Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium

+ ART.


Arts Leaders

DC + ART is ONE Day Away!

We can’t believe that DC + ART is only one day away! If you haven’t yet, be sure to get your ticket NOW since only a handful of tickets are left and their price goes up tomorrow! Continue reading “DC + ART is ONE Day Away!”

EALS 2016: + ART Theme & Poll

The EALS Committee is excited to present the EALS 2016 theme: + ART! As arts leaders, we often have to make the case that art is an important factor in every aspect of life. + ART is about including art in the pertinent conversations happening in our society today whether it’s about open data, social justice, or what happened at the VMA’s. This year, to start these conversations before the Symposium on March 6th, we’re launching EALS Polls. Every Friday, we want to hear directly from you about current trends you care about in the arts field and the larger communities in which we serve and operate. Can’t wait to hear what we all have to say! Continue reading “EALS 2016: + ART Theme & Poll”

The New EALS Executive Committee

We are so excited to announce our new executive committee for the 2016 Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium! Learn more about the committee members and our summer plans as we prepare for #EALSummer! Continue reading “The New EALS Executive Committee”

Announcing the New EALS Executive Chair!

Join us in welcoming our new Executive Chair, AmyJo Foreman!

Continue reading “Announcing the New EALS Executive Chair!”

My Day at the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium (Guest Blog)

On the eve of EALS, my mind was not on arts management. I had assignments to finish, summer plans to finalize, and projects to plan. But the next morning, all of that changed. Continue reading “My Day at the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium (Guest Blog)”

Back to Black Panel Announced

You asked for it!  Our most popular panel based on our poll earlier this year was Back to Black: Achieving and Maintaining Financial Stability and now we’re announcing the esteemed art managers who will discuss how they turned their organizations around from the red and into the black, securing the future of these prominent art organizations for years to come. Read more about our awesome panelists below, and don’t forget to purchase your tickets for EALS here now!

Marc Eisenberg

marcMarc Eisenberg has served as the Executive Director of the Washington Bach Consort since June 2009.  Prior to his appointment at WBC, Marc spent five years at CTSG/Kintera, Inc. helping large non-profits such as the Lance Armstrong Foundation, The Aspen Institute, and the United Nations meet their financial and marketing goals. Marc’s involvement in arts administration began in the early 1990s after graduating from George Washington University. Marc helped lead George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, presented jazz with the Charlin Jazz Society, collaborated on a music exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, assisted a regional touring rock band, and worked for well-known music producer (John Alagia), among other positions.

Michael Mael


Michael L. Mael was appointed Executive Director of Washington National Opera in July 2011 upon its affiliation with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  He joined WNO in 2008 as Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for all financial and day to day operations of the company.  Under his leadership, the organization returned to financial stability following more than a decade of losses. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Mael worked for nearly five years for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) as Vice President of the BSO at Strathmore. Mr. Mael received his AB from Brown University and his MBA from Stanford University.

Patricia Wilson Aden

Patricia Wilson Aden  photoPatricia Wilson Aden is currently the President and CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia where she previously served as the Senior Vice President of Operations. She has an extensive background in executive nonprofit management, having previously served as the Executive Director of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, Director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and President of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. Patricia currently serves on the boards of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. Aden holds a BA from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA and an MA from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.  Her further accolades include an honorary doctorate from Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia.

Jenny Bilfield, Moderator


Jenny Bilfield was appointed Washington Performing Arts’ President and CEO in April 2013. Ms. Bilfield has been recognized among the “30 Key Influencers in the Arts: Movers and Shakers” by Musical America and as one of the “117 Most Powerful Women in Washington” by Washingtonian Magazine.  Previously, Ms. Bilfield was Artistic & Executive Director of Stanford Lively Arts and Artistic Director of Stanford Live at Stanford University.  She has held numerous leadership roles in the arts, including the Presidency of music publisher Boosey & Hawkes. As Executive Director of the National Orchestral Association and founder of the New Music Orchestral Project, Ms. Bilfield received an Adventuresome Programming award from ASCAP, and the Helen M. Thompson Orchestra Leadership award from the League of American Orchestras. She is a member of the Federal City Council in Washington, and on the Steering Committee for ArtsActionDC.

Buy Your Tickets for EALS 2015 Here

Join us for the 40th Anniversary celebration of Arts Management at AU!

As you may or may not know, EALS lives at American University in its Arts Management program.  We are fortunate enough to be students during a very special time of celebration.  This year, Arts Management at AU celebrates its 40th Anniversary and cheers on its future to 40+ more years of fun and learning.  Here at EALS we are truly proud of our program’s history and prestige as one of the greatest programs in the nation.

Also, the 40th Anniversary couldn’t help but want in on our #TBT action from last week so we’ve included some wonderful photos of students like us from the past.  You can find out more about the anniversary celebration happening next weekend and register for the event here.  Events of the weekend are listed below.

Students with internship binder (1)

Join former classmates, professors, and fellow alumni to commemorate 40 years of extraordinary arts and cultural managers.

See old friends and relive memories while making new connections, sharing innovations and accomplishments, and touching base with your artistic roots. We will laugh, learn, and live it up as only arts management professionals can – a toast to another 40 years of excellence!

Friday, October 24

Fall 2014 is a hot time for the DC arts scene. Through the generosity of our local alumni and colleagues, the following events are available a discounted rate for am@au affiliates (or they were already free!). Connect with your former classmates through the Facebook event page and get a group together to see some art!

Saturday, October 25

Katzen Arts Center, American University

11:00am – 12:00pm | Breezeway


11:45am – 1:30pm | Rotunda

Monica Hazangeles (1996), President, Strathmore

in partnership with AU Alumni Relations

2:00pm – 3:15pm | Studio Theatre

Speed Networking

3:30pm – 5:00pm | Studio Theatre

Bragging Rights

an interactive session with dog & pony dc

5:30pm – 7:30pm | Katzen Museum

Cocktail party

Arts Management students at Wolftrap
Arts Management students at Wolftrap

Proudly Announcing the 2015 EALS Committee!

Hello blogosphere!  Erin here, your new Executive Chair.

As my first imperial decree humble proclamation, I hereby introduce you to the newly formed EALS Committee 2015.  Not only are they insanely talented in their respective art forms, they are a bunch of smart, savvy, inspiring emerging arts leaders.  Oh, and did I mention… we’re all ladies?  That’s right.  2015 is the year of the female committee promising to bring you a sensational year of programming culminating in a symposium like you haven’t seen before.  Plus, we’ll do our best to keep the Spice Girl references to a minimum.  No promises on Beyonce though.

Without further ado, let me introduce you do our committee.  So that you and I could get to know these fearless leaders a little better, I asked them some not-so-common interview questions and here are their answers.  Enjoy!

Bethesda, MD
Tori Sharbaugh, Marketing Coordinator

Tori grew up singing, but veered toward arts management in undergrad at Gettysburg College.  She was a stage manager for two years and is now a graduate assistant at the Greenberg Theatre here at AU.  Tori’s go-to karaoke song is Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show and she warns us not to take her to Vegas because she is severely unlucky.  Get this- she has a black belt in Tae Kwan Do and can karate kick through a wooden board.  Watch out, y’all, we’ve got a new bodyguard!


Jenni Amis, Program Coordinator
Jenni Amis, Program Coordinator

Jenni is from Minneapolis, MN and joins AU from a background in ticketing, stage management, and marketing.  If she could throw a parade, it would be just like the one in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with a musical number.  She says the definition of the internet is “the key and portal into the madness, kind of like the magic wardrobe to Narnia, the rabbit hole for Alice, or The Doctor’s Tardis.”  I’m gonna go with her on that.  Lastly, if you ever need a movie trivia nerd on your team for Trivial Pursuit, she’s your gal.  But… DIBS!


Helene Genetos, Finance Coordinator
Helene Genetos, Finance Coordinator

Helene originally hails from Indianapolis, IN but has lived in DC for 9 years.  Read: if you’re looking for a foodie place to eat, she knows all.  She is admittedly not an artist by trade but she is in love with museums.  Her karaoke song of choice is No Diggity by Blackstreet and she has an embarrassing enviable talent of memorizing lyrics to bad one hit wonder songs.  If she could design a rap battle it would be between Missy Elliott and Nicki Minaj because “their skills at slinging lyrics and making you think while rapping are top notch among female rappers. Plus we’ve seen all the male battles but the ladies know how to do it! ”


AmyJo Foreman, Program Coordinator
AmyJo Foreman, Program Coordinator

AmyJo Foreman is from Friendswood, TX and worked at the Alley Theatre in Houston and as her artist friends’ personal assistant before joining us.  When asked if she is a hunter or a gatherer, she chooses hunter because the poison potential is too great for gatherers. Risk management, folks.  Though, she does have an adventurous side because she says she’d wash the windows of the Washington Monument from the outside for a gift card to Whole Foods.  Last fun fact, but one we must fix is that AmyJo has never been to karaoke.


Zenia Simpson, Marketing Coordinator
Zenia Simpson, Marketing Coordinator

Zenia (pronounced like the end of “Tanzania” she tells us) is from NYC.  She comes from a background in arts marketing and public relations and, we should mention, is a talented film artist.  Her biggest fear is falling down the Metro escalators, but has no fear identifying as a hunter because in the words of Frank Underwood, “Hunt or be hunted”.  The rap battle she designs is too good not to give you the entire masterpiece of a description so check this out…

Disclaimer: I know everyone hates Kanye but: Kanye ascends on top of a cliff saying “Yeezus is back.” All of a sudden, purple rain and glitter falls from the sky and all you hear is “dearly beloved, we are gathered here to get through this thing call life.” Prince descends from a cloud and starts playing his electric guitar on top of a giant speaker. The speaker starts blaring one of Kanye’s beats and knocks Prince down where he gracefully lands on top of a piano. Prince starts singing “The Beautiful Ones” and Misty Copeland starts performing her ballet piece. Kanye jumps on top of the piano and starts screaming “Runaway” at the top of his lungs. Misty starts performing the ballet piece for that song. Prince looks at Kanye and says “impressive.” Kanye fan girls out. Everyone wins.

Sarah Robinson, Production Manager
Sarah Robinson, Production Manager

Sarah is our well-travelled delegate, originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia but she claims Banner Elk, NC as her hometown.  She is experienced in music, theatre and opera and combines all three at her job at Ford’s Theatre.  Her karaoke song is Ace of Base’s “The Sign” and identifies as neither a hunter nor gatherer, but as a builder.  Watch out!  We have an out-of-the-box thinker over here!  She considers herself very lucky to be marrying the love of her life next month so we’ll all be sure to bother her a lot until then wish her all the best!


Colleen Holroyd, Finance Director
Colleen Holroyd, Finance Director

Colleen is from upstate New York and comes from a long history in folk music (she started working on the junior crew at a festival at age 6!).  If she could throw a parade she’d politely decline, but her special talent is having a song for everything.  I think I see parade potential there.  She’d wash the windows of the Washington monument for the remaining balance of her school debt… any takers?!  Her ideal epic rap battle would be “Julie Andrews vs. _________  …oh let’s face it. Julie Andrews would win.”


Laura London, Vice Chair and Development Director

Laura calls Bethesda, MD home and has a musical background in cello performance and teaching.  When she’s not dreaming up new ways to appeal to EALS donors, she works with the Embassy Series here in town too.  She would throw a low brass parade because “who wouldn’t want to hear 5,000 tubas plowing down the street?”.  She says she’s lucky for being an official adult and getting to eat chocolate whenever she wants.  She is a real bargainer because she says she would wash the monument windows for  “no amount of money. I would only do it if Brad Pitt did it with me, making sure I didn’t fall of course … or Yo Yo Ma … or Obama.”

Erin Clark Quinlan
Erin Clark Quinlan, Executive Chair

Hey, that’s me!  I had to cut the handsome guy next to me out of the photo because, you know, it’s all about me, #womeninleadership.  I am a proud Kentucky native and have a background in modern dance and art education but have a newfound passion in conferences and special events.  My karaoke song is “Crazy” by Patsy Cline and I am most definitely a gatherer.  I gather everything: fresh produce, good friends, my emotions most of the time.  I am terribly lucky to have been granted the honor of being this year’s EALS Chair and to have these wonderful women by my side.

Salutations for a great year and be sure to check back as this is just the first of many fun reads to come from EALS 2015!

Panel Topic: Effective Leadership & Smooth Transitions

The very lucky among us have had the pleasure of working for a vibrant, inspiring, supportive leader; the kind of person who excites and energizes his staff, or who buoys support for her organization with seemingly effortless charisma. While it may seem like magic, this panel will provide a forum for discussion about strategic, innovative, and effective leadership styles and trends. Additionally, panelists will share their insights about smooth transitions – within an organization, up the ladder, or to another organization altogether.

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to register for EALS on Sunday, March 23.This panel will be during our first breakout session, from 11:45am – 1:00pm.

We are happy to announce our esteemed panelists and moderator:

Kim Sajet

Kim Sajet is the director of the National Portrait Gallery. She was appointed to the position in February and officially assumed office April 1. Before joining the Smithsonian, Sajet was the president and CEO of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania from 2007 to 2013. Previously, she was senior vice president and deputy director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the oldest art museum and school in the country. From 1998 until 2001, Sajet was the director of corporate relations at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and she served first as curator and then the director of two Australian art museums from 1989 until 1995. In addition to 20 years of arts management experience, she has written a number of scholarly publications, curated permanent-collection and touring exhibitions and spoken at academic symposia. Her most recent publication was on American artists who worked in Dutch art colonies between 1880 and 1914. Check out a recent article in the Washington Post featuring Kim and other leading women in the field.


Fielding Grasty is a Director and Assistant Secretary to the Board for National Arts Strategies (NAS). Fielding leads the development and oversees management of several NAS programs. These include The Chief Executive Program, the Business of Arts and Culture series, and international programs such as the Hong Kong Leadership Training Program for Senior Arts and Culture Executives. He is seminar director for the NAS seminars Finance and Strategic Governance and served as program director and leads the development of NAS online events. As Assistant Secretary to the Board, Fielding has primary staff responsibility for administrative issues related to the Board of Directors. Fielding serves as President of the Board of Directors of Second Street Gallery, a nonprofit contemporary art gallery in Charlottesville, Virginia. He earned a B.A. with Honors in Literature from Eckerd College.


Syrah Gunning works in the training division of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as the Assistant Manager for Fellowships and Internships at the DeVos Institute of Arts Management. Syrah oversees the strategy and implementation of highly competitive early and mid-career professional development programs including three Fellowships, the Kennedy Center’s Internship program, and the BAM Professional Development Program (a training partnership with the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, New York). Prior to her work with the Institute, Syrah received her Masters of Business Administration from the Bolz Center for Arts Administration in the Wisconsin School of Business at University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she focused on leadership development for the performing arts administration. Prior to Madison, she served as the Special Events Manager at The Baltimore Museum of Art, where she produced events for the Museum’s $65 million campaign and designed an institutional planning process to facilitate collaboration and evaluation across its six divisions.

Sarah Durkee HeadshotSarah Durkee is Vice President of Public Education at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design, a position she has held since 2009. Ms. Durkee has worked for the Corcoran for the past 12 years; prior to serving her current role, she held various positions within the institution in education, public programs, and special events. Ms. Durkee is pursuing her M.A. in Arts Management from American University and graduated with highest honors from Bowdoin College with a degree in Art History and International Relations. She has also worked in various capacities with American University Museum at Katzen Arts Center, National Arts Strategies, and as DC Administrative Coordinator for Art Cart: Saving the Legacy, an intergenerational project that documents the work and preserves the legacies of aging artists.

See you Sunday, March 23 for the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium!

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