Mario Garcia Durham is the executive director of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP). He comes to APAP from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) where he was Director of Artist Communities & Presenting. At the NEA, Durham was involved in creating programs such as An Evening of Poetry hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama, and was the initiator of Live from Your Neighborhood, a groundbreaking study of the impact of outdoor arts festivals in the U.S.
After holding numerous management positions and serving as artistic director at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in the 1990s, he founded Yerba Buena Arts & Events in 2000, the producing organization of the annual Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. The outdoor event offers more than 100 free performances by the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Ballet and more for an audience of 100,000 attendees.
A graduate of the University of Houston, Durham is passionate about a broad range of performing arts especially classical music, dance, Broadway shows, opera and evolving forms of performance and media arts. His large Mexican American family in South Texas has roots in the historic King Ranch, and his great grandfather was a legendary Texas Ranger.