Session Leaders

Following are a list of speakers from our 2016 event in Milwaukee. Speakers for 2017 will be posted later this summer.

Marc Baylin, President, Baylin Artists Management

Marc Baylin has over twenty years of experience in artist management, presenting, and special event management. He has acted as facilitator on seven major commission projects involving the Library of Congress, Hancher Auditorium, the Lied Center of Kansas, composers Michael Daugherty, Anthony Davis, Joe Lovano, Mike Reid, and Julia Wolfe, and the ensembles Turtle Island Quartet, Ethos Percussion Group and the Bang on a Can All-Stars. He has served on the boards of Western Arts Alliance, Chamber Music America, and Pennsylvania Presenters and is a past President of NAPAMA.

David Fraher, President & CEO, Arts Midwest

As President & CEO, David is responsible for successfully directing Arts Midwest, including program conception and general implementation, financial oversight, and future planning. He works closely with Arts Midwest's board of directors and board committees in accomplishing these activities, and is active in recruiting new board members. David also spearheads fund raising and is the main public representative for Arts Midwest to our member state arts agencies and other arts organizations.

Kaisha S. Johnson, Co-Founder/Founding Director, Women of Color in the Arts

Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA) is a national service organization dedicated to creating equity in the arts. Kaisha co‐founded WOCA with the intent of raising the voices and visibility of women of color. Recently, Kaisha served as a director at Center for Traditional Music and Dance, an arts non‐profit dedicated to building cross‐cultural awareness. As a staunch advocate for diversity on and off the stage, Kaisha works to affirm the value of cultural diversity as an essential component of U.S. national identity.

Laura Kendall, Vice President of Programming and Education, Omaha Performing Arts

Laura is responsible for performance and community engagement events in the 2,600-seat Orpheum Theater, the 1,975-seat Kiewit Concert Hall, and 350-seat Scott Recital Hall in the Holland Center in downtown Omaha, NE. She is an arts administration professional with more than 15 years’ experience, and has expertise in venue management, season planning, artist bookings, scheduling performances, contracts, marketing, ticketing, education, outreach and grant writing. She is currently in the Leadership Fellows Program and is a 2007 graduate of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals Emerging Leader Institute.

Anne Romens, Program Director, Arts Midwest

Anne Romens oversees strategic planning, fundraising, and operations for Creating Connection, a national social change initiative that leverages the relationship between public values and arts, culture, and creativity. Prior to this role, Anne supported fundraising and communications for Arts Midwest’s portfolio of 10+ programs. She holds a B.A from Loyola University Chicago and an M.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Jennifer Ross, Director, Programming, Walton Arts Center

Jennifer joined Walton Arts Center in 2002 and has managed education and client events and both front- and back-of-house teams. She currently works with the curatorial team to book each WAC season and leads the booking of WAC’s annual American Music and West Street Live! concert series. She also leads programming for the Trail Mix Concert Tour during Artosphere: Arkansas’ Arts+Nature Festival. She is a past board member of SWPAP, serving as chair of that organization 2011-13. She resides in Fayetteville, AR, with her husband and son.