Guest Practitioner: Tonisha Toler, RACC Community Liaison

The Emerging Leaders in the Arts Network is thrilled to host our upcoming Visiting Practitioner Tonisha Toler, Community Liaison for Regional Arts & Culture Council in Portland, OR.

She coordinates various RACC outreach efforts and builds and maintains community relationships. Tonisha focuses on exploring and developing engagement efforts and systems for reaching targeted audiences to increase diverse populations’ access to RACC services. This work contributes to RACC’s overall commitment to building a broader constituency especially with communities of color and other diverse populations.

Additionally, she manages all aspects of the annual Artists Professional Development Workshop series and the quarterly creative community networking event, Art Spark.

Toler will be joining us on Friday, May 5th from 11:00 am-1:00 pm in the private room at Falling Sky EMU.

During her visit, Toler will present on her own work with Portland Art Spark, outreach strategies for diverse communities, marketing to targeted audiences, and implementing equity in arts and culture organizations. She will engage participants in a small workshop and discussions around these topics. Bring your questions!

There will be free food, so please join us for this exciting lunchtime event!

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A Conversation with Dr. Donald R. Dexter, Jr.

Our 8th Annual Beats and Brushstrokes Fundraiser #MakeYourMark is being sponsored by a local Eugene dentist with a passion for the arts, Dr. Donald R. Dexter, Jr. Since 1996 Dr. Dexter has hosted over 100 local artists in his office art program. He also invites you to visit his office to view the quarterly photography shows. Along with providing care and treatment for your general dental needs, Dr. Dexter also specializes in dental sleep medicine; including oral appliance therapy, an effective treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

We are very excited to have Dr. Dexter’s support and recently had the chance to ask him some questions about his passion and support for the arts.

You stated on your website that you’ve always highly valued the practice and appreciation of art in your life and you’ve made art an integral part of your dental practice. What inspired you to get involved in the arts?

I have always held an immense respect for artists and their works. I knew from a young age that I wanted to become a dentist, but I also had a strong underlying desire to satisfy my artistic interests.

How did you begin the process of incorporating community art, art collection, and healing art into your practice?

It was an early interest of mine to show art in my dental practice in Eugene, Oregon. I used the model developed at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago that combines the three components – community art, art collection and healing art. When I built my new office, I designed it so that I could implement this Art Program and allow the art to have more than just an aesthetic value.

What have been some positive tangible outcomes you have witnessed since integrating art into your dental practice?

I have seen a synergistic relationship between the arts and community as a result of the shows and artist receptions that I have hosted. Since art can sometimes be an isolated process, the shows have introduced many artists to each other and to the community. I have seen several collaborations that resulted from these connections. Apart from that my patients have enjoyed and are appreciative of the changing art exhibits.

What recommendations do you have for other local businesses that want to support the arts in Eugene?

Starbucks has referred to itself as the third place for people; that people have work, home and Starbucks. Applying this concept to art, I believe that local businesses are the third place for art. Art should have galleries, coffee shops and local businesses. It’s a naturally existing relationship for businesses to support the community by supporting the arts.

You have generously sponsored our upcoming 8th Annual Beats and Brushstrokes Fundraiser on Saturday, April 22nd. The theme of this year’s event is #MakeYourMark and we are asking participants to consider the mark they are making on our planet. We are very excited to be working with artists who focus on using recycled and sustainable materials in their work, as well as artists who raise awareness of issues that are affecting our planet. Similar to our fundraiser’s theme and featured artists, you make a point to use environmentally healthy and sustainable materials in your dental practice. Can you describe why you think this is important and how you do this?

There’s substance to the cliché that one should leave this world a little better than you found it. The standard practice of dentistry leaves a very large footprint when you consider the amount of material that goes into producing a very small product. With this in mind, I felt that I needed to look at the best practices to reduce my footprint and not just follow the standard operating practices of my profession. This resulted in a survey of my dental practice and required that I think outside the box to improve on what I do. I changed what could be changed and redoubled my efforts to providing long-lasting treatment to reduce the material burden of more frequently replaced short-term treatments.

The Emerging Leaders in the Arts Network’s mission is to cultivate leadership, dialogue, and engagement within the arts and culture community of Eugene. From your perspective, what opportunities in the community do you see for future arts leaders?

 As a health care provider I feel like there will be a greater number of opportunities as more providers become aware of the benefits provided by incorporating healing art into their practice. Hopefully this awareness will encourage providers and artists to reach out to each other and develop a symbiotic relationship that benefits the community.

I have heard you have some upcoming arts projects in the works. Could you share with us more details about these projects and what they involve?

In 2016 I personally organized Eugene: From Holga With Love, a successful community photography project benefitting local charities. It involved 21 community members shooting a roll of film using a medium format Holga camera; photos from each photographer were sold by silent auction with all proceeds going to five local charity organizations. This year I hope to follow up with Springfield: From Holga With Love.

Keep an eye out for future announcements and projects on Dr. Dexter’s Facebook page.



Donald R. Dexter, Jr., DMD

General Dentistry / Dental Sleep Medicine

2233 Willamette Street, Suite B

Eugene, OR 97405







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Beats and Brushstrokes #MakeYourMark

Get ready for the best art party in Eugene! Emerging Leaders in the Arts Network will host our 8th Annual Beats & Brushstrokes Fundraiser at Sam Bonds Brewing Co. and the Barn Light East on Saturday, April 22 to celebrate multidisciplinary art and arts leaders.

Because our event is on Earth Day, we will put an emphasis on sustainable arts activities and participatory performances. There will be participatory art projects, local visual and performing artists, a silent auction and more! Stay tuned for more info – we will announce the artist line-up soon!

Thank you to our sponsors the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and Donald R. Dexter, Jr., DMD!

Dr. Dexter is a local Eugene dentist with a passion for the arts. Since 1996 he has hosted over 100 local artists in his in-office art program. We are incredibly thankful to have him on board this year!

Free Food! Cash Bar – $1 of every beer will be donated to ELAN!


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Creative Conversations

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Hop Valley, 990 W 1st Ave, Eugene, OR

This interactive and engaging event will bring together individuals and groups who are working to cultivate arts and culture programs, events, and collaborations in Eugene.

Facilitated by Colette Ramirez, Community Events Manager for City of Eugene Cultural Services Division, Creative Conversations will engage participants in a series of rotating, roundtable discussions about challenges and opportunities that individuals and organizations are facing to cultivate arts and creative projects at the UO, Eugene and beyond.

WHAT | Creative Conversations
WHEN | Wednesday, March 8th @ 5:30 PM
WHERE | Hop Valley Brewing Barrel Room, 990 W 1st Ave, Eugene, OR 97401
COST | FREE Food is provided / Cash bar available

This is a unique opportunity for students, faculty, community leaders, campus organizations, community organizations, and student groups to network and come together for a collaborative discussion around arts and culture programming and leadership in Eugene. We encourage participants to share programming ideas,
challenges you might be facing, and what you’re all about!

Problem solve, workshop strategies, and connect with others who are working to encourage innovative, relevant arts and culture programming and participation at the UO and in the community!

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Museum Leadership Panel at the JSMA

On Tuesday, January 31st join the Emerging Leaders in the Arts Network (ELAN) for a professional development panel discussion on Museum Leadership at the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum (JSMA) from 2:00 – 3:30 pm. We are very excited to host four local professionals who have years of experience in the museum field.

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017, 2 PM – 3:30 PM
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA)
Refreshments will be served

Guest panelists include:

  • Jill Hartz, Executive Director of JSMA and President of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries
  • Deana Dartt, AAD Instructor and former Curator of Native American Art at the Portland Art Museum
  • Ann Craig, Director of Public Program at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History
  • David Turner, AAD Instructor and former Executive Director of several art museums including the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

This is an opportunity for students to gain valuable insight into an exciting field with many dimensions and moving parts! Learn different approaches towards organizing and leading museum programs, events, departments and initiatives. Including, potential challenges and necessary skills to become a successful museum professional.

The JSMA will be closed to the public on Tuesday, January 31st. Please use the back entrance (back double doors near loading dock) and check in with security. This event is free and open to everyone, light snacks and refreshments will be served.

For more information check out our Facebook page and contact with any questions!

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Pizza Party Fundraiser!

The Emerging Leaders in the Arts Network (ELAN) is hosting an all day fundraiser at Tracktown Pizza on Wednesday, January 18th!

Join us from 6 – 8 pm on Wednesday, January 18th at Tracktown Pizza on Franklin Boulevard (across from Matthew Knight Arena to eat pizza, mingle with our local ELAN network, hang out with friends, and learn more about what ELAN has planned for 2017!

Enjoy whole pizzas, breadsticks, or salads for dine-in or carry-out and 50% of the proceeds from your order will be donated to ELAN. These funds will help ELAN produce professional development workshops and events for university students and arts and culture professionals in Eugene.

Can’t make it from 6 – 8 pm? That’s okay! Dine-in or carry-out whole pizzas, breadsticks, or salads at Tracktown’s Franklin Boulevard location any time on Wednesday, January 18th, mention the ELAN fundraiser or show them our fundraiser flyer, and 50% of the proceeds will still be donated to ELAN!

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Fall 2016 Open Forum

Fall Open Forum: Wednesday, October 19th, 4pm – 6pm


ELAN would like to extend our warm welcome and invitation to the first ELAN Open Forum next week! We will host an Open Forum once each term. This is a great opportunity to kick-start your involvement, learn more about all that ELAN does, mingle with fellow students and professionals, find others who share your interests, and have a little fun. As a professional development organization, we want to know what drives your passions and what ELAN can do for you! All are welcome to attend and we encourage you to bring your friends and family.

Fall Open Forum
Wednesday, October 19th @ 4pm
Barnlight East
545 E 8th Ave Suite A
Eugene, OR 97401

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2016 Practicum Fair and Community Partner Reception


The Arts & Administration program’s annual 2016 Practicum Fair and Community Partner Reception took place this past Thursday, September 22nd at the historic WOW Hall. Each year arts and culture organizations from Eugene and Springfield congregate to share their organizations and passions with our incoming and returning students. We are very grateful that our city hosts so many exceptional professional development opportunities for our students to become involved with their community and deepen their academic experience at the University of Oregon. With help from the student organizations within the Arts & Administration Program, Emerging Leaders in the Arts Network (ELAN) and the Student Advisory Group (SAG), we were able to welcome 18 community partners at this year’s Practicum Fair! Practicums are a great opportunity for our students to get hands-on experience in a structured environment to refine their current skills and learn about the field of Arts Management through partner organizations.

We would also like to thank our local businesses for continuing their support of our students and the arts in Eugene by donating raffle items that were given away during the 2016 Practicum Fair and Community Partners Reception. These items included exhibition catalogues from the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, free admission to upcoming shows at the WOW Hall, and gift certificates from Red Wagon Creamery, Starbucks, Falling Sky Brewery, and Coldfire Brewing.

For more information about practicums or to consider a practicum position in your organization, please visit our AAD Practicum Blog.

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Cheers to Another Year

It has been an involved and rewarding year for the UO Emerging Leaders in the Arts Network! We have hosted professional development events on creative professional networking, events and festival planning; co-hosted the annual Arts & Administration Practicum Fair; coordinated “Creative Conversations: Idea Lab” to bring together those working in arts and culture at University of Oregon; threw an amazing party to celebrate arts leadership at Sam Bonds and the Barn Light East during the 7th annual Beats & Brushstrokes; brought producer, curator, writer, and programming director, Andy Horwitz to the UO; sent emerging arts leaders to Seattle for the yearly ArtsVenture professional development trip; and organized many Open Forums and Happy Hours to bring everyone together. We have all shared in the joy of the arts, learned from one another, and expanded our professional interests and our understanding of the field.


The 2015/2016 ELAN Leadership Team with Guest Speaker Andrew Horwitz

While this year’s leadership committee transitions to begin practicing out in the world, we welcome a new team of inspiring and motivated emerging arts leaders. We are delighted to announce the 2016/2017 leadership team: Karen Tate, Hannah Bastian, Lauren Nichols, Baylie Stillwell, and Brittney Leemon. Looking forward to what next year will bring.


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ArtsVenture in Seattle

UO Emerging Leaders in the Arts just ventured to Seattle! The annual ELAN ArtsVenture professional development trip gave students the opportunity to meet and learn from practitioners, and experience the arts and culture of Seattle. Eleven emerging arts leaders toured the Seattle Art Museum, met with Lara Davis, Arts Education Manager for the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and with Laurie de Koch, co-founder and executive director of JazzED. They experienced the Seattle Repertory Theatre, met with other AAD alumni, and much more during an eventful weekend in the “Emerald City.”

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