MEET THE TEAM

EAI is 100% volunteer run. Learn more about our team of dedicated young professionals and how we plan to help our fellow artists. 

Grey Limbo

EVAN AANERUD

Director

Evan (He/Him/His) is a student at the University of Minnesota Morris pursuing Theatre Arts and Arts Management and is set to graduate in December of 2020. He has interned at organizations such as Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and also has helped program his University's multicultural performing arts series. After a cancelled summer internship in New York City due to COVID-19, Evan formed EAI to encourage young artists and arts administrators to voice their demands for institutional change within the arts industry. 

NADIA ESSEGHAIAR

Graphic Designer

Nadia (She/Her/Hers) is a graphic designer and visual artist from Austin, TX. She studied studio fine art and communication design at Austin Community College and MassArt Boston. 

KRYSTAL HURR

Marketing Analytics Strategist

Krystal (She/Her/Hers) is from Hampton Roads, Virginia. She has a passion for Marketing and Research and received a B.A in Theatre Studies from Christopher Newport University. Krystal works as a model and an actress, but lost her job as a social media and digital marketing strategist due to COVID-19. She wants to help others find resources that allow them to not give up on their dreams.

JILLIAN IMPASTATO

Relief Assessment Team

Jillian (She/Her/Hers) is a student, educator, and curator from Chappaqua, New York. She is a rising Senior at Tufts University studying Art History and Education. Jillian has also worked in the education and curatorial departments of MASS MoCA (where she met Evan), MFA Boston, Dia:Beacon, Tufts University Art Galleries, and ArtsWestchester. Additionally, Jillian is a curator in the Medford-based curating collective “Polykhroma” and an arts writer for Currents magazine. Jillian is excited to collaborate with other emerging professionals and help young artists in need!

CALEB RICHARDS

Relief Assessment Team

Caleb (He/Him/His) is a professional actor and theatre educator based in the Twin Cities. He is a 2017 graduate of Viterbo University and holds a BFA in Music Theatre. Having previously worked across the country in regional houses and on cruise ships, Caleb decided to make Minneapolis and its rich performing artist community his home base. After cancelled contracts due to COVID-19, Caleb has moved into a professional education and director position at Osseo Senior High School and is working to help students continue to create in isolation. 

MAYA RICHARDSON

Director of Outreach | Relief Assessment Team

Maya (She/Her/Hers) is an artist, writer and activist having just graduated with her BFA in Musical Theatre and a minor in Dance from Viterbo University in the spring of '19. She spent the last year touring the country with Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol Live! Race to the Rescue, which was cut short due to COVID-19, and is now the resident writer/editor for Mixed in America, an organization that advocates for multiracialism and multiculturalism. Maya is honored to be a small piece in helping those in need, believing that by creating a strong foundation for young artists, we are creating a strong foundation for our future together as creators.

KYLE RONYECS

Fund Coordinator

Kyle (He/Him/His) is from Northern Virginia and is working in New York City as a Stage Manager. He earned his B.A. in theatre at Christopher Newport University and has been pursuing his passion to become a Stage Manager on large-scale productions throughout the country. Kyle lost his job in the city due to COVID-19 and is now passionate about ensuring that other young and emerging artists can financially survive the storm we're all facing. 

LAILA SAHIR

Fundraising and Outreach Associate | Relief Assessment Team

Laila (She/Her/Hers) is a recent graduate from Luther College in Decorah, IA, with a BA in Theatre and Psychology. She is currently located in Minneapolis, MN, where she has done work in theatrical performance, marketing, and education. Laila is particularly interested in exploring the ways in which theatre and the arts can be used to build community and promote equity and justice. She is proud to be part of EAI, knowing that supporting artists in the early stages of their careers will provide the foundation for a diverse and thriving artistic community in the future.

BAILEY SOIKA

Relief Assessment Team

Bailey (They/Them/Theirs) is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota Morris where they studied Theatre Arts and Creative Writing. Since graduating, they have worked full-time in preparation to attend the Stella Adler Studio of Acting 2-Year Conservatory in NYC, which has since been delayed due to COVID-19. In light of these adverse times, Bailey is honored to take part in a team working to provide relief to our most vulnerable artists.

LAURA STEBLAY

Relief Assessment Team

Laura (She/They) graduated from the University of Minnesota Morris in 2019 with a degree in Theatre Arts and English. She is currently teaching English at a junior high school in Japan. After seeing friends and peers losing incomes and artistic opportunities due to COVID-19, Laura was glad to learn that EAI is working to address the severe impact this pandemic is having on young artists.

MEGAN STEBLAY

Multimedia Manager & Designer | Relief Assessment Team

Megan (She/Her/Hers) graduated this May from the University of Minnesota Morris with a B.A. in English: Creative Writing and Environmental Science. This summer, she had been slated to participate in a creative writing program through the IWP at the University of Iowa, but, of course, COVID-19 altered some of those plans. She is excited about this opportunity to assist other young and emerging artists.

ADVISORY BOARD

Brian O'Grady

Freelance Grant Writer; Adjunct Professor of Arts Management, MCLA

Ray Schultz

Professor of Theatre Arts, University of Minnesota Morris​​

Jerome Scolof

Associate Professor of Arts Management, MCLA

Diane Scott

Associate Professor of Arts Management; Chair, Fine and Performing Arts, MCLA

Our Commitment to Equality:

Emerging Artist Initiative was formed to enact institutional change within the arts industry. We cannot advocate for reform with a majority of white, cisgender perspectives on the team. We are holding ourselves accountable for raising BIPOC voices and experiences as emerging professionals in the arts. We are committed to putting more BIPOC individuals in positions of artistic leadership across the industry, and it is our responsibility to establish this on our leadership team. We encourage any emerging artist or arts administrator from these communities to join our volunteer grassroots effort. Contact us here

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