History

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women who, with their vision, dedication and energy, have helped NAPAMA become a leader in the performing arts field.” 

— Robert Baird, 2009

NAPAMA is really a family of dedicated arts professionals who recognize that all benefit from seeking and sharing knowledge, mentoring each other, striving for ethical business practices, promoting diversity and inclusive practice, and returning tangible benefits to our members. 

The organization was created to support the work of agents and managers and has evolved to provide invaluable services not only to its membership, but also the field at large. As we continue to grow and adapt to the changing landscape of the performing arts field, we also look back to remember and acknowledge how we've gotten to where we are.

The memoirs from NAPAMA Past Presidents until 2009 were originally compiled and prepared by by Kerby Lovallo, Director, New World Classics and Robert Baird, President, BAM! Baird Artists Management, for the annual general meeting and 30th anniversary of NAPAMA held on May 1, 2009 in New York City,

 1979 | Ann Summers, Founding Member

 

 

ReadMany members may not know that I’m a founding member of NAPAMA. The New York Managers group (at that time on 57th St.) consisted of Hans Hoffman, the Colberts (Mr. Colbert was alive and responsible for many "Friends of Music" series all over the U.S.), Alex Williamson, who did mostly press but also managed, her husband Joe Lipman, salesman at Herbert Barrett Management, Ludwig Lustig, and Mildred Shagall. I joined as the youngest member of this group. As you can see, many were the original agents or artist secretaries from Europe now in New York. Because the "agent" mentality was still with them, there were "personal representatives" as well as agents with the artists, such as Jenny Tourel, Moisevitch, Ingomar Novaes. The agent and personal representative each received 10% commission. During the meetings I just listened as the new (upstart) on 57th St. and it was quite an education. They argued most of the time about performances and level of performances, and were curious about me and what I was doing. I became the secretary so we had minutes and they actually went together to host a breakfast of the International Association of Concert Managers - the former ISPA. Concert managers then were the presenters. (It was also then that ACUCAA split off from ISPA to become "Arts Presenters"). When I became a member, Pat Hayes, president of ISPA, asked me to join the membership committee and it was through that committee that I was able to change their minds about allowing artists’ managers and representatives to become members of ISPA. Until then, they had a sergeant of arms at the doors of their meetings to ensure the managers, agents or reps did not enter their meetings. At that point, the New York group was disbanded and we all joined ISPA. I was program chair for the ISPA conference in 1968 and then left New York for Rome, transferring my mailing lists, etc., to Sara Tornay and several others who were just starting out. At that time, I became the first manager to be able to join ISPA since I was producing and presenting the Concert Party Series. ISPA then agreed to include the managers, so the NY Managers group was disassembled; Mrs. Colbert was the last President. We all joined ISPA, and I was made an honorary life member. By the time I returned from Italy in the late '70's, we found that ISPA was not being as collegial as we had hoped and felt that our recognition at ISPA wasn’t very strong, and so we decided to reorganize a NY management group - hence NAPAMA because: We needed to network more closely together, but We wanted to improve the image of managers (by then the personal reps had literally disappeared) and to help newer managers start to be aware of and abide by the code of ethics, and We wanted to become a voice for our profession. By the late '60's the arts admin programs had begun in the schools, which we had lobbied for, since we felt it finally gave us a legitimate identity as a vocation. (This has since proven not to be the case, since most programs don’t include the representation of artists, but focus primarily on fundraising and presenting.) Because of some less than ethical moves by NAPAMA Board members in the early years, Sara Tornay resigned and has since refused to rejoin NAPAMA, although I’ve talked to her about it on several occasions. I must ask Joanne Rile when she started - I’ve lost track of time. Sheldon Soffer also became an independent and has since retired. I’m glad that some of this information can be recorded. I co-managed an artist with Hans Hoffman, worked freelance with Mildred Shagall, and was Herbert Barrett’s secretary for a few months. I will be writing a history of management shortly because, although some books written by artists have made references to their managers, the history hasn’t really been addressed; e.g., where did the original 10% commission come from? I found the answer in England in the 1960’s by interviewing some of the older British agents!

 

1979-1981 | Judith Liegner, Liegner Management

 

 

ReadFor years, at every ACUCAA meeting, I tried to get people interested in organizing, and after a while when they saw me coming, people turned their backs and became very busy. People were always complaining about the conferences, the exhibit hall times, the booths. I believe in changing things. The response was terrible. I called a breakfast meeting at the Mayflower, and present were Herbert Barrett, R. Wilford, H. Shaw, Sara Tournay, and attorney Mitchell Pines. I remember that Barrett said, "Why do we need to do this? There are only a few important managers." Ronald Wilford thought it was a great idea, and would be interested in joining if it could help with collecting commissions from artists. In 1982 we had a seminar on computers. I brought my IBM and showed people, and they wondered if a computer would really be helpful. We also had a seminar for managers. (I found in a file folder the first NAPAMA newsletter.) When we got this off the ground, Kazuko Hillyer, Betsy Crittendon, Richard, Sara & Judith would all do mailings to presenters, and we had meetings comparing their lists and collaborating on a joint list. It is great to see one’s baby attain the age of 30 and it is worth celebrating. I was the founder of NAPAMA in a difficult professional environment: Managers did not talk much to each other and did not want to share ANY information. I had preliminary meetings regarding NAPAMA, incorporated, paid for and named it, and served as its President for a number of years.

 

1981-1984 | Sheldon Soffer, Sheldon Soffer Management

 

 

Read

 

1984-1985 | Cynthia Herbst, American International Artists, Inc.

 

 

Read

 

 1979 | Ann Summers, Founding Member

 

 

Read

 

 1979 | Ann Summers, Founding Member

 

 

Read

 

 1979 | Ann Summers, Founding Member

 

 

Read

 

 1979 | Ann Summers, Founding Member

 

 

Read

 

 1979 | Ann Summers, Founding Member

 

 

Read

 

 1979 | Ann Summers, Founding Member

 

 

Read

 

 1979 | Ann Summers, Founding Member

 

 

Read

 

 1979 | Ann Summers, Founding Member

 

 

Read

Many members may not know that I’m a founding member of NAPAMA. The New York Managers group (at that time on 57th St.) consisted of Hans Hoffman, the Colberts (Mr. Colbert was alive and responsible for many "Friends of Music" series all over the U.S.), Alex Williamson, who did mostly press but also managed, her husband Joe Lipman, salesman at Herbert Barrett Management, Ludwig Lustig, and Mildred Shagall. I joined as the youngest member of this group. As you can see, many were the original agents or artist secretaries from Europe now in New York. Because the "agent" mentality was still with them, there were "personal representatives" as well as agents with the artists, such as Jenny Tourel, Moisevitch, Ingomar Novaes. The agent and personal representative each received 10% commission. During the meetings I just listened as the new (upstart) on 57th St. and it was quite an education. They argued most of the time about performances and level of performances, and were curious about me and what I was doing. I became the secretary so we had minutes and they actually went together to host a breakfast of the International Association of Concert Managers - the former ISPA. Concert managers then were the presenters. (It was also then that ACUCAA split off from ISPA to become "Arts Presenters"). When I became a member, Pat Hayes, president of ISPA, asked me to join the membership committee and it was through that committee that I was able to change their minds about allowing artists’ managers and representatives to become members of ISPA. Until then, they had a sergeant of arms at the doors of their meetings to ensure the managers, agents or reps did not enter their meetings. At that point, the New York group was disbanded and we all joined ISPA. I was program chair for the ISPA conference in 1968 and then left New York for Rome, transferring my mailing lists, etc., to Sara Tornay and several others who were just starting out. At that time, I became the first manager to be able to join ISPA since I was producing and presenting the Concert Party Series. ISPA then agreed to include the managers, so the NY Managers group was disassembled; Mrs. Colbert was the last President. We all joined ISPA, and I was made an honorary life member. By the time I returned from Italy in the late '70's, we found that ISPA was not being as collegial as we had hoped and felt that our recognition at ISPA wasn’t very strong, and so we decided to reorganize a NY management group - hence NAPAMA because: We needed to network more closely together, but We wanted to improve the image of managers (by then the personal reps had literally disappeared) and to help newer managers start to be aware of and abide by the code of ethics, and We wanted to become a voice for our profession. By the late '60's the arts admin programs had begun in the schools, which we had lobbied for, since we felt it finally gave us a legitimate identity as a vocation. (This has since proven not to be the case, since most programs don’t include the representation of artists, but focus primarily on fundraising and presenting.) Because of some less than ethical moves by NAPAMA Board members in the early years, Sara Tornay resigned and has since refused to rejoin NAPAMA, although I’ve talked to her about it on several occasions. I must ask Joanne Rile when she started - I’ve lost track of time. Sheldon Soffer also became an independent and has since retired. I’m glad that some of this information can be recorded. I co-managed an artist with Hans Hoffman, worked freelance with Mildred Shagall, and was Herbert Barrett’s secretary for a few months. I will be writing a history of management shortly because, although some books written by artists have made references to their managers, the history hasn’t really been addressed; e.g., where did the original 10% commission come from? I found the answer in England in the 1960’s by interviewing some of the older British agents!