EALS 2019 Panels and Activities

Photo by Heather Sten
Jim Taylor
Betty Headshot  Aug 2013
Joshua Henry Jenkins
Lisa Richards Toney
MK_headshot (1)
Cristyn Johnson
Marisa Klein (2)
Laura Hagood
Laura Willumsen
BJP-Photo Credit Zach Handler

Panel Sessions

Getting Everyone on Board: The State of Board Diversity and Finding a Path Forward

As the guiding force of an organization, a nonprofit’s board of trustees holds the responsibility of representing its community. However, according to a 2017 BoardSource report, people of color have never represented more than 18% of nonprofit board membership. Although an increasing number of chief executives and board chairs express dissatisfaction with the lack of demographic diversity on their boards, board composition has changed little in the past two years, leaving arts organizations at risk of creating non-inclusive strategies and ignoring important voices. This panel will discuss emerging practices for board recruitment and the impact of board diversity (or lack thereof) on arts organizations.


Lisa Richards Toney - Independent Consultant

Jim Taylor - Vice President of Leadership Initiatives, BoardSource

Ximena Varela - Director, Arts Management Program at American University


Joe Frandoni - Deputy Director, Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County

Breaking Out of the Four Walls: How Museums are Using Digital Strategy to Engage Wider Audiences

From Instagram to virtual reality, museums are finding new ways to connect with their audiences digitally. As technology is becoming omni-present in our lives, the opportunities to reach new audiences and engage patrons outside of the physical boundaries of the museum space are growing. What new digital strategy tools are museums finding most engaging? And how can these tools effectively be used to reach new audiences?


Sara Snyder - Chief of External Affairs & Digital Strategies, SAAM & Renwick Gallery

Mara Kurlandsky - Digital Projects Manager, National Museum of Women in the Arts

Marisa Beahm Klein - Creative Content Manager, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Daniel Davis - Manager of Interpretive Media, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian


Allison Peck - Director of External Affairs and Partnerships, Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building

Stirring the (Paint) Pot: Achieving Political Relevance Without Alienating Stakeholders

Throughout history art has responded to the social and political events of the time, and has become a prominent force in the progress of social activism and political reform. Art has the power to point out injustices and arouse controversy, often incorporating dark humor, aggressive imagery, and suggestive media. Our First Amendment freedoms place no legal barriers on political art, but it’s not uncommon for a line to be drawn when it comes to placing these works in institutions. Board members, major donors, and other stakeholders are important to consider in the decision to host political art. This panel will discuss political art, censorship, and how institutions find the balance between giving voice to social movements and pleasing conservative stakeholders.


Maria del Carmen Montoya - Assistant Professor of Sculpture & Spatial Practices, George Washington University

Jack Rasmussen - Director & Curator, American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Britta Joy Peterson - Dance Program Director, American University


Annalisa Dias - Multidisciplinary Theatre Artist & Community Organizer

Gateway to Inclusion: Innovative Technology for Arts Accessibility 

The gateway to inclusion now fits in the palm of your hand. Smartphones can provide some of the most useful tools for making spaces more welcoming to a wide variety of guests. Technological advances in accessibility and inclusion allow guests to experience the arts in a more comfortable, personal way, and using a cell phone for access provides a sense of normalcy. This panel will discuss apps, technologies, programs, education, and lessons learned in the field.


Betty Siegel - Director of VSA & Accessibility, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Dominic Mota - Front of House Operations Manager, Signature Theatre


Brandon Cordrey - CEO, Visual Art Exchange

Dollars, Donors & Drives: The Continuing Evolution of Philanthropy in Nonprofit Arts Organizations

Philanthropy as we know it is changing. From GoFundMe to #GivingTuesday, fundraising strategies are evolving to reach new audiences. In addition, recent tax laws will impact giving in unpredictable ways. How can arts organizations keep up with the times and utilize new strategies to diversify and grow their donor base? This panel will explore the new ways that arts nonprofits are reaching their donors old and new, and dig deep into how the state of philanthropy is—and isn’t—adapting for the future.


Diana Hossack - Executive Director, Opera Lafayette

Laura Willumsen - Director of Development, Shakespeare Theatre Co.

Shayla Hines - Associate Director of Development, Chorus America


Laura Hagood - VP of Development, National Building Museum

Add each panel session as an item to the repeater.





Workshops and Activities

Americans for the Arts: Workshop Intersectionality

Each day, everyone lives with intersecting identities, some given at birth and some earned by choices made along a lifetime, that impact the privilege we each have. In this workshop, participants will engage in an intentional exercise that will involve reflecting upon the influences of diversity upon their own identity, as well as the impact these intersections has on the work in the communities in which they serve and belong.


Cristyn Johnson - Local Arts Advancement Program Manager, Americans for the Arts

Joshua Henry Jenkins - Director of Web & New Media, Americans for the Arts

Creating Safe(r) Spaces in the Performing Arts: A We Have Voice Roundtable Discussion

In this roundtable discussion, members of the We Have Voice Collective will speak about the Collective's formation, its Open Letter, the WHV Code of Conduct, and further future initiatives. The panelists will hold a space for ample dialog with the audience members around the issues at the center of the Collective's mission and activity, developing an understanding of and working toward equity and the creation of safe(r) spaces in the performing arts.

Collective Members

Fay Victor

Ganavya Doraiswamy

Imani Uzuri

Jen Shyu

Kavita Shah

Linda May Han Oh

Maria Grand

Nicole Mitchell

Okkyung Lee

Rajna Swaminathan

Sara Serpa

Tamar Sella

Terri Lyne Carrington

Tia Fuller

Learn more about the We Have Voice Collective here!

Resume Review with EALDC

Emerging Arts Leaders DC will host resume review tables during our lunchtime networking sessions. Bring your resume and sign up for a one-on-one review session with an arts-world expert. Space for this activity will be limited. Symposium attendees who are interested in resume reviews will be able to sign up for a slot during the morning check-in time.



Ryan Merkel - Campaign Director, Arena Stage
Lindsay Sheridan - Interim Executive Director, Cathedral Choral Society
John Anderson - Fundraising Program Manager, Avalon Consulting Group

Arts Administrators of Color Table

Founded in July 2016, the Arts Administrators of Color DMV Network (AAC) is an arts service network that focuses on networking and community building through the arts. AAC is committed to empowering artists and arts administrators by advocating for access, diversity, inclusion, and equity in the arts through their programs and resources.


Come meet the Arts Administrators of Color team at their table in the Katzen Rotunda! 

National Museum of Women in the Arts Table

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. With its collections, exhibitions, programs, and online content, the museum seeks to inspire dynamic exchanges about art and ideas. NMWA advocates for better representation of women artists and serves as a vital center for thought leadership, community engagement, and social change. NMWA addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art by bringing to light important women artists of the past while promoting great women artists working today. 

Stop by and chat with the NMWA team at their table in the Katzen Rotunda!

Colleague Connect: Small Roundtables Networking

Meet arts administrators who share your professional interests! Attendees will be split up by their respective concentrations to discuss what's up in different areas of the field. We'll have prompts that help you to share what you know, what you've learned, and what you're looking forward to. 

Join us in the Katzen Rotunda from 1-2pm!