WILMINGTON, NC (News Release) — Cape Fear Community College has announced Shane Fernando, Executive and Artistic Director of the Wilson Center, has been named Presenter of the Year in North America by North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents (NAPAMA).
Founded in 1979, NAPAMA is a not-for-profit service organization dedicated to promoting the professionalism of its members and the vitality of the performing arts. NAPAMA’s membership is comprised of agents, managers, booking agencies, self-represented artists, associations, presenters, and consultants across North America. Its mission is to promote the best interests of professionals engaged in the touring of the performing arts through building and sharing knowledge, advocacy, leadership, and innovation.
Every year, NAPAMA recognizes a presenter through the NAPAMA Award for Excellence in Presenting. The recipient is chosen based on three criteria: exemplary mentoring; setting an example of best practices, achievement and leadership; and cultivating and promoting diversity, practicing inclusion and creating equity for underserved members of our community.
“I am humbled beyond words to be awarded the honor of Presenter of the Year by my esteemed colleagues from North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents (NAPAMA),” Fernando said. “NAPAMA’s powerful advocacy for mentorship of young people and education in our field on our continent and beyond is something near and dear to my heart. Their mission couples beautifully with our work at CFCC to engage students and our community to create powerful experiences and learning opportunities to positively impact workforce development and educational engagement.”
“Shane has done tremendous work at the Wilson Center and his leadership has propelled the Center to great success,” CFCC President Jim Morton said. “He heads a terrific team who all have worked diligently to create a wonderful experience for each guest at the Wilson Center. Shane has also worked to involve our students in every production at the Center. Because of his dedication, our students gain valuable and unique work experience while they study here.”
“Shane is also deeply committed to arts education and access to the arts for all populations. His passion for the performing arts has benefited our college and our community beyond measure. We are happy his hard work is being recognized by NAPAMA, and hope that the programs he has put in place will be adopted by venues across America and beyond,” Morton said.
Fernando has been with Cape Fear Community College for five years. As part of his leadership role at the Wilson Center, Fernando developed opportunities for students to become involved in both the day-to-day tasks of the Center and the performances held there. Today, CFCC students participate in every production and serve as an integral part of operations. Students combine classroom learning with real-world experience – helping them to earn a degree and build a resume at the same time. This practical mentoring both teaches students how to have a career in the arts and provides hands-on experience for students from nearly every academic department.
Moreover, Fernando has helped build a collaborative relationship with other area presenters, inventing a system of shared volunteers at UNCW, Thalian Hall, and the Wilson Center.
“We’re extremely fortunate to have Shane Fernando on our team,” Morton said. “Our community is enriched by his vision and leadership.”
In addition to his role at the Wilson Center, Fernando serves as President of the North Carolina Presenters Consortium and on the advisory committee for the Master of Public Administration program at UNC Wilmington.