Professional development is one of the most visible aspects of Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles’s mission. We offer workshops and networking events to promote skill and relationship development. One of the less obvious ways EALLA offers professional development is by serving on the Leadership Council.
Working on the Leadership Council gives members real-world experience in fundraising, program development, and board service. Leadership Council service also comes with a stipend for members to further their own professional development. Unfortunately, as “emerging” professionals, organizations do not always offer the same level of professional development investment that is offered to more senior staff. Members of Emerging Arts Leaders Los Angeles (EALLA) Leadership Council have used PD funds to take cultural trips, attend conferences, finish projects, or just practice self-care.
During my years of service with EALLA, I used my stipend for a variety of activities. The first year I was involved with Leadership Council, my stipend paid for me to attend the California Museum Association’s annual conference. This was a pretty traditional professional development activity, but working for a small organization in an entry-level position, I could not have attended without EALLA’s support. The next year, I enrolled in a Spanish class. I had taken some Spanish in high school and traveled in Central America and Spain, but felt that it was important to further my education in this area. I feel that having a basic understanding of Spanish is important for connecting with audiences in Los Angeles, but since it was not directly related to my job, there was no support available from my organization. My final year of service with EALLA, I used my funds not only to continue to improve my Spanish but for self-care as well. I put my funds towards a trip to Mexico City (with two other EALLAers!). Mexico City has amazing culinary and cultural offerings and the trip was also the first vacation I’d taken from my job in over two years!
EALLA supports the next generation of cultural workers in LA in so many ways. For many of our members, they are not always in a position where it is easy to attend conferences or workshops, develop skills outside the scope of their jobs, or even take a vacation! Participating in the Leadership Council of EALLA made it possible for me to do all these things, as well as gain valuable skills managing projects and collaborating with larger teams.