NCPC Annual Meeting 2023…with a side of beach!
hosted by the Wilson Center in Wilmington, NC

The NCPC Board of Directors invites you to join them for high tides and good vibes at the 2023 Annual Meeting in beautiful Wilmington, NC! Get inspired and “seas each day” by exchanging ideas with colleagues, attending professional development sessions, hearing artist/agent pitches, and seeing live showcases.

Schedule   I   Professional Development Sessions   I   Accommodations   I   Register Today!




Making A Living Marking ArtArts NC & Arts Advocacy I New Paradigms for the New Reality of the Performing Arts

Securing Great Directors I Closing Plenary

About the Session:

Making a Living Making ArtHow to go from “Can I survive?” to “Watch me thrive!”

Early in their musical careers, both Jeremy Davis and Clay Johnson of the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra lived under the false assumption that working in the performing arts was a fun, lucrative hobby but not a serious career option. However, in 2010, Jeremy made the fateful decision to quit his full-time job in sales, with all its income security and insurance benefits, to become a self-employed musician and run his own entertainment business. Seven years later, Clay followed suit and stepped away from his career in ministry to work full-time in what had just been his entertainer side hustle. 

Since then, they have grown their little part-time hobby into an expanding boutique entertainment company grossing over $1 million annually since 2019 with increased revenue each year, and projections of $2 million for 2023 and beyond. In this workshop, Jeremy and Clay will share the best business practices they had to learn the hard way over their 20+ years of operating The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra. They will walk through topics such as 1)The Escape Plan: strategizing your next steps to work full-time doing what you love, 2)Discovering Your "Why?": the bigger-than-you motivation that is at your core, and 3)Eating the Elephant: practical advice in taking small steps now to achieve enormous success in the future. 

The purpose of this workshop is to replace the stereotypical idea of "the starving artist" with that of "the thriving artist." It is possible and attainable, and all creative hearts have the opportunity to see it come true for them. 

About the Presenters:

Jeremy Davis, Band-Leader, Tenor Sax, Vocals, Mr. Fabulous

Louisiana native, husband and father of three, Jeremy Davis, relocated his family and the band he founded, The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, to Savannah, Georgia on the very day of Hurricane Katrina. As a band leader and saxophonist, Jeremy has led his band on more than 160 dates per year. With a background in business management and entrepreneurship, Jeremy fervently curates musical arrangements with as diverse musical styles as Gospel to Great American songbook, Texas swing to Broadway, making The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra a big band show unlike any other. Jeremy's focus is on leading a family of world class musicians and running the business operations with his other business, Equinox Entertainment which produces upper echelon social, corporate and private events. He is also passionate about educating the next generation of musicians, specifically ini areas of music business.

Clay Johnson, The Voice, The Trombone, "Mr Showtime"

Raised in a family of preachers, teachers and Folk/Gospel singers, Clay Johnson was born to inspire and entertain. His passion for singing has developed since childhood over thousands of concerts, musicals and shows on stages from L.A. to NYC and all over the globe. Even while earning a trombone scholarship to Louisiana Tech University, Clay was already deeply involved in the world of vocal performance and consequently s a n g with the university jazz band regularly. Shortly after the turn of the millennium, he began singing with the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra led by his best friend Jeremy and has been singing (and sometimes playing trombone) with EXO ever since. On the inspirational front, Clay hosts a weekly podcast called "Parking Lot Pastor," travels as a missionary and guest speaker, and he is currently pursuing his Masters of Theological Studies at Shepherds Theological Seminary (

About the Session:

Arts NC and Breaking Down How to Speak Up

You will never get a seat at the table if you wait for an invitation. You must knock on opportunity’s door, ask to be seated, then start talking… and listening. Creating change through communication can be as simple as a casual conversation or as complex as a coordinated campaign. Join Arts North Carolina Executive Director Nate McGaha as he breaks down how to speak up for your cause or yourself and make a case to decision makers that provides context and compels action. Participants will learn about the work of Arts North Carolina to advance public funding and policy that supports arts and arts education and gain understanding in how to craft a persuasive narrative using their own experiences and apply it to practical situations to affect change in their lives and communities. 

About the Presenter:

Nate McGaha, Executive Director of Arts North Carolina

Nate McGaha has served as the Executive Director of Arts North Carolina, the statewide advocacy organization for the arts, since 2017 where he works for public funding and policy for the arts and arts education. He helped to create the Joint Caucus on Arts and Arts Education at the NC General Assembly, shepherded the NC Arts High School Graduation Requirement into law, and has led several statewide initiatives for relief, reopening, and recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to his work in advocacy, Nate was the Executive Director of Carolina Ballet in Raleigh for five years with Artistic Director Robert Weiss. Before coming to the Raleigh area he was the Director of Operations at Charlotte Ballet under the Artistic Direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride for seven years after serving as that company’s Resident Lighting Designer since 1996. Nate was also the Production Manager and Lighting Designer for the Chautauqua Ballet Company in the summer months from 1997 through 2009 and toured internationally with Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson’s Complexions Dance Company. He is a graduate of UNC School of the Arts where he received a BFA in Design and Production with a concentration in Lighting Design. 

About the Session:

New Paradigms for the New Reality of the Performing Arts

"New Paradigms for the New Reality of the Performing Arts" will focus on what we have to do, and what are we doing differently, today, to survive and prosper as Presenters, Artists, and Agents, in the new economic realities we face. Panel members will include Presenters, Artists, and Agents/Managers who bring novel, successful suggestions, and experience to this session. Audience members will also have an opportunity to share their experiences.

About the Presenter:


This Bayou Man, Mister MOJO, and his troupe of near-mad musical provocateurs, have poured Louisiana Fire on audiences across the planet since 1985." Syndicated News Network Thrilling audiences Worldwide, MOJO & The Bayou Gypsies have made millions of people happy!  MOJO has performed on every TV Network, released 23 ORIGINAL albums, is a historian and international advocate for the Arts. He served six years as a NAPAMA Board Member, was 2021 Artist/Agent of the year, led panels at APAP, Arts Midwest, and Universities, and has received THREE Shriners Hospitals humanitarian awards.  “The Magic Behind the MOJO”, a documentary by Gallo Films, tells it all! 

Panel Members:

Eric Amada, Arts Management Associates

Rhonda Bellamy, Arts Council of Wilmington-New Hanover County

Rae Geoffrey, Wortham Center for the Performing Arts

Gaspard Louis, Gaspard & Dancers

Jennifer Morris, Siegel Artist Management

Please Click Here to Read More About our Panel Members!

About the Session:

Securing Great Directors, Running Productive Boards

Join our group of expert panelists for a moderated discussion where they will share their past and present experience working with boards. This workshop will be informational for organizational staff, prospective board directors, and existing board members.

About the Presenter:

Shane Fernando, Vice President, Advancement and the Arts, Cape Fear Community College, Executive & Artistic Director, Wilson Center, Cape Fear Community College Foundation

Shane Fernando has been serving in the arts and public administration fields for over twenty years. He is Vice President of Advancement & the Arts at Cape Fear Community College (CFCC), overseeing the Foundation and institutional development, administering one of the largest community college scholarship endowments in the state. He also serves as executive & artistic director of the Wilson Center. In 2019 he was recognized as Presenter of the Year by the North American Performing Arts Managers & Agents.

One major focus of his work has been developing opportunities to engage students through education, employment, service, and advocacy, especially at CFCC’s Wilson Center whose mission drives it to “to serve as a laboratory for student learning.” He created and oversees CFCC’s Broadway for a Better World (a collaboration with the Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County). In the program’s first 3 years, over $150K of tickets have been distributed to our area not-for-profits and CFCC students, through the generosity of private donors.

He currently serves as a trustee for Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts and is also the programming consultant for the Hall, overseeing the booking of the Main Attractions Series. Fernando also serves as a trustee on the executive committee for Dance/USA, where he chairs the development committee. He served from 2017-2021 as an advisor to the National Dance Project by the New England Foundation for the Arts, and is a cohort member of the South Arts Dance Touring Initiative. His work at the Wilson Center supports the creation and development of new work, including techs for national Broadway tours and dance companies, most recently workshopping a new musical with actor, BD Wong. Fernando currently serves on the advisory board for the Masters of Public Administration program at UNC Wilmington and is also a board member for the Coastal Horizons Center, Arts North Carolina, as well as the Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County. He also serves as president of the North Carolina Presenters Consortium and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). Shane is also a backyard beekeeper.

About the Session:

With US in Mind: the necessity of rethinking community engagement 

Taking the stage at a performing arts organization is a destination that involves a beautiful but sometimes arduous journey. There is a process to getting there and learning curve to navigate once you do. There is a landscape to traverse and relationships to build. There is a wealth of information that presenters and touring performers have from being a part of the journey. What impact would it have to reimagine how that gets shared? What would it mean to help foster a better understanding of what that journey looks like? What would it look like to take a community minded approach to engagement in a local arts ecosystem? How can considering knowledge sharing as an empowerment tool makes the journey tangible for local artists? Let’s discuss the possible impact and reward for presenters and performers alike.

About the Presenter:

Dasan Ahanu, Author

Dasan Ahanu is a poet, cultural organizer, scholar and performing artist based in Durham, North Carolina. In addition to performing across the country, Dasan has hosted or coordinated many Poetry, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Cultural Arts events. His work has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR) where he is noted for his appearances on “News and Notes with Ed Gordon” and “State of Things with Frank Stasio.” His writing is featured online and in print publications. He has been showcased on NBC 17, featured on the third season of Lexus Verses and Flow aired on TV One, and in a documentary entitled, “Poet Son” that aired on WUNC-TV as a part of the North Carolina Visions film series. He has worked with a variety of North Carolina Hip Hop and Jazz artists and released a number of spoken word recordings. Dasan is a resident artist with the St, Joseph’s Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, NC where he has developed poetry and spoken word programming for youth and adults. He has worked with businesses and organizations to craft works for local and national campaigns. He has also created stage productions and web series centered on critical health issues as part of outreach efforts by health groups and university departments. Dasan is co-founder and managing director of Black Poetry Theatre, a Durham based theatre company that creates and produces original poetry and spoken word based productions. He is the author of four poetry collections that include The Innovator (HWJW Publishing 2010), Freedom Papers (HWJW Publishing 2012), Everything Worth Fighting For (Flowered Concrete 2016), and Shackled Freedom: Black Living in the Modern American South (Willow Books 2020).


Wilmington International Airport (ILM) - 5 mins from downtown and hotels.


Courtyard by Marriott Wilmington Downtown  (5 minute walk to the Wilson Center)
$169-179 per night + tax & parking
Does not include breakfast
Group rate reservation link -
Last day to book: May 16th

Aloft Hotel Wilmington (4 minute walk to the Wilson Center)
$199 per night + tax & parking
Does not include breakfast
Group rate reservation link -
Last day to book: May 19th









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