Emerging Arts Leaders - png

Emerging Arts Leaders | Orange County (EAL | OC) was founded in 2012 as a program of Arts Orange County.

Mission: To engage and empower rising professionals in the arts community.

Vision: To be a mechanism for strengthening future arts leadership by fostering connections between professional artists and arts professionals, encouraging and supporting creative innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit, developing skills, and facilitating networking among arts organizations, civic organizations and individual artists and producers.

Throughout the year, EAL | OC presents professional development activities like workshops, site visits to arts organizations, panel discussions, arts outings, and networking mixers. To get involved or find out more, please join our Facebook group, or email Arts Orange County Program Coordinator Nicholas Thurkettle.


EAL|OC Steering Committee

Cris Law, Vocal Arts Educator and Indie Crossover Artist

Salina Mendoza, Artist/Entrepreneur

Angelica Nicolas, Philharmonic Society of Orange County

Nalini Sairsingh, Orange County Museum of Art

EAL Spotlight!

Supervisor Katrina Foley & Diana Farrell, Founder of Lyric Opera of Orange County

Diana Farrell was an opera singer working as a dental assistant when she came to her first Emerging Arts Leaders - OC gathering in 2017. The resources and connections she accessed by actively attending and networking were of major benefit as she founded Lyric Opera of Orange County, which has grown into a formidable local presenter and educator of both contemporary and classical opera. Fast forward five years and Farrell, seen here posing with Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley, accepted an award for Lyric Opera as Emerging Arts Organization of the Year for 2022. EAL-OC hopes to help manifest more triumphant stories like this one!

In-Person Get-Togethers

Several times a year, EAL | OC presents the "Back Room Salon", a one-night "pop up gallery" featuring local artists, musicians, and performers, who are invited to present their work and meet and mingle with other artists and arts professionals in the community.

Members also receive invites to "Hoppy Hour" - informal networking get-togethers at local breweries and restaurants that reflect Orange County's entrepreneurial spirit.