By Sarah Christy
On Saturday, October 26, Emerging Arts Leaders: Philadelphia hosted the 2019 Creative Conversation at Drexel’s URBN Center and Annex. This was our second year partnering with Drexel’s Arts Administration and Museum Leadership program to host this annual symposium, which is held in conjunction with the Emerging Leaders Network of Americans for the Arts across the country each October as part of National Arts & Humanities Month. The theme What’s Next in the Arts? seeks to facilitate conversation, education, and networking among arts leaders about the future of the sector in our region. This year’s event featured a keynote address by Stanford Thompson, a musician and educator who is the Founder and Executive Director of Play on Philly. Stanford shared his vision of music education as a powerful tool for positive personal and community change. After a networking lunch, participants were able to engage in breakout sessions on topics including art economic empowerment, using technology to break barriers, and combatting burnout. It was an inspiring day connecting with fellow arts enthusiasts and learning from leaders in the field.
I have served on the Executive Board of Emerging Arts Leaders: Philadelphia for the past two years and am currently the Treasurer and Chair of the Programming Committee. As a current graduate student in the AAML program, it has been a great opportunity to apply my academic work to my board service. Not only has it allowed me to put into immediate practice what I am learning, but participating in EAL:P has also enabled me to expand my network in Philadelphia, have insider experiences at arts organizations around the city, and meet leaders shaping the direction of our cultural community. EAL:P membership is free and a range of networking, advocacy, and professional development events are held throughout the year. It has been a truly rewarding experience and one I would highly recommend to any student looking to get more involved and gain experience as a future arts leader.