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Realizing that there was no current forum for emerging arts leaders and arts management graduate students to come together to collaborate, network, and discuss issues, Michelle Grove, MA, arts management '08, proposed the first Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium in 2008 — see related article: Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium Reflection. What began as an experiment has led to something that the program at American University views as an essential event for emerging leaders to come together and bond as a national community.

EALS is now firmly established as an annual event attracting over 200 participants and featuring diverse panelists, topics, and plenary/keynote speakers, including most recently Francesca Zambello, Russell Willis Taylor, and Jamie Bennett (2014), Aaron Dworkin and Karen Brooks Hopkins (2013), Chad Bauman and Adrian Ellis (2012), and Rachel Goslins (2011).


Past plenary and keynote speakers:

2015: Jane Chu (President of the NEA) and Howard Herring (President/CEO of the New World Symphony)
2014: Francesca Zambello (WNO and Glimmerglass Opera), Russell Willis Taylor (NAS), and Jamie Bennett (ArtPlace America)
2013: Karen Brooks Hopkins (BAM) & Aaron Dworkin (Sphinx Organization)
2012: Chad Bauman (Arena Stage, Milwaukee Rep) & Adrian Ellis (AEA Consulting)
2011: Rachel Goslins (President’s Committee on the Arts & Humanities)
2010: Ben Cameron (Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, TCG)
2009: Bob Lynch (Americans for the Arts)


The 7th annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium was a huge success. Over 170 attendees, speakers, and professionals arrived at the Katzen Arts Center from all over the nation to discuss the issues that affect today's arts organizations. We thank you all for attending and joining the conversation, and we invite you to join us again next year. For more about the symposium, check out our EALS blog, Facebook, and Twitter.  

The 8th annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium will be held March 22, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Katzen Arts Center.