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STEPHANIE RHODES RUSSELL is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization Women's Artistic Leadership Initiative (ALI).

Women are notably underrepresented in leadership roles throughout the arts industry and elsewhere. Women's Artistic Leadership Initiative aims to transform the dialogue around gender into action, with a primary focus on the next generation. Women's ALI hosts events to educate and empower young female artists to become future leaders by equipping them with both leadership skills and business acumen. The current focal point of these efforts is the Summer Leadership Intensive, held in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Throughout this annual Summer Leadership Intensive, participants (female artists age 16-23) garner skills in both business acumen and leadership through a series of keynote addresses, workshops, round table discussions, and activities. Each young woman will be paired with a professional mentor from the Women's ALI Mentor Alliance. These are professionals that can help participants better understand how to navigate their specific field and leverage future educational and career opportunities.  

The Women’s ALI Summer Leadership Intensive offers an attractive supplement to those hours of committed practice and is designed to help young women learn to navigate the business side of their career effectively. Whether participants intend to run a studio, move into administration, or utilize their artistic talents in another discipline, the skills acquired at the Intensive will serve them at every career juncture and in daily life.

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