FORT WORTH, TX – The Women’s Policy Forum Foundation in collaboration with Amphibian Stage will host its eighth annual Emerging Issues Symposium on Friday, November 12th from 9:00 am – noon at Casa Manana in Fort Worth. The goal of the program is to demonstrate how powerful women use their creativity to improve their communities, provide data-driven evidence of the economic and social value of the arts, and highlight strategies used by women in the arts to overcome challenges.

Philippa Hughes

The keynote speaker is Philippa Hughes, a noted social sculptor and cultural strategist leading creative place-making projects across the US and overseas. Following the keynote, Heidi Marquez Smith with the Texas Cultural Trust, will present information and findings from the 2021 State of the Arts Economic Impact Study. A panel of women arts leaders, including Fort Worth Opera’s Afton Battle and Dr. Monica White Ndounou Executive Director of The CRAFT Institute, moderated by Jessica Fuentes, arts educator, community advocate, and artist, will share their challenges and successes, both personal and in their role as community builders. In conclusion, the final panel, moderated by Sharon Benge, founder of Fort Worth’s Shakespeare in the Park and former host of WRR’s Art Matters, will discuss arts advocacy and growing dedicated arts support, highlighting Eureka Gilkey of Houston’s Project Row Houses and Fort Worth Near Southside’s Megan Henderson.

“The Women’s Policy Forum 8th Annual Emerging Issues Symposium presented in collaboration with Amphibian Stage brings a timely and vital conversation on the role of women in the arts, and importance of arts in community building and the economy,” said Kendal Smith Lake, co-chair along with Karen Myers of the 2021 Symposium. “Fort Worth is experiencing exponential growth and prosperity. Art is the key to building the foundation of a healthy, productive, and inclusive city where creativity is valued.”

Women’s Policy Forum 2021 Symposium

WHO: Women’s Policy Forum in collaboration with Amphibian Stage

Women in the Arts: The Transformative Role of Art in Culture and the Economy

WHEN: Friday, November 12, 2021

9 am – noon

Check-in, networking, and breakfast begin at 8:15 a.m.

Tickets are $55. Sponsorships available.

WHERE: Casa Manana

3101 West Lancaster Avenue

Fort Worth, TX 76107

The morning session will end with examples of successful public and private sector investment in the arts and a call to action for leaders in Tarrant County dedicated to making positive changes in their community. That evening, a reception at Amphibian Stage will begin at 6:30 pm, prior to the world premiere of Egress. Registration for the morning Symposium includes the evening reception and world premiere. Additional reception tickets for guests are available at $15 each.

The symposium is open to all and welcomes thought leaders who are dedicated to making positive changes in our community. Individual tickets are $55 and registration is available at

Sponsorships offer the opportunity for organizations to join leading business, civic, and nonprofit leaders to network, examine important policy questions and develop strategies for addressing the most pressing issues facing Tarrant County women. Sponsors are also guaranteed reserved seats to the event and reception. Sponsorship information available at

For more information on Women’s Policy Forum, visit:

About Women’s Policy Forum

The Women’s Policy Forum of Tarrant County is an organization of influential women who investigate and support policies and initiatives that will effect positive change for Tarrant County women and our community. Objectives are to increase the visibility of women in Tarrant County, foster relationships with others and assist in agenda building of our community and country.

About Amphibian Stage
Amphibian Stage is a non-profit professional theater based in the vibrant South Main Village neighborhood of Fort Worth. Founded in 2000, Amphibian Stage‘s programming includes main stage plays, new play readings, stand-up comedy residencies, arts education for youth and veterans, as well as screenings of National Theater Live broadcasts from London.

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