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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OAPN Welcomes New Board Members

The Ohio Arts Professionals Network is pleased to announce eight new board members. Our new board members include a diverse range of Directors, an Emmy nominated journalist, Executive Directors, and more.

Please join us in welcoming:
Anna Kelberg-Kim, Eric Gnezda, Margo Ohlson, Chris Parthemore, Colleen Miller, Sarah C Barr, Janet Herman Barlow, and Violet Rae Webster

New Board Member Biographies:

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OAPN Announces New Executive Director


Jessica Rosenblatt Appointed as Executive Director of Ohio Arts Professionals Network (OAPN)

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