Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium

+ ART.



Introducing the 2013 EALS Executive Committee

Every year the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium (EALS) is led by new group of American University Arts Management Students. This year the executive committee is made up of an exciting group of emerging arts leaders from across the nation. Their unique journeys and experiences are sure to be an asset as they prepare for the 2013 Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium.

Meet the 2013 Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium Executive Committee!:

A letter from the Chair

    As a professional actor for the better part of a decade, I had a chance to work with some wonderful arts organizations….and, unfortunately, some not so wonderful ones.  It seems that some institutions have gotten so caught up in “running the institution” that they have all but forgotten about the art and the artist.

   It is my not so private opinion that arts institutions should exist for the sole purpose of connecting the art with the community.  It was for this reason that I decided to return and earn my Master’s degree in Arts Management.

   When I was presented with the opportunity to serve on the EALS subcommittee last year, I jumped at the chance.  What better opportunity to get involved, right?  Well, I soon learned that the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium was so much more than a chance to “get involved.”  The professionals I have met, the chance to pick the minds of the thought leaders in the field of arts management, and — just as important — the chance to build relationships with other students who will be my future colleagues have all been invaluable pieces of my time with EALS.

   So it should come as no surprise that I was extremely excited to receive the appointment to Executive Chair for EALS 2013.  With the wonderful work of my fellow committee members, we are planning to have the biggest Symposium yet, and are  enthralled about our prospective speakers and panelists for the April 7 date.  We are also excited to provide young professionals and students with multiple engagement opportunities this year.

   I hope that you can make it to our events this year, and I truly look forward to meeting you.

– Steven Dawson
Executive Chair
Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium

 Steven Dawson (Executive Committee Chair)

Steven Dawson is in his final year in the arts management master’s program at American University.  After 8 successful years of performing in theatre, he has decided to hop onto the other side of the curtain.  From his time working in theatre companies in multiple states, Steven has seen the importance of good management in the arts. Specifically, Steven has seen the importance of true audience engagement and social media’s role in it, which he is studying in his capstone portfolio.

Steven joined the EALS subcommittee last year as the Auction Manager and Speaker Relations coordinator.  Through these activities, he realized the importance of EALS in the careers of young arts professionals, which fed his excitement when he was appointed the Executive Chair for EALS 2013.

Steven lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Ellie, and two pets, Pepper and Jack, and is excited to meet even more fellow emerging arts leaders in the coming months.

Katie Caruso

Katie Caruso is an emerging arts leader pursuing her MA in arts management from the American University in Washington, D.C. Most recently, Katie completed an internship working as assistant to the general manager for the Hawai’i Performing Arts Festival.  She has also enjoyed working in the Office of the Chief of Staff with the National Endowment for the Arts, administratively with the Fort Worth Community Arts Center and as company manager for the Trinity Shakespeare Festival.  Upon completing her coursework, Katie hopes to work closely with artists in an innovative and energized cross-disciplinary environment.

Jennifer Glinzak

An Arts Management Master’s Candidate at American University in Washington, D.C., Jennifer Glinzak is focused on arts education policy, implementation, and advocacy. Ms. Glinzak holds two bachelors of music in education and performance from the Conservatory of Music at Chapman University. She served as the General Manager of the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra and Irvine Young Concert Artists following completion of her degrees. Currently Ms. Glinzak is the Choral Manager at American University. She also sits on the Emerging Arts Leader Symposium Committee as Chief of Operations and is a Representative on the Graduate Student Council. Ms. Glinzak plans to continue her studies in policy to advance arts education throughout the country.

Raynel Frazier

Raynel Frazier is a talented young professional from greater Hartford, CT. She graduated from the University of Hartford in 2011 with a trombone performance degree in Jazz Studies and is currently an MA candidate for Arts Management at American University.  As a successful young musician Raynel has had the pleasure of opening for jazz masters Curtis Fuller, Randy Weston, and Hank Jones and performed with artist including Nat Reeves, Rene McLean, and Steve Davis.

Her work as a performer has added to her understanding of the arts community and is an asset to her work as an emerging arts leader. Raynel has held several jobs in the arts including, intern in the concert administration/programming department at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Administrative Assistant in the Performing Arts Division at the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Out Loud Assistant in the Arts Education Division of the National Endowment for the Arts, and co-founder/producer of the UMOJA Music Series (a seven week jazz series in Hartford, CT). In addition to being on the executive committee of EALS Raynel is currently the Jazz Programming intern at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Jazz and Symphonic Band manager at American University. Her passion for the arts has shaped her career so far and there is no limit to how far this emerging arts leader can go.

EALS Keynote: Adrian Ellis

This Sunday we are gratified to welcome Adrian Ellis to the halls of Katzen for our keynote speech at the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium. Ellis brings to us his wealth of personal experience in the arts management sector. The EALS team is so excited to present this talented arts manager that we’re opening up his keynote speech to the public. All are welcome to join us, April 15th, 5 pm, at the Katzen Arts Center in the Abramson Family Recital Hall to hear Mr. Ellis speak, free of charge.

For those of you who failed to register in advance, we can accommodate a few last minute additions, please be ready to pay your $35 registration fee via cash, check or credit card at the 9 – 10 am registration.

We look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Adrian founded AEA in 1990. He recently returned to consulting full-time after serving as Executive Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center from 2007 – 2011. Prior to that, he was Executive Director of The Conran Foundation, where he was responsible for planning and managing the establishment of the Design Museum in London, which opened on Butlers Wharf in 1989. Between 1981 and 1986, he was a civil servant in the UK Treasury and the Cabinet Office, where he worked on service-wide efficiency reviews and privatization, and for two years ran the office of the Economic Secretary to the Treasury (the Minister responsible for monetary policy and regulation of the banking sector). From 1980 to 1982, he was a College Lecturer in Politics at University College, Oxford, where he received his B.A. (first class) and M.A. degrees, before undertaking graduate studies at London School of Economics.

Adrian writes and lectures extensively internationally on management and planning issues in the cultural sector, and has published, lectured and organized conferences for The J. Paul Getty Trust, Demos, The Wallace Foundation, Grantmakers in the Arts, The Jerwood Foundation, Clore Duffield Foundation, Sterling and Francis Clark Art Institute at Williams College, Bolz Center for Arts Administration at the University of Wisconsin, and the Australia Arts Council, among others. He is also a regular contributor to The Art Newspaper.

Adrian was a member of the Getty Leadership Institute’s advisory board from 2001 – 2007, and has served on the board of the Kaufman Center in New York, and Pathé Pictures, a film production company in London. He is a past member of the Governing Council of the National Museums and Galleries of Wales (1996 – 2000) and a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Architecture Centre Committee (1997 – 2001). In May 2010, Adrian was a Scholar in Residence at Teachers College of Columbia University where he taught a graduate seminar series on ‘Special Topics in International Cultural Policy’.

Beyond the Bottom Line: Running a Non-Profit in a For-Profit World

In this volatile economy, nonprofits are often last and hardest hit by financial downturns. How do they stay fiscally viable and mission-focused when faced with dwindling funding?  Are there aspects of the nonprofit model that are advantageous when compared to the for-profit model, specifically concerning the arts? What features of for-profits would be beneficial to integrate into the nonprofit world?

Is there a better way to manage arts organizations?

These incredible power-houses of the DC Arts Scene will answer these questions and more come the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium on April 15th:

Jack Rasmussen

Director of Art Gallery & Curator of the American University Museum at the 
Katzen Gallery. A native of Seattle, Jack Rasmussen earned his BA in Art from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, before moving to Washington, DC, and completing an MFA in Painting, MA in Arts Management, and MA and PhD in Anthropology at American University. He worked in the Education Department of the National Gallery of Art before becoming the Assistant Director of the Washington Project for the Arts when it opened in 1975.

He left this position to open the Jack Rasmussen Gallery, one of the first commercial galleries to move to downtown Washington, and then launched Rockville Arts Place, served for ten years as the Executive Director of Maryland Art Place in Baltimore, and three years as Executive Director of the di Rosa Preserve: Art & Nature, a contemporary art museum and natural habitat in Napa, California.

Rasmussen is currently Director and Curator of the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. (Bio From In The Loop)

B. Stanley

Stanley is an actor, director, pedagogue, puppeteer, and performance artist. He founded Theatre Du Jour in Washington DC in 1982 as an experimental group with an actor-based approach to creating new works. As an actor he has performed with The Living Theatre, Theatre Du Jour, Protean Forms Collective, The Hungry Fetus, The Puppet Company, Cherry Red Productions, Guillermo Gomez Pena, and in a myriad of unusual solo performances with his puppet, Ubu. Influenced by Antonin Artaud, Alfred Jarry, Jerzy Grotowski, Ingemar Lindh and like minds, he has directed a broad array of plays and performances, including Peter Handke’s Self Accusation, Antonin Artaud’s There Is No More Firmament and The Spurt of Blood, Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Cuckolded, George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, and Ossie DavisPurlie Victorious. As director of Theatre Du Jour he had lead many company-created works including Poor Oedipus (an adaptation of the Oedipus story), Tower of Babel, Last Minute, and Ritual Play. He has worked with several poets, including Silvana Straw and Quique Aviles in creating performances that combine literature, acting and multimedia.

Currently, Stanley is Executive/Artistic Director of The District of Columbia Arts Center, where he encourages the development of cutting edge work by new and emerging theater groups in Washington, DC. He conducts workshops on acting, directing and theater production and participates in conferences and seminars abroad with regularity.

Lissa Rosenthal

Rosenthal is a dedicated champion of the arts and a formidable music fan. She is committed to improving the lives of musicians whose work enriches everyone. Lissa brings 20 years of experience in arts leadership, advocacy and nonprofit development to her role as Executive Director of the Future of Music Coalition.

Prior to joining FMC, she was a marketing and fundraising consultant and the Development Director of the Pittsburgh Glass Center,  Director of Programs for the American Council for the Arts (Americans for the Arts), Development Director of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center — an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.

As a social justice advocate, she has served as the National Program Director for PAX: Real Solutions to Gun Violence where she directed its highly acclaimed national public health campaigns dedicated to reducing youth gun violence in America, including SPEAK UP — a teen violence prevention initiative in partnership with Teen People Magazine, MTVNetworks and Atlantic Records.

She has also worked extensively in AIDS fundraising and event production, raising millions of dollars and awareness for AIDS service organizations nationwide. Her volunteer service includes work with Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation program, ranking her among their most effective national advocates. A promoter of all things green, she has authored several “green” cover features for Pittsburgh Magazine. (Bio From Dance USA)

Katherine Gibney

Kate Gibney joined the staff of Americans for the Arts in April 2006. As vice president of development, she oversees all fundraising undertaken on behalf of Americans for the Arts, collaborating closely with the Board of Directors, program staff, and senior leadership to create new opportunities for corporations, foundations, and individuals to support the organization’s goal of advancing the arts and arts education. Kate also coordinates development for the Americans for the Arts Foundation, which provides an array of planned giving vehicles for donors interested in providing legacy support for Americans for the Arts.

Kate brings to her role a wealth of knowledge and experience gained from her past tenures at The National Museum of Women in the Arts; the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery; and The Corcoran Gallery of Art, where she oversaw a corporate and foundation relations team focused on both annual and capital campaign fundraising. A singer in her spare time and an avid patron of the visual arts, Kate earned her bachelor’s degree with honors from Guilford College.

Participate in this and other amazing panels during the upcoming Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium on April 15. You may find the schedule of the Symposium here. Register here.

You made it to graduate school…now what?

You have made a decision, and perhaps a leap of faith, to go to graduate school. You do your research, visit some schools, talk to faculty and current students, apply and get accepted into your dream program. Voila. You are now a student in an arts management program (in my case, at American University in Washington, D.C.)

Now what?

There is no perfect recipe for success that works for everyone but here are a few tips and advices from some brilliant and passionate arts professionals as well as from my personal (well, professional) experience:


You are likely to meet people from various very interesting professional backgrounds in your graduate program. Start with this inner circle. For example, my classmates include a database manager for a non-profit, a development associate at a museum, an orchestra manager, a stage manager, a music teacher, and an actor/ director of a theatre group etc., and they have 0 to over 20 years of experience in the field. Not only you can learn from their experiences and share your own, you can also meet their friends and colleagues and expand your circle.

Another circle that you might not think of immediately is the alumni network of your program. In our case, we not only have an active email listserv of current students and alumni from the program, we also have an active Facebook group that news articles, arts issues, and events etc are posted by current students, alumni and sometimes professors. These alumni have been in your program and made their interests and passions into their careers. Learn from them – from course recommendations to where to eat in town, from job searches to which conferences to go to, they are a wealth of knowledge that you ought to take advantage of, then you can pay it forward to future students when you are out in the real world (again).

Another “inner circle” not to neglect is your program faculty. Schedule meetings with them or take them out for coffee, then learn about their experiences and tell them what you are interested in. You may not wish to teach in graduate school in the future but these professors most likely have connections in the field or were arts managers prior to becoming professors. They can give great advice in where to begin looking and networking as well as make introductions to help you get to where you wish to be.



For some people, going to graduate school requires moving to a new city or even a new country. If that is the case, networking is like killing two birds with one stone. You meet a group of like-minded professionals who most likely understand your pains and gains of working (or the desire to do so) in the arts. They have been there and done that. Introduce yourself to them (do you have an elevator speech yet?) and ask them about how they get to where they are. They are usually happy to share with you their experiences and give advice, and sometimes lend a hand in making introductions and even letting you know about job openings in their institutions.

In Washington D.C., networking opportunities are endless. Emerging Arts Leaders DC(in affliation with Americans for the Arts) and, if you are interested in working in museums, the D.C. Emerging Museum Professionals are two of the many active professional groups in town with multiple events each month. Get involved!

Although there isn’t a school requirement for you to go to an EALDC networking First Friday lunch or a DCEMP happy hour, I suggest you to go whenever you can as these informal conversations often lead you to people and opportunities that you might not have expected.

Feeling a little too shy for impromptu conversations at happy hours? Go to the career development events with less talking and more listening then. I recently attended a DCEMP career development workshop on interview skills – not only I learnt a lot about interviewing, I also got to meet some great people, most of them either looking for their first jobs out of graduate school or those who are looking to transition into a new area in the field.



Are you more of a listener and need a little warming up before you feel like networking? You have got plenty of options as well! Look for conferences, symposiums, webinars and colloquia online and ask around for recommendations. Good places to start looking are websites of Americans for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums, and other graduate programs in your area.

I have attended and volunteered at many of such events and have met so many great people and learnt so much that I cannot possibly explain in one blog entry. Many conferences offer student discounts, scholarships and fellowships so do not let the registration price tag deter you. If all else fails, there is always the option of volunteering for a conference. Trust me, it never hurts to ask, the worst answer you can get is a “no” but you might just met your new friend or mentor from that conversation. You can often volunteer for one day of a conference to be able to register for a discounted price or for free for the rest of the conference. My experiences from these conferences have always been very positive, and I highly recommend volunteering to anyone new to the arts world.

Got a full-time job and a big student loan or simply don’t have time to travel? Again, fret not, there are still many ways to get involved. There are often affordable (or free) webinars, webcasts of panels and conferences, webchats, tweetups and slideshows available for view online. Good places to look are Guidestar, Foundation Center, idealist, National Arts Marketing Project etc, in addition to the websites mentioned above.

The arts management program at American University hosts the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium annually right before Americans for the Arts’ Arts Advocacy Days. This year, the Symposium will be held on Sunday, April 15, 2012. Participants from DC and around the country have always said it’s a great opportunity to meet current leaders in the field (who are usually speakers and panelists) as well as to network with other emerging professionals.  Registration is currently available online here and we sure hope to see you this April!   



If you are ready for some one-on-one time with people in positions you dream to be in, it is time for some informational interviews. For example, if you aspire to be a gallery director, visit galleries and do research on directors and managers of these galleries. Meet them at an open house or send them an email to ask if you can meet them for coffee or in their office to ask a few (well-prepared) questions about their professional experiences.

I recently did an informational interview with a director of a gallery that I would love to work for in the future and it was just a great experience chatting with him and learning about how he got to where he is now. These chats will help you prepare for better-focused job searches and better-prepared interviews. Although I do not see myself being a registrar or collections manager of a museum in the future, I had an informational interview with a collections manager at one of the art museums at the Smithsonian (whom I met at one of the conferences) to better understand the work of her department, as well as how it fits into the greater picture of museum management. And I came out of the meeting having learnt those things and more. In short, keep an open mind and do not let someone’s job title determine your interest – you might learn something you do not expect in each encounter!

Hopefully these tips are helpful to you, my fellow colleagues-in-training. Do share your experiences in networking in the comments below. Good luck with your journey ahead and hope to see you at the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium this April 15!

The Truth about Emerging Arts Leaders…

…is that we’re all emerging arts leaders.

Lets face it, the arts as we know them are always changing all the time. Anyone in the arts field whether you create it, write about it, produce it, critique it, manage it, advocate for it or promote it needs to stay relevant, to stay current, and to check out the trends, share their wisdom, and learn new things. “Keeping it green” wasn’t always about taking the environmental track; it is about staying fresh, staying current, remaining teachable. We work in a field where to adapt is to evolve is to last. If you ever feel that you’ve learned everything you need to know, you’ve failed your field.

The Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium is for the benefit of those new to the field and those who’ve been running arts organizations since before arts management was a degree. We need and want to learn from you, and if you open your mind, you just might learn from us too.

Buy tickets to the symposium HERE or if you’re feeling gun shy and want to meet us first, get tickets to our benefit, drink some wine and we’ll chat you up HERE.

Save the Date!

The 2012 EALS committee is excited to invite you to The Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium at American University in Washington, DC on Sunday, April 15, 2012. This is an annual meeting for young professionals who work in the arts — organized, executed, and run by AU Arts Management students. It is an opportunity to discuss the issues, unique or universal, that affect all arts organizations. Past keynote speakers have included Rachel Goslins, Ben Cameron, and Bob Lynch.

This year we’ll have three panels: Communicating the Arts – What Works, Running a Non-Profit in a For-Profit World, and Future Trends in Marketing leading up to our incredible keynote speaker, Adrian Ellis. Ellis, director of AEA Consulting and former Executive Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, has written and lectured extensively both nationally and internationally on management and planning issues in the cultural sector.

2012 EALS occurs right before Americans for the Arts 25th Arts Advocacy Day. This year’s EALS will be a great opportunity for arts administrators of all backgrounds and experiences to connect and discuss relevant issues in our ever changing art world.

EALS seeks to connect today’s arts with tomorrow’s leaders. Join us!

REGISTER here now: first 25 registrants can register at the discounted price of only $20! Email us at if you have any questions.

Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium Reflection

When Michelle Grove, MA arts management ’08, first imagined organizing a leadership conference, she described it as just a “half-baked idea.” But her initiative quickly gained ground and before she knew it, in 2008, she was the founder of the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium (EALS), an event that is still held annually at American University.

“It’s so exciting to see this initiative continue,” Grove says. “I felt like it was such an important thing to do, not only for the sector, the young people and emerging leaders who might attend the symposium, but a great opportunity for students in the program.”

The Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium is an annual, one-day event catered to young professionals in the arts. It features networking opportunities, a keynote address, and professional development panels run by industry leaders. The fourth EALS will be held at American University on April 15, 2012, the day before Arts Advocacy Day.

“I think EALS is a really unique opportunity that American University can bring to the table,” says Sherburne Laughlin, AU arts management program director. “We have the assets to make it work, the student leadership, and the contacts. We have the location, and in so much of the content and thinking, we are on the cutting edge of the field.”

When Grove first envisioned EALS, her timing was a perfect fit for the university, Laughlin recounts, as she wanted more leadership education for her students. “She had an idea at the same time I saw the need,” she adds.

The goal of EALS was for it to be an open event that allowed arts management students to network outside the university, says Grove, who is now director of grants at the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. “It’s about building that network, which is so incredibly important when you work in a field that’s so small as arts management is, but so spread out geographically,” Grove says. “Opening up and engaging with your community and your peers is very important.”

The first EALS event was a success, and all of the seats were sold out, Grove recounts. “One of the highlights of the event was a question and answer session with a panel of arts leaders, which allowed the audience to have a meaningful conversation with them,” she adds.

Networking opportunities and hosting interactive sessions have remained strong components in each year’s conference. Each event also includes multiple breakout sessions, which in past years have covered topics such as career development, management, board governance, and building global connections. The symposium also features a keynote address from a notable arts leader. Past speakers include Sandra Gibson, former resident and CEO of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters; Rachel Goslins, executive director of the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities; and Ben Cameron, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Each year, EALS is organized by a new executive committee composed of arts management graduate students that plans all event details, including selecting speakers and panelists, hosting fundraising events, managing the budget, and developing marketing plans. Although Laughlin advises the students, she tries to remain as hands-off as possible. “This was a practice in leadership,” Laughlin says. “It was a perfect way to have students test out some leadership ideas and do it in a certain context and get in touch with leaders in the field themselves.”

Grove also sees the value of planning EALS and encourages students to become involved. “If you’re a current student, it’s an opportunity to interact with people outside of the academic world,” Grove says. “In terms of the planning, it’s not just classroom skills; it’s real hands-on learning with event planning and leadership.”

For more information on attending the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium 2012 on April 15, visit the symposium Website.

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As in if you come to EALS, listen up, speak up, chat up, and look up, you will find yourself better prepared to go forth and search, find, and LAND that sucker! Please send us love letters of your success stories and know that while the journey is rough.. with EALS it’s paved with cookies and hugs.


And yes, if you ask specifically, we will give you advice on what to wear. I’ll be Stacy and Ethan will be Clinton. Arts Mangers What to Wear coming to TLC 2024.

Arts Advocacy Day

There are many reasons to advocate for the arts. Pick your platform, honey.

One of the many amazing things about EALS 2012 besides the fact that it’s my birthday, April 15th, is that you can combine your attendance with one of the most significant gatherings of supporters of the arts in the country: The 25th annual Arts Advocacy Day April 16 – 17, 2012.

“Arts Advocacy Day is the only national event that brings together a broad cross section of America’s cultural and civic organizations, along with hundreds of grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts.”

So when (there is no “if”, grasshopper, if you love the arts, you need to be here, start planning now) you’re preparing to head to our Nation’s Capital, be sure you make it here in time to join us at American University. We are all emerging arts leaders. By remaining teachable we’ll remain relevant.

Register for Arts Advocacy Day today, and we’ll save you a seat at EALS.

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