It’s my extreme pleasure to be taking the reins of the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium this year and to introduce to you the wise, witty, and winsome group I’ve assembled for this year’s committee.

Joshua Midgett (Finance Chair) returns to EALS with full financial faculty after serving as last year’s finance assistant. He’s joining our meetings via Skype this semester as he studies cultural tourism in majestic New Zealand at Victoria University of Wellington. Joshua is in his second year of AU’s Arts Management program and spent this past spring interning at the Kennedy Center’s DeVos Institute of Arts Management. When not plotting ways for arts organizations to increase their earned income, Joshua might be found making his way through the whiskey library at Jack Rose (“I’d recommend you all to go,” he says, “but alas, it’s a crime in seven states to go without me.”) Joshua has an undeniable love of maps and adventure and an irrational fear of turkeys.

Heather Koslov (Events Coordinator) hails from Texas and if she’s any indication, talent, personality, and flair are certainly bigger there. Also a second-year student in the Arts Management program, Heather has worked with Sitar Arts Center, Arena Stage, and is currently at the DeVos Center of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center. Heather is a goddess of costume design and construction, making her the envy of every Halloween party-goer – she remembers most fondly going as the Midas Touch, painted gold head to toe, complete with a golden toga, a golden bird, and golden grapes adorning her golden wig. Heather’s DC bar recommendations are as follows: “For cocktails – Tonic in Mt. Pleasant, for beer – Meridian Pint, for people watching in pleasant weather – El Chucho, and for no holds barred karaoke – The Pinch.”

Charlie Rohlfs (Marketing Director) grew up on Long Island, is an indefatigable Jets fan, and recently took charge of marketing and development for Opera Lafayette. Surrounded by art from an early age (with parents and a sister who are fine artists), Charlie played violin and double bass as a child and earned his BFA in Theatre Performance. On his time off, you might find Charlie roughing it on a canoe (asked to choose a different field to work in for one month, Charlie said, “I’d love to be a park ranger in the back country, completely disconnected from everything for a month.”) Although, most recently he returned from a luxurious trip to Vegas with his girlfriend where he realized “anywhere you can drink a yard-margarita is good with me.”

Jessica Ferey (Executive Assistant) is in her first year of AU’s Arts Management program, coming off four years of work at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. Originally from France, Jessica has an extensive background in both theatre and visual arts, receiving her BA in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University. Jessica’s energy and ambition make her a valued addition to our team and will serve her well in her current interest of finding ways to engage students and young professionals with local arts organizations. When not immersed in arts and culture, you might find Jessica bending it like Beckham on the soccer field.

Christina Girardi (Finance Assistant) was born here in DC and grew up in Northern Virginia. A stunning visual artist, Christina received her degree in Art History and now takes her watercolors wherever she goes, painting and illustrating her travels. In her first year of AU’s Arts Management program, Christina is interested in diplomacy through art and after graduation hopes to connect artists and communities. Christina is also a language junkie. She loves studying languages and finding people with whom to speak them. Christina has an irrational fear of “ordering something super gross at a restaurant,” and her favorite DC bar is Cause (a philanthropub).

Erin Clark (Events Assistant) comes to AU from Louisville, Kentucky where she worked for the Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts. Her background as a dancer and choreographer will serve her well on the EALS committee, as I hope to instate  mandatory 32-count dance breaks in every meeting. If Erin could choose a different field to work in for one month, she says, “I would be a full-time instructable.com creator. I don’t have the skills for invention yet, but I’ve got the ideas!” When not dancing or managing the arts, Erin can be found baking outrageous cupcakes and drinking Kentucky bourbon. So. Party at her house.

Laura London (Marketing Assistant) is a DC native, also in her first year of AU’s Arts Management program. Laura has 18 years of cello-playing under her belt, having earned her undergraduate degree in cello performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Laura is also a lover of the outdoors and might be found running, hiking, biking, playing tennis, or apple-picking. When asked about her irrational fear, Laura responded with three of the most hilarious and indeed irrational fears I’ve heard: “Getting pooped on by a bird, getting thrown up on by a human, or accidentally closing the trunk of a minivan on someone’s head.”

Hannah Wang (Volunteer Coordinator) is from Gaithersburg, MD and graduated from the University of Maryland’s School of Music with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. Frustrated with the lack of respect and support for arts education after teaching strings for two years in Anne Arundel County, Hannah decided it was time to change that perspective and is now in her first year of AU’s Arts Management graduate program. She says, “I want to create programs that will have a lasting impact on the community and the students, so that there can be a growth in the realm of arts education, and people will come to see how integral it is to have a balanced education that involves both the arts and the sciences.” When not fighting the good fight, Hannah might be found throwing one back at Madam’s Organ or indulging her rock climbing addiction.

I’m Shannon Musgrave, this year’s Executive Chair, and you can read about me here.

I could not be more excited to be working with this team of smart, dynamic, hilarious geniuses. Get ready, EALS enthusiasts. This committee’s got some big plans up our sleeves. Stay tuned.

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Top (L to R): Erin Clark, Joshua Midgett, Jessica Ferey
Middle (L to R): Laura London, Shannon Musgrave, Christina Girardi
Bottom (L to R): Charlie Rohlfs, Heather Koslov, Hannah Wang
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