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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 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. This workshop is also a beneficial and rare opportunity for each participant to reflect on and develop their ideas about leadership and their own career.

ELI Reception-45.jpg 
Photo: ELI at APAP|NYC 2015 by Ada​m Kissick/APAP​

​​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 350 alumni) and have an enhanced presence at APAP|NYC. 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.

ELI 2016 will take place January 13-15, 2016 during the days leading up to APAP|NYC 2016 (January 15-19, 2016). Eligible applicants must be employed by an active APAP member organization and be in the first 3-7 years of their career in the presenting and touring field.

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 2016

APAP is thrilled to announce its next class of emerging leaders! Lea​rn more about our ELI facilitators and meet​ the ELI 2016 participants:
  • Viviana Benitez - Lincoln Center, New York, NY
  • Haley Bradstreet - Koresh Dance Company, Philadelphia, PA
  • Annick Busch - Detroit Jazz Festival, Harper Woods, MI
  • Eveline Chang - Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Brooklyn, NY
  • Katie Diamond - Elsie Management, Brooklyn, NY
  • Laura Smith Ettabbakh - The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, College Park, MD
  • ​Shannon Fitzsimons - UMS (University Musical Society), Ann Arbor, MI
  • Sanaz Ghajar - LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Long Island City, NY
  • Brian Halaas - Arts Midwest, Minneapolis, MN
  • Courtney Harge - Fractured Atlas, Brooklyn, NY
  • Emily Hefley - Germantown Performing Arts Center, Germantown, TN
  • Thomas Hudgins - Brooks Center for the Performing Arts, Clemson, SC
  • Lauryn Kalbermatten-Goldberg - Agency for the Performing Arts, New York, NY
  • Stefanie Karlin - Squid MGMT, Seattle, WA
  • Noel Largess - Agency for the Performing Arts, Beverly Hills, CA
  • Neal Ludevig - Harlem Arts Festival, New York, NY
  • Mike Michelon - Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Hilary Northcraft - Seattle Theatre Group, Seattle, WA
  • Aengus Ortiz - Ballets with a Twist, New York, NY
  • Handan Ozbilgin - LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Long Island City, NY
  • Matthew Parker - The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Louisville, KY
  • Rachel Rosado - Asia Society, New York, NY
  • Eva Rosenberg - Harvard University​, Cambridge, MA
  • Gregory Seamon - Mayo Performing Arts Center, Skillman, NJ
  • Melissa Seltzer - Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore, Gordon Center, Owings Mills, MD​
  • Erin Jenkins Smith - Hopkins Center for the Arts, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
  • Chelsea Sutton - Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA
  • Allyson Taubenheim - Northrop, University of Minnesota, Bloomington, MN
  • Daniel Vesey - Alliance Artist Management, Little Compton, RI
ELI 2017 applications will open in spring 2016 with a deadline to submit by mid-summer 2016.
Questions? Contact Kalyn Saylor, programs manager, at

APAP|NYC Conference