On March 29, 2009, nearly one hundred arts professionals and students—almost all in the early stages of their careers—gathered in American University's Katzen Arts Center to better their careers, and the arts field as a whole. Two days before his testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, CEO of Americans for the Arts Bob Lynch addressed this eager group on the practical role of the arts in America (including its stimulating effect on the economy).
Following Lynch's speech was a reception presented in partnership with Americans for the Arts' Emerging Arts Leaders network, American University's Arts Management Program, and the Forum for Emerging Arts Leaders. The reception marked the start of Arts Advocacy Days, when arts professionals across the nation come to D.C. to lobby for increased arts funding.
It also marked the close of the second annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium, a graduate student initiative of American University's Arts Management Program. Approximately 60 registrants from the D.C. area, across the U.S., and even one international attendee spent the day grappling with the challenges and opportunities presented to them as young professionals in the swiftly changing field of arts management.
The most popular session of the day, "Challenges of Being a Young Professional: a facilitated discussion," consisted of panelists answering questions posed by attendees and selected by the moderator. The symposium also included a tutorial on the effective use of technology and a panel on the effect of the economy on the careers of young leaders in the non-profit arts.
Panelists and speakers throughout the day included:
- Erica Bondarev, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
- Jocelyn Harmon, Triplex Angela Han, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies
- Adam Natale, Fractured Atlas
- Rosetta Thurman, Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington
- Anne L'Ecuyer, Independent Consultant
- Jennifer Cover Payne, Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington
As an additional social event of the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium, a group of registrants, moderators, and panelists attended the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Dog in the Manger the night before.
The symposium committee was chaired by recent program alumna Michelle Grove, who currently sits on the board of the Forum for Emerging Arts Leaders and works as Events Coordinator & Grants Assistant for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.
The 2009 symposium executive committee consisted of:
Michelle Grove, Founder/Chair