miss a minute of #OAPN2022. 

Read more about Ruby Lopez Harper: 
Mexican, Mother, Wife, Dancer, Photographer, Poet and Social Justice Warrior.

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"EDIA Emerging Artist" Sponsorships


"EDIA Emerging Artist" sponsorships are available for Ohio-based, self- or unrepresented artists, who self-identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or an artist with a disability.

This OAPN sponsorship will cover 100% of the costs associated with showcasing and attending our 3-day conferenceIncluded in the sponsorship: the artists 3-day registration pass (includes closing night party), showcasing fee, exhibit hall booth, hotel for one night, reimbursement of the $60 showcase application fee, a travel stipend for costs associated with driving to and from the Conference from within Ohio, plus a complimentary 1-year membership to OAPN for the Artist.

How To Apply

Qualifying artists that are interested in being considered for this sponsorship opportunity will find this question under the “Showcase Info” tab -- "Miscellaneous" portion of your I Want To Showcase submission. Answering “YES” to this question does not increase or decrease your chances at being selected as a juried showcase artist. Artists must submit to showcase using I Want To Showcase, be officially selected for a Juried Showcase by our showcase committee, and have checked the box indicating their interest in taking part in this program. Deadline to submit: Sunday, May 1 at 11:55 PM EST

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2022 Conference Co-Chairs Announced!

Welcome our 2022 Conference Co-Chairs: David Mitchell & Kevin Peters!

As OAPN works to build an even bigger and better 2022 conference experience for our members and members of our surrounding consortias, we are thrilled to have the insight, dedication, and leadership of David Mitchell & Kevin Peters.

David Mitchell, the General Manager at the Performing Arts Center at Kent State Tuscarawas, oversees all programing, marketing, sponsorship, educational outreach and community engagement for his 1,100-seat venue. David, an active OAPN board member since 2021 and avid conference attendee, will be stepping into the role as our organizations Vice President in one week. His commitment to the Ohio arts and our organization's success is what makes us excited to have David as one of our 2022 conference co-chairs.

Kevin Peters, an Agent with G.L. Berg Entertainment, who represents many amazing artists and works hard to connect them with presenters from around the country. He is also an affiliate of Minnesota Presenters Network. After attending his first OAPN conference in 2021, Kevin quickly became connected with our organization by offering ideas and insight which led him to join our 2022 Conference Committee. Kevin brings a fresh perspective to OAPN's conference from his experience working in the field and by attending other arts conferences from across the country including Arts Midwest, APAP - Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Arts Market and more.

OAPN 2022 Conference Announced!

OAPN 2022 Regional Conference
September 12-14
Toledo, OH

We are thrilled to announce that our 2022 in-person conference will be held September 12-14 in Toledo, OH! We plan on announcing important conference details over the next few weeks, so please stay tuned!

2021 Sponsored Artists

Photo Credit: Every Angle Photography (OAPN 2021 - Dr. E, Vision, The Dancing Wheels Company)

In 2021, OAPN launched its "Sponsored Artist" program to reduce the barriers of entry into the performing arts world for Ohio Artists. This new initiative was created directly following a 3 month E.D.I.A (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility) Board training session. In an effort to address inequality in the touring arts industry in Ohio (and beyond), OAPN took action with the creation of this program which financially supports artists who are Ohio-based, self- or unrepresented, and self-identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or an artist with a disability. Qualifying artists were selected from the 24 Juried Artists selected to showcase. The initiative pays 100% of the Artists costs associated with attending and showcasing at an OAPN Conference, including a stipend for travel and a free year of OAPN membership.

2021 Sponsored Artists:
Vision (spoken word - Cleveland, OH)
Dr. E (songwriter, performer, author, teacher - Blacklick, OH)
The Dancing Wheels Company (dance organization - Cleveland, OH)

OAPN was thrilled to receive sponsorship dollars from its first enthusiastic sponsor, Cain Park, an outdoor amphitheater located in Cleveland Heights that hosts music, dance, and theater. Our second sponsorship came from the entire OAPN Board of directors who all personally donated to our first year initiative.
We only hope that this program grows in years to come. If you would like more information on how to take part in, or help us grow our 2022 initiative, please email [email protected] with the subject line "Sponsored Artist Program"

Thank you to our Keynote Speaker: Randy Cohen

Photo Credit: Every Angle Photography (OAPN 2021 - Randy Cohen, Keynote Speaker)

The Ohio Arts Professionals Network (OAPN) was honored to have Randy Cohen (Americans for the Arts) as our 2021 Keynote Speaker! Randy shared vital information pertaining to the rebuilding power of the arts in Ohio, the impact of COVID-19, pandemic recovery, and just how much Americans value the arts. He left our attendees with concrete data and tools they can use to show proof of the value, number of jobs, and the direct impact of the arts on one's own community. He also shared the Americans for the Arts AEP5 Calculator which you can use to calculate the economic impact of your organization. You will find Mr. Cohen's powerpoint and a special "10 Reasons to Support the Arts" fact sheet below that you can begin using today!

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2021 OAPN IMPACT Award Winner Announced

Congratulations to Executive Director Angela Gardner Meleca who was presented with the inaugural 2021 Ohio Arts Professionals Network IMPACT Award by OAPN Board President Gary Minyard during the annual OAPN meeting at our 2021 conference at Playhouse Square.

"I am thrilled that we are able to honor Angela Meleca with the inaugural OAPN IMPACT Award. Every community in Ohio deserves great art experiences and her advocacy efforts on behalf of the state’s cultural sector resulted in millions of dollars of support for our touring arts industry." - Gary Minyard, President (OAPN)

Angela was recognized for her statewide advocacy work on behalf of Ohio Citizens for the Arts. Angela was nominated by Philip Kim. Watch his submission video HERE.

Artwork by Dayton artist, Rodney Veal 



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OAPN Announces 2021 Keynote Speaker - Randy Cohen (Americans for the Arts)

Ohio Arts Professionals Network is thrilled to announce that Randy Cohen, the Vice President of Research at Americans for the Arts, will be our 2021 Conference Keynote Speaker! 

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2021 Conference Announced!

OAPN is thrilled to announce that we will host an in-person 2021 Conference October 18-20 at Playhouse Square and the Crowne Plaza Hotel located in the historic Playhouse Square District in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Juried showcases will take place inside the stunning 1,000 seat Mimi Ohio Theatre and visitors can enjoy staying at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Hotel located conveniently across the street. Attendees can expect to find numerous networking opportunities, exceptional juried showcases, and a bustling exhibit hall. You won't want to miss this years Conference in Cleveland, OH. 

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10/20/30 Pledge

Ohio Arts Professionals Network signed the 10/20/30 APAP pledge to demonstrate our commitment to racial, equity, diversity and inclusion and gender justice in the performing arts.

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SAVE THE DATE: 2021 Conference


Mark your calendars for October 17-19 for our 2021 Conference! 

While our planning committee is working hard to hammer out the details, we want you to reserve these dates for our 2021 OAPN Conference. More details to come!

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OAPN Announces New Board Members

Please help us give a big warm welcome to our new Board Members!
We are thrilled to welcome:

David Mitchell, General Manager at Performing Arts Center at Kent State Tuscarawas. As a Presenter, David brings 14+ years experience from an extensive theater and entertainment background. He currently books an array of talent for his 1,100 seat venue located in Tuscarawas County. David is also a founding Board Member and current Vice President of Tuscarawas Arts Partnership, a newly formed county-wide arts council. 

Heather Clow, Executive Director at Marathon Center for the Performing ArtsHeather has wealth of presenting experience having run a venue in New Hampshire for 15 years before moving to Findlay, Ohio in 2017, where she programs a full season of events intended to bring the right amount of culture and fun to her Findlay community.
Kevin Cornell, aka Mister C, Educator and creator of Learning Science is Fun. "Mister C" is an Emmy Award winning producer for Speakers & Beakers, and a three-time Emmy nominated producer and host of Full STEAM Ahead, which airs on PBS stations across the US. Mr. Cornell brings 19+ years of experience from the educational field, as well as, performing and educating youth on the big stage across the State. Kevin currently resides in Dayton, OH.
Dr. Elaine Richardson, aka Dr. E is an Artist, Advocate, and Educator. Dr. E, the Inspirational Soul Queen, sings her truth and her story: the improbable but true life of a sex trafficked teenager who recovered, earned a doctorate, and became a university professor. Dr. Richardson is also a Professor of Literacy Studies at Ohio State University. Elaine resides in Columbus, OH. 
Amber Hansen, Midwest Consultant for BiCoastal Productions. Amber brings 11 years experience from her work as a presenter at The Egyptian Theatre in Park City, UT.  She also produces and directs local musicals and is an Associate Producer for Utah Film. Since her start with BiCoastal as an agent in 2020, she has worked on building relationships with venues in her territory and provided free virtual programs for many venues to stay engaged with their audiences.  Amber currently resides in Hoytsville, UT.
Danielle Devlin, Agent/Manager for Canis Major Music. Having built a strong foundation working in the arts as a booking agent with the world leader in global roots music representation, coupled with her experience in development and administration for theaters, she is uniquely poised to represent artists with integrity and an honest, collaborative approach. Danielle also dances, bakes, and serves on three additional non-profit boards! Danielle resides in Sheldon, Vermont. 
For more information on our entire board, please visit:

OAPN & Amazon Smile!

Ohio Arts Professionals Network has partnered with Amazon Smile! Every time you make a purchase, OAPN will receive .5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. All you have to do is CLICK THIS LINK and shop. Seriously, it is that simple! 


CARES Funding For the Arts

Governor DeWine Announces CARES Act Funding to Support Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Ohioans Impacted by COVID-19

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today announced that the administration, in partnership with the General Assembly, is developing a package of more than $419.5 million CARES Act funding to help Ohioans. This package includes funding for small businesses, restaurants and bars, hospitals, higher education, arts, nonprofits, and low-income Ohioans impacted financially by the pandemic.

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Governor DeWine Reopening Plan for Venues

Governor Mike DeWine announced plans to reopen venues throughout Ohio on Friday, August 21, 2020. On Tuesday, August 25, 2020, he announced the official order:


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OAPN launches "Tuesday Talks" webinar series


Ohio Arts Professionals Network (OAPN) is thrilled to announce the launch of our new virtual webinar series titled, "Tuesday Talks," which will kick off in August and run until the end of the year. Every Tuesday, OAPN will host a webinar event to discuss the important topics relevant in today's world of COVID like performance, presenting, advocacy, and more. We will not only hear from Ohio Presenters, Artists, Agents, and Advocates, but we are also making this webinar open to our entire audience to be able to participate in the conversation. Once you join the webinar, you have the option to be seen and heard by all attending.

We will kick-off our weekly webinar series with a very special virtual happy hourfor OAPN members-only, on the first Tuesday of every month as a way to reconnect with friends. All other webinars will be open to members and non-members. 

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For many months, the OAPN Board of Directors, Conference Co-Chairs, and Conference Committee members have been working diligently to create a magnificent conference experience where networking, learning, and live entertainment take center stage. However, in light of the uncertainty of the current health crisis gripping the world, it is clear that an in-person conference in the fall cannot happen as we intended.

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OAPN Announced 2020 Conference Co-Chairs

The Ohio Arts Professionals Network (OAPN) is thrilled to announce that Erin Cameron Miller, general manager of Cain Park, and Janet Herman Barlow, director of the Stocker Arts Center, have been named 2020 OAPN Conference Co-Chairs.

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