Rising out of focus groups on next generation arts leadership conducted by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Irvine Foundation, the Emerging Arts Professionals/San Francisco Bay Area was begun in 2008 by a small group of emerging artists and arts administrators. Led by Ebony McKinney and Adam Fong, the steering committee of what was then known as SFBAEAP outlined plans for the organization and hosted its first event, Evolve & Vocalize: A Spotlight on Next Generation Arts Leadership. Over 80 people from across the Bay Area gathered at SOMArts to share their perspectives and vision for what SFBAEAP could accomplish.

Gatherings continued in 2009, establishing EAP’s mix of networking and professional development, with an eye towards evolving attitudes within the sector towards next generation leaders, their issues, and their perspectives. This approach was formalized in strategic planning, and in 2010 EAP launched its Spring Series and Fellowship Programs.

EAP/SFBA is now continuing to build its programs and expand its network, guided and informed by the values upon which it was founded: collaboration, diversity, empowerment, innovation, proactivity and relevancy. Please join us online or at one of our events, and take part in shaping this organization and the field of arts and culture in the Bay Area!

Ebony-McKinneyEbony McKinney, Co-founder, Director 2009-11 of the EAP/SFBA.
 She served on the Citizen’s Advisory Committee at Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund and the Emerging Leader Council of American for the Arts. She’s also served on selection panel for the Joyce Foundations Emerging Leaders of Color Fellowship for the past two years. Prior to spearheading EAP/SFBA, McKinney was Program Associate for the Cultural Equity Grant Program of the San Francisco Arts Commission (2006-2009), which is charged with supporting small and mid-sized arts organizations under-represented communities and individual artists. Ebony also worked at Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco’s oldest alternative arts space, as Fiscal Sponsorship Coordinator. An intrepid traveler, Ebony has backpacked through South Africa, worked with NGO’s in Botswana and most recently traveled to Beirut, Cairo and London to explore arts, development and cultural leadership activities.