Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium

+ ART.


February 2013

“But I hate asking for money….”

Regardless of the organizations mission, values, programs, etc., what is the ONE common factor that is needed to execute an organization’s purpose?Nervous Wreck


As much as we dislike connecting our important work to the dollar, the simple fact is that without it, we cannot pay our staffs, purchase materials, and pay the electric bills…and thus provide our services. So there we have it, we must have funds to fulfill our missions. However, unless you are the lucky few, earned income doesn’t even come close to covering your budget. So to take the statement even further; we must have CONTRIBUTED funds to fulfill our missions.

Now with the Sequestration set to go into effect, the NEA budget will be cut by 5%, or $7.3 million, and the grants will decrease. (But lets be honest, NEA funds have really just become a stamp of approval…and important stamp, that is…rather than actual difference-making funds) Foundations are changing the focus of how and what they fund. And corporate philanthropy, while rebounding, will not cover the balance. So, lets take that earlier statement even deeper. We must have INDIVIDUAL contributed funds to fulfill our missions. 

This can be a problem, though, because this all important aspect of non-profit management is most likely the most uncomfortable aspect of non-profit management. It is just human nature to avoid asking for money, even from people you know.

But proper cultivation, care for the mission, and honest inclusion in the organization (letters, tours, meetings, asking for advice, etc.) makes the potential donor WANT to give to the organization. This is all a team effort, though. It should include multiple levels of staff and board members. I won’t get into the role of the board in fundraising…..that is a whole other topic for another post. But I do encourage you to look up the 9 things a board can do in fundraising. Those include (courtesy of Sherburne Laughlin):

  • ID prospects
  • Write thank you notes
  • Write notes on annual appeals
  • Go on a site visit
  • Make an introduction
  • Make an ask
  • Give $$ themselves
  • Cultivate donors
  • Know enough about the organization to talk about it

This April 7, you have an amazing opportunity to discuss this all important topic with leaders in the field. The Fundraising and Development panel at the 6th annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium will provide the chance to ask your questions and pick their minds.

The Fundraising and Development panel will include:

russell willis taylor pic

Russell Willis Taylor – National Arts Strategies: Russell Willis Taylor, President and CEO of National Arts Strategies since January 2001, has extensive senior experience in strategic business planning, financial analysis and planning, and all areas of operational management. Educated in England and America, she served as director of development for the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art before returning to England in 1984 at the invitation of the English National Opera (ENO) to establish the Company’s first fund-raising department.

Mrs. Taylor has held a wide range of managerial and Board posts in the commercial and nonprofit sectors. She received the Garrett Award for an outstanding contribution to the arts in Britain, the only American to be recognized in this way. In 2013, Russell was honored with the International Citation of Merit by the International Society for the Performing Arts, presented in recognition of her lifetime achievement and her distinguished service to the performing arts.

Barbara Ciconte – Donor Strategies, Inc.: For thirty years, Barbara L. Ciconte,ciconte place holder CFRE, has helped nonprofits think strategically and work smarter.  She has experience in all facets of nonprofit management and resource development. Barbara has worked with local, regional, and national organizations in strategic planning and assisted them in building more effective resource development programs in annual, capital and endowment giving, major gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation relations, chapter/affiliate relations and special events.

Prior to becoming a consultant in 1999, she spent thirteen years at American University, where she served as the law school’s director of development and was responsible for managing the college’s successful $20 million capital campaign, which was part of the university’s $100 million Centennial Campaign. A leading national educator on fundraising and board development, Barbara is the co-author of Fundraising Basics: A Complete Guide, Third Edition 2009 published by Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Pete Miller pic Pete Miller – DC area arts donor: Pete became an enthusiastic playgoer after a high school class brought him to the Folger Library to see a production of Love’s Labours Lost. During his seven years in the Air Force, theater availability varied – pretty good in Austin, Texas, not so easy to find English language plays in Kaiserslautern, Germany, great DC theater available during his final tour at the Pentagon.  He continued to see a lot of DC theater while working for KPMG for four years, during which time he moved into the District.  He worked for AOL for eleven years, mostly in network operations, at the same time working his way up within Woolly Mammoth from volunteer usher to board member.  With his long time partner Sara, he co-chaired the Breaking New Ground capital campaign. Pete averages around 100 evenings of theater per year.  In addition to volunteering for Woolly, Pete also works on a volunteer and occasionally paid basis with a number of other DC area arts organizations.

Kendall Ladd – Sitar Arts Center:Ladd pic Kendall Ladd currently serves as the Donor Relations Manager at Sitar Arts Center and works on individual giving & stewardship, events, and grant programs. Sitar Arts Center provides needed arts education opportunities for disadvantaged children & youth in the District. In addition, Kendall has served as a consultant with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative. She holds an MA in Arts Management from American University and a BA in Studio Art from Columbia College.

Panel Moderator:

Andrew taylor

Andrew Taylor – American University: E. Andrew Taylor is an Assistant Professor in the Arts Management Program, exploring the intersection of arts, culture, and business. An author, lecturer, and researcher on a broad range of arts management issues, Andrew has also served as a consultant to arts organizations and cultural initiatives throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Overture Center for the Arts, American Ballet Theatre, Create Austin, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. Prior to joining the AU faculty, Andrew served as Director of the Bolz Center for Arts Administration in the Wisconsin School of Business for over a decade. Andrew is past president of the Association of Arts Administration Educators, and is a consulting editor both for The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society and for Artivate, a journal for arts entrepreneurship. Since July 2003, he has written a popular weblog on the business of arts and culture, “The Artful Manager,” hosted by (

Attend EALS 2013 on April 7, 2013 at American University for an entire day of panels and speakers like this one. Click HERE for more information, and register for the Symposium HERE.


Thank You from EALS


Dear Friends,

I would like to humbly thank all those who came out on Saturday for stepping out in style and supporting the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium. It brought me such joy to see everyone having so much fun and getting into character. All funds raised from the benefit will go directly to the execution of the Symposium on April 7th, 2013. 

Also, hearty congratulations to the winners of the auction items; enjoy your excursions! Oh, and if we happen to pop into your head while on one of those excursions, post a photo on our EALS Facebook page for all to see, or tweet it with the tag #EALS2013. Raynel and Alex will have all the photos up on Facebook very soon. But until then, you can go on Instagram and search for #EALS2013.

And, of course, we would like to again extend our warmest appreciation to the HamiltonianGallery for providing such an amazing space. Please be sure to check out their upcoming exhibitions.

If you haven’t registered yet, I urge everyone to pre-register and join the conversation at EALS2013. It is going to be the biggest and best Symposium yet. Find out more information at, and read more on our blog: Tickets to EALS 2013 can be purchased at

Once again, thank you for supporting this great forum for arts students and professionals. I and the rest of the EALS team look forward to seeing you all at the symposium.

See you in April. Cheers!

Steven Dawson 
Executive Chair
Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium

What to Wear to the EALS Benefit…?

Mad Men Fashion Guide

The 2013 EALS Benefit is only 5 days away and you know what that means … Time to plan your outfit! This year’s benefit is a 1960’s Mad Men inspired theme. If you’re stuck and can’t figure out what to wear here are some ideas:

















And Don’t Forget…



Now that you have a few ideas about what to wear we are looking forward to seeing you all dressed in your best 1960’s Mad Men Fashion at the 2013 EALS Benefit! 

Located: Hamiltonian Gallery – 1353 U St. NW

Date: Saturday February 23, 2013

Time: 7:30-10:30pm

Cost: $20 – you can purchase tickets in advance here

Food, Music, Wine, Silent Auction, Great Conversation, and more

See you there!!!

Preview of the EALS 2013 Featured Speakers

Watch these videos of the EALS Opening Plenary and Closing Keynote speakers for a preview of what you’ll get at EALS 2013.

Karen Brooks Hopkins:

Aaron Dworkin:

Interested yet? Head on over and REGISTER now.

Come Join Us for the Party

Are you getting the winter blues and feel the need to party? Well, here is your chance.

Come out and enjoy an evening of jazz, art, wine, food, and fun at the EALS Benefit on February 23, 2013. All proceeds will support the 6th annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium on April 7, 2013.

Guests are encouraged to dress accordingly and enjoy an evening of socializing, refreshments, and dancing worth of a 1960′s era Madison Avenue. So come dressed in your slickest suit or hippest dress and drink fine white wine.

The Benefit will be held at the Hamiltonian Gallery (1353 U St NW) from 7:00-10:30pm.

A superb jazz trio will provide live music. Also, take part in the silent auction to benefit the 6th annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium that will take place on April 7. Items include tickets to shows, restaurants, jewelry, and art.

So come join us for an evening of art, jazz, food, wine, and fun at the EALS Benefit on February 23, 2013.

Admission to the benefit is only $20 (for unlimited wine, food, art, and jazz?!? WOW!), and you can register HERE.

Feel free to email with any questions about the event. Hope to see you there!

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The 2013 EALS Benefit is only a few weeks away, and this year we will be at the Hamiltonian Gallery at 1353 U Street!

“The Hamiltonian Gallery is a dynamic space in the heart of the growing Washington, DC contemporary arts district. The gallery focuses on innovative works by emerging and mid-career artists.”

Check out the artists whose work will be featured at the Hamiltonian during the 2013 EALS Benefit

Annette Isham


“My work deals with the construction of identity, role-playing and the commingled layers of self. I concentrate on these dynamics through video, photographs, installations, in which I perform characters based on socially standard behavior including falling in love, being discovered for celebrity and staying fit. I am interested in the subtle ways we absorb popular categorical media models. My aim is to interrupt these abstract romantic notions by making them visible and physical.”

 Jerry Truong


“I grew up in a small town in Northern California, coddled by the suburban American dream, oblivious to the social and political mechanisms that made our way of life possible. Even in my own home, I was blissfully unaware of the sacrifices my parents made to get us here. They never once spoke of the horrors they survived when they escaped from war-torn Vietnam by boat: the constant fear of pirates, suffering from starvation, and witnessing family members drown. We take for granted that every brick in every building and on every street was placed there by hand, and that the pristine and aesthetically structured world we aspire for comes at a cost. Using transformation and deception as conceptual strategies, my intention is for the viewer to be forced to peel back the formal facade. In the process, new questions about history, memory, and identity are revealed in the work, offering the potential for a deeper understanding of our roles within a civil society. I operate with the belief that there is no greater accomplishment than to be a catalyst for change, a force that is able to break people out of the mundane routine of passive acceptance.”

Come check out Annette’s and Jerry’s work, while drinking wine, listening to music and supporting the 2013 Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium. And don’t forget to dress up in your best 1960’s MadMen attire!!

For tickets to the 2013 EALS Benefit: Click Here

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