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Connect and Create

Each year at Women’s ALI we host multiple educational events and programs. There is one, however, that is at the heart of all we do: the Summer Leadership Intensive. With this program our ALI Fellows begin their year-long tenure and begin to immerse themselves in the business and leadership skills that will shape their individual and artistic futures.

In order to create a tailor-made experience for all who participate in the Summer Leadership Intensive, our staff first begins by brainstorming a theme that is relevant to global events, key topics in the arts industry, and immediate concerns of the ALI Fellow age demographic. In the early stages of a global pandemic, a 2019 ALI Fellow and now ALI team member, Stauney Segle, put forward a concern that became central to the 2020 theme: concern about future opportunity. The result?

2020 Summer Leadership Intensive theme - designed by Stauney Segle

2020 Summer Leadership Intensive theme - designed by Stauney Segle

Now, a year later, we still find ourselves in an ongoing pandemic. Zoom meetings and internet content have replaced many of our face-to-face interactions. We now crave the connections we took for granted every day. 2020 ALI Fellow, Bailey Jorgensen, stressed the importance of these connections when we surveyed our Fellows regarding the theme. “The focus would be on connections. Those connections include collaborations across artistic disciplines, the responses people have to our art, and the friendships made between artists.”

This resonated with our team, and we took it one step further. In our mission to Educate, Empower, and Engage young female artists, we could also focus on the connections they make with the incredible professionals in our Mentor Alliance and the connections to skills that will enhance their creative future. The result?

Our team members shared a few of their personal insights to the 2021 Summer Intensive Leadership theme “Connect and Create” and we hope that you find these ideas as inspiring and motivational as we do!

Karlie Ady, Women's ALI Vice President Secretary

Karlie Ady

Women’s ALI Board of Directors,

Vice President Secretary

" If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that connection is at the core of our human experience. As isolation seemed to drive us apart, innovation pulled us together and proved the human spirit can transcend serious challenges. As we at Women’s ALI contemplated the current situation and what it is our fellows need most in today’s climate, the answer was clear. The needs are many and diverse, but at their core, none can be addressed if we aren’t willing to reach out, connect, and stand together as “ALIs”. What can we create as we connect? Networks, opportunities, skills, advancement. Perhaps even understanding, confidence and friendships. Regardless of where your needs lie, you can expect that, as you come and connect with us during the 2021 Summer Leadership Intensive, your creativity will become the springboard for the future you design."

 Ashlee Berry Women’s ALI Board of Directors, Director of Marketing & Communications

Ashlee Berry

Women’s ALI Board of Directors,

Director of Marketing & Communications

"Connect & Create means more to me than cultivating relationships. Connection empowers us to create. It’s a cycle – the more we connect, the more we can create. It is by building connections with your brand, your audience, and your community that opportunities present themselves to professionally showcase your art. These opportunities also provide experience in knowing how to adapt, innovate, and come up with solutions. In the end, we all want to create. Connecting is how we do it. "

Stephanie Rhodes Russell, Women's ALI Founder and Executive Director

Stephanie Rhodes Russell

Founder and Executive Director

"Create is a word found in every artist’s vocabulary. Art requires creation. At Women’s ALI, our work is to expand that creative focus. We want to help you create your brand, create your business, create a professional network, create diversity, create financial success and more. As you are empowered to create your career—yes, we believe that you have a say!—it provides a freedom to create art with an expanded understanding of how you and it can make it in the world. But before these various examples of creation can take place, connections must be made. We exist because we want to serve you. To connect you with both the people and skills that will allow your artist business to thrive. No matter what direction you take on your career path, everyone who comes into contact with our organization can count on us to be a career connection resource. To educate, empower, and engage."

 Erin Farnsworth Director of Education and Community Outreach for Women's ALI

Erin Farnsworth

Director of Education and Community Outreach

"As an artist, I know how easy it is to mentally separate 'creating' and 'connecting.' First we create. We dance, write, compose, play, learn, draw, design. We spend years of focused effort on our craft and talent. Then we connect. Only after we have mastered our art do we try to connect ourselves and our skills with the world. Only then do we try to translate years of hard work into a job. And we find ourselves a creative expert without a complete understanding of the business, leadership, and connection skills that are needed to move forward.

The 2021 Summer Leadership Intensive changes that mentality from “create now, and connect later” to “create AND connect” now. Connect others with your art. Connect to others’ art. Connect to leadership and business knowledge that will help you now and in the future. Connect with women who have been where you are now and are willing to share their knowledge. Connect to women who will be where you are and want you to share.

After a year when creativity and connection have both faltered, at this Intensive we will unite the two and come out as better artists, leaders, and people. This mentality will open opportunities now and in the future. And I’m confident that this mentality will change lives as it has mine.

Lauren Halversen Content Strategist for Women's ALI

Lauren Halversen

Content Strategist

"Connecting and creating are two incredible skills artists have. We have an amazing capacity to connect with others on a personal level through art. Not only do artists develop their craft, they are also problem-solvers and organizers--which requires creativity! This year’s theme is exciting, because ALI Fellow’s can expect to develop their skills even further with the Summer Leadership Intensive. While the world looks so different than it did a year ago, there is no doubt that artists are needed for us to keep moving forward in society."

Learn more about the 2021 Summer Leadership Intensive and join us for an incredible experience.


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