Lauren Slone and Emily Waters to Join YoungArts Executive Team

MIAMI, FL (August 21, 2023) – Clive Chang, President of YoungArts, the national foundation for the advancement of artists, today announced significant new additions to the organization’s executive team. Lauren Slone joins YoungArts as Senior Director, Artistic Programs, and Emily Waters joins YoungArts in the newly created role of Senior Director, Innovation and Impact. Each will play a vital role in advancing YoungArts’ mission of identifying exceptional young artists, amplifying their potential, and investing in their lifelong creative freedom.

“I am thrilled to announce that Lauren Slone and Emily Waters, two of the most well-respected leaders in the arts, will join YoungArts as the newest members of our executive team,” said YoungArts President Clive Chang. “As YoungArts embarks on an ambitious growth plan, Lauren and Emily will supercharge our ability to serve and support artists nationwide. Their impressive professional backgrounds and relationships across the field will propel our work to new heights.”

As Senior Director, Artistic Programs, Lauren Slone will oversee programmatic strategy, growth, and execution. An internationally recognized leader in resource distribution, systems thinking, and process design, Slone joins YoungArts from MAP Fund, where she served as Director of Grants and Research and oversaw the distribution of $13M+ to 590 multidisciplinary performance projects. She recently served on teams that operationalized Artist Relief and was appointed as Co-chair of Grantmakers in the Arts’ Support for Individual Artists Committee. Slone has also served as a nominator and panelist for the United States Artists Fellowship and regularly collaborates with artists and arts organizations on effective decision-making processes. As a lifelong student of dance, she has created education curricula, youth mentorship programs, presentation platforms, and performance projects that democratize access to arts and culture. Slone holds a B.A. in Religious Studies with a minor in Philosophy from WVU, and an M.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography from FSU School of Dance where she was MANCC’s first Mellon Arts Administration Fellow.

As Senior Director, Innovation and Impact, Emily Waters will build organizational capacity and design and pilot a portfolio of new initiatives to ensure that YoungArts’ support of artists is constantly forward thinking. Waters joins YoungArts from the Mellon Foundation where she was the senior program associate in Arts and Culture. In this role, she was responsible for development and oversight of the dance portfolio and was an essential collaborator in shaping innovative supports for the arts field, such as developing “bubble” residencies during the COVID-19 pandemic, and guiding recommendations for new administrative models for artistic practice and collaboration. Waters regularly speaks on panels and at conferences regarding the performing arts and administrative practice. In 2022, she was awarded the New York Dance and Performance Bessie’s Angel Award for her leadership and advocacy on behalf of the dance field. She serves on the board of Memphis-based Collage Dance Collective. Waters was a professional ballet dancer for ten years, dancing with Philadelphia Ballet (formerly Pennsylvania Ballet) and the Royal Danish Ballet. Prior to Mellon, she worked at American Ballet Theatre in the development and executive offices. She received a BA in performing arts through the Liberal Education for Arts Professionals (LEAP) Program at St. Mary’s College of California, where she graduated summa cum laude. She also holds an MS degree in nonprofit management from Columbia University.

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Lauren Slone and Emily Waters