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APAP|365 > Knowledge > Leadership Initiatives > Emerging Leadership Institute

Emerging Leadership Institute

APAP's Emerging Leadership Institute (ELI) is an intensive two and a half-day seminar that develops critical leadership skills for emerging arts ​professionals. Each year, a new cohort of approximately 25 individuals are invited to participate in ELI and attend APAP|NYC, APAP's annual conference held in New York City every January. ELI is a collaborative process where learning from each other is highly valued and also a rare opportunity for each participant to reflect on and develop their ideas about leadership and their own career.

Photo: ELI in Hilton Penthouse with APAP President & CEO from APAP|NYC 2016 by Ada​m Kissick/APAP​

ELI 2017 took place January 4-6, 2017 during the days leading up to APAP|NYC 2017 (January 6-10, 2017). Eligible participants are APAP members or employed by an active APAP member organization and also in the first 3-7 years of their career in the presenting and touring field. ELI is comprised of those who work directly in the presenting and touring field which includes but is not limited to individuals that are performing artists, presenters, managers, agents, creative directors, arts managers that work for arts councils or service organizations etc. ELI also partners with the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) to conduct an exchange between three ELI participants and three ISPA Fellows.

Facilitated by professional practitioners in the field, Theresa Holden of Holden & Arts Associates and Rosalba Rolon​ of Pregones Theater, ELI is an opportunity to engage in new professional relationships, exchange ideas in a confidential environment, become part of an expanding network of ELI alumni (now more than 380 alumni) and have an enhanced presence at APAP|NYC 2017. ELI is a smart career move for any performing arts professional including presenters, managers, artists, agents, artistic company managing directors, marketing directors, arts council personnel and other related positions in the performing arts industry.

Spotlights on ELI Alumni

We caught up with 5 prominent alumni to discover the lasting value of their ELI experience. Hear from the participants themselves who shared their reasons for applying, what they learned, how they've benefitted personally and professionally, and more!

Christopher Kaelin - Class of 2015   |   Aaron Shackelford - Class of 2014   |   Chelsea Lafayette -  Class of 2011
Jordana Phokompe - Class of 2005   |   Thomas O. Kriegsmann - Class of 2002

ELI Class of 2017

  • Sara Bailey, program manager, Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
  • Rachel Behring, programming specialist, AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas, TX
  • Rachael Walters Brightwell, associate director of programing and outreach at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Atlanta, GA
  • Robyn Busch, program officer, international, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Baltimore, MD
  • Mickey Davis, program manager, American Voices, St Louis, MO
  • Meera Dugal, programming manager, David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, New York, NY
  • Grace Eubank, special events manager, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Brooklyn, NY
  • Ariadna Reyes Gonzalez, concert/tour manager, Lado Business Entertainment-Touring, Mexico (ISPA Fellow)
  • Kevin Hasser, general manager, National Players, Olney, MD
  • Ariana Hellerman, consultant, Hostos Center, Bronx, NY
  • Isabella Hreljanovic, producer and performer, Manhattan, NY
  • Daniela Jacobson, program coordinator, presenting & touring, New England Foundation for the Arts, Boston, MA
  • Allison Kadin, marketing manager, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Brooklyn, NY
  • Caroline Leipf, development and administration associate, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • Mari Levasheff, marketing business analyst, UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Ethan Messere, assistant director of presenting and touring, South Arts, Atlanta, GA
  • Abbey Messmer, programming manager, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Lauren Metts, senior manager of patron relations, The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Louisville, KY
  • Joe O’Neill, theatre programmer, City of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs, Las Vegas, NV
  • Hanna Oravec, assistant director for programs, Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts, Middletown, CT
  • Heena Patel, owner, MELA Arts Connect, New York, NY
  • Jonathan Serret, technical director of the Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Thousand Oaks, CA
  • Hakan Silahsizoglu, producer, Kucuk Salon Theatre, Turkey (ISPA Fellow)
  • Katie Spohr, special events and booking manager, Indiana University Auditorium, Bloomington, IN
  • Phinn Sriployrung, integrated marketing specialist, Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
  • Willie Sullivan, front of house coordinator for University Musical Society, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Kim Szeto, program manager for Creative City at the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), Boston, MA
  • Chelsea Walsh, artist liaison, Artis –Naples, Naples, FL
  • Megan Pagado Wells, associate director of Artist Partner Program, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD
  • Amanda Wu, individual giving and special events manager, Cal Performances, Berkeley, CA
  • Jamie Wu, company manager, Theatre du Pif, Hong Kong (ISPA Fellow)
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