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EALS |  2011 Symposium Panelists

The Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium at American University strives to feature the top arts leaders from the region to present in lectures and panel discussions. The panelists discuss issues that are affecting arts organizations that are within their area of expertise. 

Rachel Goslins

2011 EALS Keynote Speaker: Rachel Goslins

Rachel Goslins was appointed by President Obama as the Executive Director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2009. Prior to her appointment, she worked as a documentary director/producer and arts administrator. Her feature films include 'Bama Girl, an award-winning documentary following a black woman running for Homecoming Queen at the University of Alabama, and Besa—The Promise, a film about Albanian Muslims who saved Jews during WWII, as well as television productions for PBS, National Geographic, Discovery, and the History Channel. She also served as the Programming Director for the Impact Film Festival, and as the Director of the Independent Digital Distribution Lab, a joint PBS/ITVS project focused on distributing independent films online. Prior to her film career, Goslins was an international copyright attorney in the office of Policy and International Affairs in the U.S. Copyright Office and a litigator for the law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. 


2011 EALS Panelists

Jamie Bennett is currently the Director of Public Affairs at the National Endowment for the Arts. Previously, he worked as Chief of Staff at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; at the Agnes Gund Foundation for 8 years; as Chief of Staff to the President at Columbia University; and in fundraising at The Museum of Modern Art, the New York Philharmonic, and Columbia College. Before entering the public sector, Jamie served on the boards of the HERE Arts Center, Art 21, and the No-Pants Theatre Company; he also co-chaired and helped found the Associates Committee for Studio in a School and was a founding co-chair of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Foot-in-the-Door Committee.

EALS Panelists Bobbitt

Michael J. Bobbitt, Producing Artistic Director, Adventure Theatre, has directed, choreographed and performed at many theatres in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area, including Arena Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Metro Stage, Rorshach Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Center Stage, Roundhouse Theatre, The Music Center at Strathmore, The Kennedy Center, The Helen Hayes Awards and the Washington National Opera. His National and International credits include the NY Musical Theatre Festival, Mel Tillis 2001, and 1996 Olympics. He studied creative writing and music at Susquehanna University and theatre and dance at The Washington Ballet, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and NY University’s Tisch School of the Arts (Cap 21). He is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. As a writer, his work has been accepted in the 2006 NYC International Fringe Festival and has received grants from the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Producer-Writer Initiative, The Creative Projects Grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Maryland State Arts Council and the Puffin Foundation. Michael has taught theatre and dance at George Washington University, Catholic University, Montgomery College, Howard University, and the Washington Ballet. Michael was co-chair of Young Non-Profit Network DC- Executive Director Roundtable, NAACP chair for his son’s school in Montgomery County, a Commissioner for the Montgomery County Commission on Children and Youth and Volunteers for the Bethesda - Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce (Strategic Planning Task Force and Membership Committee). He is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery (2010). In 2010, Michael received the County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities – Emerging Leader Award. Michael serves on the Board of Directors for Theatre for Young Audiences, The DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative, and The League of Washington Theatre, as President. He lives in Glen Echo, Maryland with his partner and young son.

Katy George Cupples: Since December 2009, Katy has served as Manager of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center. The DeVos Institute provides best practices in fundraising, marketing, artistic and strategic planning, and board and financial management to arts managers, board members, and non-profit organizations across 50 states and in 65 countries worldwide.

In this role, Katy oversees 12 Capacity Building Programs, International Symposiums, Non-Profit Board Seminars, and Kennedy Center Fellowships and Internships. Previously, she managed the Cultural Visitors and Fellows Mentoring Programs in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative.

Before coming to the Institute, she served in the development department of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO). Katy managed the NSO Board of Directors; the National Trustees, an international and domestic advocacy group; and oversaw the $1.3 million dollar sponsorship, as well as coordinated events for, the Orchestra's 2009 Tour to Asia.

Katy helped start an organization supporting the $77 million dollar capital campaign for the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, TX. She has served on the professional boards of or served as counsel to the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Austin, City of Austin-Cultural Arts Division, Texas Commission on the Arts, and Texas Cultural Trust.

Prior to coming to the Kennedy Center, Katy worked at the University of Texas Performing Arts Center and spent time at The National Endowment for the Arts during her graduate studies in arts policy and cultural diplomacy. Katy is a summa cum laude graduate of Emerson College in Boston, MA, with a degree in Speech Communication


EALS Panelists Egan

Brett Egan, Director, DeVos Institute of Arts Management John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In December 2009, Egan joined the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as Director of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management. In this capacity, Egan directs the Center’s programs in arts management training and consulting, comprising of capacity building programs in eleven American cities and similar initiatives in several countries worldwide. Additional programs under Egan’s direction are the Arts in Crisis Initiative—which has served more than 800 organizations in the United States; International Fellowships, with 42 participants from 28 countries; an international cultural exchange program administered on behalf of the Department of State; the Kennedy Center Fellowship, a nine-month program for mid-career arts executives; various independent consultancies; and three websites, including, an online service for arts managers and their boards. From 2006 to 2009, Egan served as Executive Director of the New York-based modern dance company, Shen Wei Dance Arts, a Kennedy Center resident company and principal contributor to the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Beijing.

Anne L'Ecuyer

Anne L’Ecuyer is a writer and a consultant who stays closely connected to an international network of city leaders, cultural professionals, and individual artists. She is an expert in creative industries and cultural tourism, as well as the contributions of the arts toward educational, social, and environmental goals in communities throughout the United States. Anne most recently served as Associate Vice President for Field Services at Americans for the Arts. In this role, she produced seven national conferences and an annual program of leadership events for an audience of cultural professionals and their allies in government, business, and education. She consulted directly with hundreds of local arts leaders to provide strategy and support for their efforts and routinely met with delegations of foreign cultural leaders on visits sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

She served as editor of the Americans for the Arts Monograph Series, and is the author of Public Funding for the Arts at the Local Level. Anne has consulted independently with businesses, non-pro?ts, and public institutions including Culture Action Europe, the Canadian Conference on the Arts, and the California Arts Council. She holds a bachelors degree from Northern Arizona University and studied public policy at the University of Maryland at College Park. Anne is the recent founder of the Washington Writer’s Retreat, a private writing and research residency in the nation’s capital.

Sarah Frankland led the British Council USA's arts work for nearly twelve years, until November 2010. She served as Arts Manager and Deputy Director managing the integration of the arts into the British Council's cultural relations mission specifically in Western Europe and North America.  She brokered local, national and international strategic relationships with major arts organizations, government and other key stakeholders in the public and private sectors to develop the profile, reputation and brand of UK artists and the British Council. 

Ms. Frankland led more than 20 trade missions in the arts between the US and UK and was responsible for brokering over 50 tours of emerging UK performing artists in the US market. Projects have included the UK Writer in Residence Program in LA, DC, and Iowa, a multi-year partnership for UK choreographers and dance companies with the National Dance Project at the New England Foundation for the Arts, Tipping Point, the National Theatre of Scotland's Black Watch, On the Fringe: Eye on Edinburgh, and the US tour of the Trycicle Theatre's The Great Game (along with commissioning the accompanying publication: Trust Me, I'm an Expert).

Prior to joining the British Council Ms. Frankland worked for the Shakespeare Theatre and Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC.

Ms. Frankland holds a BA in Special History from Hull University, an MA in Arts Management from American University in Washington, DC, a postgraduate certificate from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and an ALCM in Speech and Drama. She served for six years as a Trustee for the International Student House in Washington, DC, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts. 

EALS Panelists Evans

Stephanie Evans Hanson, Local Arts Agency Program Coordinator, Americans for the Arts. Stephanie Evans Hanson officially joined the staff of Americans for the Arts in January 2009 to support the Local Arts Advancement department. In her current role, she helps to coordinate professional development, technical assistance, and peer networking opportunities for arts administrators working to advance the arts in their local community. Stephanie works directly on the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention and with the online webinar series. In addition, she coordinates the work of the national Emerging Leaders Council, is the staff liaison to the Emerging Leaders Network, and partners with Human Resources staff and supervisors to manage the Americans for the Arts internship program.

Stephanie graduated from American University with an MA in Arts Administration, and wrote her thesis on the US visa process and its effects on cultural exchange. Prior to joining Americans for the Arts, Stephanie was an entertainment producer for a local casting agency that provided entertainment for corporate and social events. She holds a BM in music performance from Miami University of Ohio, and has studied and performed nationally and internationally. Currently, Stephanie is a member of the steering committee for the DC Emerging Arts Leaders, a group that provides professional development and networking opportunities to young arts leaders in the DC/Metro area. She volunteers regularly at Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA and at the WVSA School in Washington, DC – an elementary school that provides an art based education to students with disabilities. Stephanie has also served as a grants panelist for the Arts Council of Fairfax County.

Sherburne Laughlin

Sherburne Laughlin holds an MBA from Yale University and is a cum laude graduate of Davidson College. Her nonprofit management and philanthropic career spans over 20 years of executive director and program director experience. A professor since 1995 at AU, she has pioneered top-ranked courses in strategic planning, fundraising and governance. Her consulting work focuses on issues of governance, organizational development and strategic planning and serves all types of nonprofits, arts and non-arts, large and small, national and local. She has served on many arts panels, including the Montgomery and Fairfax County Arts Council panels and the national VSA arts panel. She is a member of the Advisory Board of Round House Theater and sits on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of Davidson College. Laughlin will Co-Chair the national conference of Arts Administration Educators in 2010.

Abel Lopez, Associate Producing Director of GALA Hispanic Theatre, is Vice President of Americans for the Arts and Treasurer of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. He is a former chair of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and immediate past chair of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. He is also past president of the Helen Hayes Awards, the Performing Arts Alliance, and Theater Communications Group, the national service organization for professional theaters.  Lopez is also past chair of the Creative Communities Initiative of the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region.

Lopez is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, In Series, and Black Women Playwrights Group. He is a member of the Kennedy Center Community Board, Latino Advisory Board of the Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Advisory Board of the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project, and Advisory Committee of The Playwrights Forum.  Lopez also is Co-Chair of the CuDC Creative Communities Program; is an adjunct professor at George Mason University, a member of the faculty of the NALAC Leadership Institute, and is a member of the Federal City Council.

Lopez is a member of the Selection Committee of the David H. Lawrence Scholarship awarded by the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., and served on the Grants Committee of the Laurel Fund, which provides arts scholarships to youth. Lopez, with Rebecca Read Medrano, spearheaded the $4.4 million capital campaign for GALA Hispanic Theatre for its new 274 seat theater in Washington, DC.

Productions he has directed have appeared at GALA, Horizons Theatre, DC Arts Center, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Source Theater and the In Series in Washington, DC; Arizona Theater Company; Public Theater in New York; Jomandi Productions in Atlanta; the James Knight Center in Miami; Theatre on the Water in San Francisco; Teatro Nacional in San Jose; Costa Rica; Teatro Nacional in San Salvador, El Salvador; Teatro San Martin in Caracas, Venezuela; and National Theatre of Cuba.  A Harvard Law School graduate, Lopez also is also a producer and frequent lecturer. 

EALS Panelists Moss

Ian David Moss is Research Director for Fractured Atlas, where he specializes in cultural asset mapping, impact assessment, and other nerdy pursuits. Since 2007, he has also been the author of the acclaimed arts policy blog Createquity, which now reaches more than 1,000 subscribers around the world. A composer and choral singer, he founded two first-of-their-kind performing ensembles in New York City: a hybrid electric chamber ensemble/experimental rock band that commissioned works by classical composers for rock instruments (Capital M), and a choral collective dedicated to the music of living composers (C4). Ian is a member of the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Council and was recently named one of the nonprofit arts sector’s top 25 “most powerful and influential leaders” by arts consultant and blogger Barry Hessenius. He holds BA and MBA degrees from Yale University.

Ann E. Norris

Ann E. Norris, joined Gallim Dance as General Manager in January 2011. She has worked as a presenter with the Vail International Dance Festival, as Vice President of Baylin Artists Management and as the Director of Membership and Communications at Dance/USA. Ann currently sits on the Board of the North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents (NAPAMA). She has worked in Dance Programming at The Kennedy Center and served as Board President for Jane Franklin Dance, a modern dance company located in Virginia. Ann has been a member of the advisory committee and as a panelist for the Southern Arts Federation and Arts Midwest and is associated with the Emerging Leaders Institute of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) and The Forum for Emerging Arts Administrators, a program of Americans for the Arts. She studied and performed dance with Peter DiMuro, and Ed Tyler among others and taught dance at Joy of Motion in Washington, DC. Ann holds a BA in Communication from Eastern Kentucky University, and a MA in Dance and Arts Management from The American University in Washington, DC.

Pennie Ojeda has been involved in international work at the National Endowment for the Arts since 1991. Currently, she is Director of International Activities with responsibility for developing and managing international initiatives in cooperation with other government agencies or private institutions. The NEA’s international activities have included partnerships for The Big Read with Russia, Egypt and Mexico, and for International Literary Exchanges with Mexico, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Russia, Spain, and China. Ms. Ojeda provides expertise and guidance on international cultural policy issues and does extensive liaison with the U.S. Department of State, foreign governments, and the private sector to help promote international cultural exchange. In her current and previous positions at the NEA, Ms. Ojeda has managed leadership initiatives and grant review processes for an array of multidisciplinary and international arts projects. Before joining the Arts Endowment, Ms. Ojeda was on the staff of the Peace Corps in Washington, DC where she served as a Desk Officer in the Africa Region and as Coordinator for programs in Anglophone African countries. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Brazil.

Anna Smith

Anna Smith is Director of Cultural Exchange Programs at International Arts & Artists (IA&A). Before joining International Arts & Artists in 2004, she lived in Paris and Amsterdam. She was production assistant for the Orchestre des Champs Elysees. In addition, she co-directed the PONT concert and exhibition series at the Fondation des Etats Unis in Paris. As a student she worked in Amsterdam with the Pieter Alferink Artists Management and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. Anna has a BA from the University of Maryland College Park in music and French. She is completing her third and final year on the steering committee for the Emerging Arts Leaders DC and is a volunteer at the Shakespeare Theatre.

Ximena Varela

Ximena Varela's research interests include culturally sustainable development, arts and social inclusion, Latin American cultural policy, marketing and audience development, comparative cultural policy, organizational change, research methods. Varela hopes to contribute to the research portfolio of the Arts Management Program, and to explore outreach opportunities to other departments and communities.

Michael Wilkerson

Michael Wilkerson has worked as a university administrator, freelance writer, director of two multidisciplinary artists’ residency programs, founding chair of a national service/advocacy organization, and as founding editor of a national literary magazine. He has taught writing, arts management, literary interpretation, and other subjects for more than two decades at Indiana, DePauw, Wisconsin, and at the School of the Art Institute. Michael has served as a grants panelist for the NEA and many other organizations and specializes in cultural policy and artists' support systems. He is married to writer Deborah Galyan and is the father of two sons, Dylan and Liam.

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