PANELIST: Dayna Frank, CEO and President of First Avenue, President of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA)
MODERATOR: Vanessa Laird, Senior Fellow, Center for Integrative Leadership; Graduate Faculty, Humphrey School of Public Affairs; Affiliate Faculty, University of Minnesota Law School
DESCRIPTION: In the midst of wave after wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, artists and performing arts venues around the nation faced the inevitable question: Would prolonged and irregular closures mean the end to live performances as we know it? Dayna Frank, CEO and President of First Avenue, the historic Minnesota venue made famous by Prince that many local artists have called home for decades, wouldn’t give up. Frank now serves as president of the National Independent Venue Association, a trade group of more than 3,000 independent (“indie”) venues across the United States. In its first seven months of existence, NIVA lobbied for small-business relief and rallied 2 million music fans to send emails to Congress in support of venue aid. In December 2020, the Save Our Stages Act was passed by Congress and signed into law.
Join us in this conversation with Frank, whom StarTribune recently named Arts Person of the Year, as we discuss how she approached the challenges of organizing multiple stakeholders to save stages—like First Avenue—across the country.
The Cross-Sector Conversation Series provides an informal space for community members, students, staff, and faculty to engage in discussion. Speakers from different sectors illuminate examples from their own experience or research on ways to bring people together across boundaries to address a particular issue.