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Meeting of the National Council on the Arts to stream live from Washington, D.C.

The public is invited to attend the session, which will include a panel of performing arts leaders discussing the state of the field.

Greg Reiner, theater and musical theater director of the National Endowment for the Arts (Credit: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will host a public session of the 212th National Council on the Arts meeting on March 27 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET, at the NEA headquarters in Washington, D.C. This meeting is open for the public to attend (with advance registration required) and will be streamed live at

The meeting will feature two panel discussions on the state of the nonprofit performing arts sector, wholly titled “Meeting the Moment: Building a Healthy Performing Arts Ecosystem.”

Following up on a recent meeting of the agency, “Healing, Bridging, Thriving: A Summit on Arts and Culture in Our Communities,” these conversations will be part of the agency’s work to build and sustain efforts and strengthen arts and culture ecosystems across the country, including in the fields of theater, dance, music and opera.

Greg Reiner, the NEA’s theater and musical theater director, will moderate the first panel, “How Did We Get Here?” Panelists will explore the challenges that companies, cultural venues and performing arts organizations face, some of which pre-date the pandemic, as well as examples of strategies that have emerged to help organizations navigate the current environment and better connect with their communities. Panelists will include Annie Burridge, chief executive officer, Austin Opera; Kelvin Dinkins, managing director, American Repertory Theatre; Kerry Lee, co-artistic director, Atlanta Chinese Dance Company; and Laura Penn, executive director of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, labor activist and member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

The second panel, “Where Do We Go from Here?,” will be moderated by the NEA’s dance director, Sara Nash. Panelists will share their ideas around the future of live performance in America, how to strengthen the ecosystem for the performing arts and how they can contribute to our lives and communities in different ways. Panelists set to take part include Christy Bolingbroke, executive director, National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron; Leslie Ishii, artistic director, Perseverance Theatre; and Anthony-Blake Johnson, executive director, Chicago Sinfonietta.

In addition, theater director and playwright Annalisa Dias will provide a reading between panels.

The NEA, along with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, is also exploring ways to continue conversations about long-term recovery and sustainability of the nonprofit theater and performing arts sectors in the United States. More information will be available in the coming months.