On March 22, 2015, the 8th annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium: ArtRedefined convened at the Katzen Arts Center at American University. Nearly 200 attendees came together to learn from leaders in the field and from each other how we as arts managers are redefing how art organizations thrive and survive across the country. Together, we listened to motivating keynote speeches from Dr. Jane Chu, Chairwoman of the NEA and Howard Herring, CEO of New World Symphony, saw a moving performance by Christopher Schmitt and Henry Flory, and attended panels with leaders in the arts world, including Jenny Bilfield and Nick Gray. The day was also filled with unique networking opportunities for arts professionals ranging from creative networking workshops (aka SMORG) and a resume table sponsored by EALDC, to a closing reception geared toward getting everyone excited for Arts Advocacy Day the following morning. Learn more about our panels, speakers, and the day's activities below!

Keynote Speakers: Francesca Zambello, Washington National Opera & Glimmerglass Opera; Russell Willis Taylor, NAS; Jamie Bennett, ArtPlace America

Keynote Speakers 

Jamie Bennett

ArtPlace America

Russell Willis Taylor

National Art Strategies

Francesca Zambello

Washington National Opera and Glimmerglass Opera



Our six dynamic panels this year focused on a range of topics including Arts Education Advocacy, Achieving and Maintaining Financial Stability, Entrepreneurship and Art Start Ups, Arts in Post-Crisis Areas, Putting Artists First: Arts Incubators and Other Support Structures, and Outreach Outcomes: Engagement that Matters.

Learn more about what our panelists discussed here.



SMORG, a professional development and networking feature designed to enhance the symposium experience through art, was designed and first debuted at EALS 2015. To learn more about SMORG, click here.

Symposium in Real-Time


See what everyone was tweeting and talking about at #EALS2015 by checking out our Storify from the day!

The EALS 2015 Committee

Back row (from left to right): Jenni Amis (Program Coordinator), Helene Genetos (Finance Coordinator), Erin Quinlan (Chair), AmyJo Foreman (Program Coordinator), Colleen Holroyd (Director of Finance), Sarah R. Hewitt (Production Manager), Zenia Simpson (Marketing Coordinator)

Front row: Tori Sharbaugh (Marketing Coordinator), Laura London (Vice Chair and Director of Development).