“So, what’s EALS really like?”

It’s a question that seems to be popping up more and more as we get closer to March 19th. So as a first-time attendee at last year’s Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium, here’s my attempt to explain what EALS is really like.

If you have any interest in the arts at all, you’re going to find EALS fascinating. The moment you walk into Katzen Arts Center you realize you’re surrounded by people who care about the arts and are devoted to learning more. You’ll find a mix of practicing artists, well-experienced arts leaders, students from the AU Arts Management program and several other universities from around the country (I’m looking at you SCAD, George Mason, and Kentucky), a handful of arts enthusiasts, and some of the nation’s finest arts managers.

Upon arriving, you’ll be greeted by several AU Arts Management students, and you’ll have the chance to sign up for both panel sessions and lunch workshops (Pro tip: lunch workshops fill up quickly!). You’ll then be placed in a group with several other attendees for a quick networking activity. This is super helpful in making a Symposium friend if you’re attending by yourself or even just to add a couple of names to your future arts leader contact list. The morning progresses with a keynote speaker in the Recital Hall followed by a panel session of your choosing. There’s always an opportunity to ask questions at the end of panel sessions, so be sure to take notes on what you’re curious about.

A quick note on lunch – I highly recommend purchasing lunch ahead of time when you buy your ticket (you can choose between a sandwich or salad) as the Katzen Arts Center is not closely located to many restaurants. There are a few on-campus options, but they may be limited as the university will be on Spring Break. You’re also welcome to bring a lunch with you as another option.

During lunch you’ll have an opportunity to participate in either a resume review with one of our friends from the Emerging Arts Leaders DC or attend a lunch workshop. If you’re interested in these, you should plan to register for them at the beginning of the day. This year, there will also be a station to write to your representatives in support of the arts. And, you’ll have plenty of time to both eat lunch and join in on these activities.

Later in the afternoon, you’ll be able to choose another panel session to attend before seeing a short performance and a closing call to action. The day will wrap up with a reception to kickoff Americans for the Arts’ Arts Advocacy Day.

Extra EALS Pro Tips:

  • Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself! Everyone at EALS is there to meet new people and engage in discussion around the arts. A great starting point is to ask, “What’s your area of arts interest?”

  • FREE parking in the Katzen Arts Center garage (need we say more?)

  • Business cards are always a good idea as you never know who you might meet

  • Dress is business casual

  • View directions and a map to Katzen Arts Center at http://www.american.edu/cas/museum/visiting.cfm

  • Closest metro stop is Tenleytown on the Red Line. There’s a free AU Shuttle bus you can ride from the metro at Albemarle St. and 40th St. to Katzen

Questions? Email auartsymposium@american.edu

Emily Hunt is the Communications Coordinator for the EALS 2017 Committee and a first-year graduate student in the American University Arts Management Program.


Subscribe for Updates


Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium

c/o Sherburne Laughlin

Katzen Arts Center at American University, Room 215

4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20016



  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle

© 2017 by EALS.