Press Release 
Media Contact:
Jenny Thomas
2022 APAP Awardee bios and images available at the end of this document.

Jawole Jo Willa Zollar, Janet Cowperthwaite, YoungArts, Lori Lea Pourier, and Torya Beard honored at 2022 APAP Awards
APAP President and CEO affirms
“Arts workers are worth fighting for.”

(Washington, DC) May 24, 2022 – Today, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) announced the recipients of the 2022 APAP Awards---artists, advocates, visionaries and leaders---both individuals and organizations---at The APAP Honors online event. APAP and the Creative & Independent Producer Alliance (CIPA) also revealed the inaugural awardee of the new CIPA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Creative Producing.
Thirty-one performing arts professionals and organizations were nominated by APAP members for the APAP Awards and represent the breadth and depth of the performing arts presenting, booking and touring field at this moment. To watch the replay on Facebook, visit (live event begins at 37:00)

The APAP Honors first moved online in 2021 due to the pandemic. The 2022 online ceremony is significant at a time when the performing arts landscape is both recovering and shifting. APAP President and CEO Lisa Richards Toney welcomed the online audience by setting the stage for what is possible.

“As you share in the congratulatory revelry that our field – our people – have earned, I also challenge you to imagine what we could be tomorrow! We see you, arts workers! And we are worth fighting for!”

As she continued her opening remarks, she recognized the unmatched difficulty we are facing and urged that the survival of the performing arts depends on valuing arts workers.

“According to our latest [APAP] ArtsForward survey, 27% of our part-time workforce hasn’t returned or is working fewer hours, which means full-time staff are working harder than ever. And according to that survey, most of us are worried that our colleagues will leave the field permanently…. So yes, while we absolutely have so much to celebrate… we must keep the drum beat going for our industry.”

“To get at our best and how we value one another, we must start at home with ourselves, all of us working in this field to commit to a vision for leading with our people FIRST! “

The demand for action continued as awardees were announced. As honoree Lori Lea Pourier of First Peoples Fund accepted the Yates Award for her work in advocacy, she urged that we support Indigenous creators:

“It is clearly time that we move beyond land acknowledgement… We will continue with our brothers and sisters to advocate for Indigenous creators and culture bearers. Collectively, we encourage you to change your policies and honor America's First Peoples as we strive for a more just and equitable nation.”

Award recipients pointed to the central role that APAP and the presenting community have played in their success and survival. Honoree Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women delivered a heartfelt acceptance speech for The Award of Merit:

“I was just thrilled and humbled [when I first heard that I got the award]. APAP is a very special organization to me. When Urban Bush Women was at the lowest point in its nearly 40-year career ... it was really the presenting community that kept Urban Bush Women alive. I have so much gratitude to be honored by this community.”

The event also celebrated the recipients of the Annual NAPAMA Awards and the Halsey & Alice North Board Alumni Award.

The 2022 APAP Awardees are:
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Chief Visioning Officer, Urban Bush Women
FAN TAYLOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD FOR EXEMPLARY SERVICE TO THE FIELD OF PROFESSIONAL PRESENTING: Janet Cowperthwaite, Executive Director, Kronos Performing Arts Association, and Manager, Kronos Quartet

CIPA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CREATIVE PRODUCING: Torya Beard, director, creative consultant, curator, choreographer, and producer

The following award was announced in advance and honored at the ceremony.

THE HALSEY & ALICE NORTH BOARD ALUMNI AWARD: Susie Farr, lifelong leader and advocate for the performing arts who stepped in to serve as the Executive Director of the organization

The 2021 NAPAMA (North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents) award recipients were recognized at the ceremony by Gail Boyd, President, NAPAMA:

NAPAMA PRESENTER OF THE YEAR: Gwethalyn J. Bronner, Executive Director of the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts Center at College of Lake County Illinois

NAPAMA LIZ SILVERSTEIN AWARD FOR AGENT-MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Mister MOJO, leader of the Zydeco band 'MOJO & The Bayou Gypsies’

About The APAP Honors and APAP Awards
For more information about The APAP Honors and APAP Awards, including past award recipients, visit

Charitable contributions to support much-needed APAP programs and resources are welcome. To make a donation to APAP, visit here.

The APAP Honors is sponsored by IMG Artists ( Learn more about APAP event sponsorship here:

About APAP, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals
APAP, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, based in Washington, D.C., is the national service, advocacy and membership organization dedicated to developing and supporting a robust, performing arts presenting field and the professionals who work within it. Our 1,700 national and international members represent leading performing arts centers, municipal and university performance facilities, nonprofit performing arts centers, culturally specific organizations, foreign governments, as well as artist agencies, managers, touring companies, and national consulting practices that serve the field, and a growing roster of self-presenting artists. APAP works to effect change through advocacy, professional development, resource sharing and civic engagement. APAP is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization governed by a volunteer board of directors and led by President and CEO Lisa Richards Toney ( In addition to presenting the annual APAP|NYC conference—the world's leading gathering and marketplace for the performing arts—APAP continues to be the industry's leading resource, knowledge and networking destination for the advancement of performing arts presenting, booking and touring. For more information, visit
NAPAMA, the North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents, promotes the best interests of professionals engaged in the touring of the performing arts through building and sharing knowledge, advocacy, leadership, and innovation. Committed to the core values of equity, diversity and inclusion, NAPAMA provides members with a platform for networking, communication, information exchange, resource identification, trends in the field, research, and best practices. For more information, visit

About The North Group, Inc.
Halsey and Alice North headed The North Group Inc. from 1987 to 2018, providing an integrated approach to planning, board development, and fundraising for nonprofit performing arts centers and historic theaters across the country. They have been active in APAP as board members, teachers, volunteers, board emeritus, honorary lifetime members, fundraisers, and donors. Halsey was honored with the Fan Taylor Award in 1988. Halsey and Alice were the first recipients of the Halsey & Alice North Award in 2013 in recognition of their commitment to APAP and their leadership in the field.
About CIPA
CIPA, Creative & Independent Producer Alliance, is a US-based network of independent and creative producers who are dedicated to developing and supporting new live performance works across artistic disciplines. Its mission is to support and sustain the work of independent and creative producers and the artists and projects they produce by creating visibility and community, identifying and dispersing resources, and providing tools and advocacy for building new live works and sustainable practices across genres. For more information, visit