*Links to Conference Presentations Below*
The 22nd annual NFHS Performing Arts Conference (PAC) was conducted in an in-person format in Denver, Colorado from September 20th – 22nd after a one-year virtual hiatus. Over the course of the three-day event, the conference was attended by 82 representatives from 30 states and 15 national organizations.
The 82 representatives and 15 national organizations mark the largest amount of attendees at the PAC.
“It has been an invigorating experience watching the PAC nearly double in size,” said Dr. James Weaver, NFHS Director of Performing Arts and Sports. “This shows that the commitment to Performing Arts on behalf of the NFHS and the professional development provided is of great value to our member state associations.”
The NFHS Performing Arts Department was able to secure an amazing keynote speaker, Ron Minatrea, to deliver a powerful message to fine arts state administrators. His presentation focused on equipping leaders and their teams to become more effective, the importance of understanding the last 18 months, and the value of not running on empty.
“Ron understood the impact that the pandemic has had on all of us as leaders in our states. He knew the last eighteen months have been more than challenging and he urged us to examine what was left in our “cup”. Many of us had to admit there was not much,” shared NFHS Speech, Debate, Theatre Committee Chairperson and Texas UIL Speech & Debate Director, Jana Riggins. “He shared ways to refill our cups through aligning who we are and our goals, examining our identity in order to develop an identity-based vision, and working to develop an exponential mindset. Each time we engage others we multiply our impact and that adds to the refilling of our cup. And he reminded us that we must invest in resting and reflection, intentionally doing the things that bring life to us (pouring into our cup) because investments in ourselves affect our effectiveness and who we want to be. His message rejuvenated and empowered us all.”
In addition to Ron, attendees experienced 20 workshop sessions along with 3 roundtable discussion forums for a record breaking total of 24 sessions. Speech, Debate and Theatre workshops were held on September 20th and on the morning of the 21st and were followed by a transition into the combined sessions before focusing on Music in the afternoon of the 21st and morning of the 22nd.
“I have attended the NFHS PAC for seven years and this year was the best,” remarked NFHS Music Committee Chairperson and KSHSAA Assistant Executive Director, Craig Manteuffel. “I administer speech, debate and music in Kansas, so I attend all three days of sessions. This year’s presentations were outstanding. As educators we benefit significantly by learning from performing arts experts from across the United States. Personally, I enjoy the roundtable discussion forums. Attendees range from state high school association administrators, MEA administrators, SDT administrators, along with performing arts business professionals, which provide a wealth of networking opportunities. The diverse topics we discuss are relevant and in many cases we gain excellent suggestions from other state leaders so we can provide better opportunities for our own students, directors and coaches.”
Weaver said this year’s workshops especially were among some of the most timely and impressionable sessions the conference has ever offered, addressing topics such as Digital Publications and Performance, Aerosol Research and Working With State Government Agencies while focusing on the recruitment, retention of students along with the personal health and safety of students, educators, and administrators.
While the 2020 PAC was able to take place in an online format, Weaver was thrilled about the return to an in-person conference this year, where he and other attendees got a chance to partake in a time of long overdue fellowship.
“Hosting the Performing Arts Conference in person brought us back together as a performing arts community and although we wore masks, we could tell people were smiling and excited to be together again,” concluded Weaver.
To read CHSAA's article recap of the event, click here.
Links to Conference Presentations
Theatre Safety, Where Safety is No Accident
Recruiting Students and Rebuilding Programs
Lauren McCool - NSDA Online Springboard Series
Coping with Politically Charged Topics in Forensics Competition
Speech/Debate/Theatre Discussion Forum
Virtual Speech and Debate, What it Provided and Where It is Going
Getting Coaches Back on Board
Keynote Speaker - Ron Minatrea
Partner Discussion - Gator Cases
Contact Gina Clement (email@example.com)
Digital Publications and Performance
Aerosol Research and What it Means for the Future of Performing Arts
Working with State Government Agencies
BMI and Public Performance Licensing
Thank You from BMI Songwriters (Video)
Combined Roundtable Discussion
Technology in Music Education
Increasing Engagement from Rural/Inner City Communities
Returning to In-Person Events
Breakfast Conversation - Event Management System
Music Roundtable Discussion
Recruitment of Adjudicators
Reinvigorating Music Programs
Mark Wood - Mark Wood Music / Electrify Your Symphony
Engaging Your State's Music Advisory Committee
Future of Large Group Contests and Festivals, What Changes will Stay?
Kyle Mills is the Manager of Performing Arts and Sports at the NFHS. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan and a master’s degree in sport administration from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Prior to the NFHS, he worked in a variety of roles with the Indiana Pacers, FOX17 and the Prep Hoops Network.