Hello Emerging Leaders!


We wanted to take a quick minute to introduce ourselves as Co-Chairs of the Emerging Leaders Advisory Council (ELC), tell you a bit about our “charge” as a council and how we can better serve you, and what we have planned for this year that you can plug into.


WHAT WE DO: Elected by AFTA’s membership and hailing from around the country, the ELC advises AFTA on the needs of Emerging Leaders (ELs) in the field and AFTA’s leadership and field education programming, as well as provides support to Emerging Leaders Networks (ELNs) around the country.


HOW WE CAN SERVE YOU BETTER: First and foremost, we want to let you know how you can be in touch with us! Cristyn Johnson, the Local Arts Advancement Program Manager, is your point person for all your EL or ELN needs. Through Cristyn, you can let us know what questions or concerns you might have. Many ELs have questions about starting ELNs - many of ELC members have done so and can be resources for that process.

You can also join the ELN Facebook page  - and you can always feel free to send email via this listserv using the email address emerging_leaders@americansforthearts.simplelists.com.


WHAT WE ARE UP TO THIS YEAR: One way the ELC highlights issues in the field is by creating and executing programming through AFTA channels, and inviting ELs and ELNs to participate and share their ideas, concerns, and passions. This year’s theme is “What is My Power to Make Change Through the Arts?” We will be exploring this theme through the following programs this spring:


·        A BLOG SALON where we have asked artists and arts administrators of color to respond to the prompt “My power to create change in/through the arts is....” These individuals will be sharing stories, visions, and philosophies of people are working towards change in the arts and its leadership -- exploring what power they themselves have to create change.


The BLOG SALON will run May 7 - May 11 on ARTSBlog. We invite you to read, comment on, and share these blog posts.


·        A FACEBOOK LIVE CONVERSATION with Jackie Alexander, Artistic Director of The North Carolina Black Repertory Theatre. In this conversation, will discuss the same prompt of, “My power to create change through the arts is…”.  This conversation will also delve into Jackie’s (30-year) theatre career as an African-American arts leader, how arts leaders can practice new models of collaborative leadership, and how they can help end burnout culture.

The FACEBOOK LIVE CONVERSATION will take place on Tuesday, April 17 at 3:00pm EDT.

Later this summer, we will be promoting CREATIVE CONVERSATIONS on the topic of “What is My Power to Make Change through the Arts?” We will be inviting all of you to participate and hold your own CREATIVE CONVERSATIONS with your communities in October in celebration of National Arts and Humanities Month. AFTA will be inviting participating ELs hosting conversations to contribute to a blog salon that month on their experience. Stay tuned for more details on how you can get involved later this summer.


We will be in touch again soon, but would love to hear from you anytime. If you are attending the AFTA Convention in Denver, the ELC will be in attendance. Feel free to reach out prior to convention so you have friends lined up before you arrive! Note that the early bird discount for convention ends April 11 - so if you haven’t registered yet, do so soon!




Elisheba Johnson and Todd Trebour

AFTA Emerging Leaders Advisory Council Co-Chairs