Emily Sproch

Senior Program Officer

Emily had the honor of becoming President & CEO Laura Aden’s first staff hire in the summer of 2014. Working closely with Laura and the Board, Emily helped reimagine Gilman’s place in the New York City performing arts landscape and spent her first several months collaboratively crafting the Foundation’s mission, priorities, values, application processes, and communications. She has been an instrumental part of growing and shaping the Foundation’s portfolio since that time, and her background in theatre has paved the way for natural partnerships with many theatre companies across the City. At Gilman, she has also been lucky enough to work with dozens of dance companies and music ensembles, which has deepened her understanding of those disciplines and their particular challenges and opportunities.

Emily is keenly interested in how the performing arts collectively evolve as an ecosystem and is been proud to be part of the team that launched the Foundation’s suite of regranting programs for organizations with annual budgets under $250K. She has overseen partnerships with A.R.T./New York, IndieSpace, and Staten Island Arts to help create the New York City Small Theatres Fund, the Little Venue That Could Program, and the Staten Island Performing Arts Residency Cohortall in an effort to extend and diversify Gilman’s reach. Mindful of the power dynamics between funders and nonprofits, and adverse to the unnecessary stress that grant proposals can induce, Emily also chairs the New York Grantmakers in the Arts Common Application Committee, which explores ways to streamline and simplify the application experience for NYC artists and arts organizations.

At Gilman, Emily is passionate about general operating support, fiscal health, and networking on behalf of grantees. At home in Bloomfield, NJ, where she lives with her husband and two sons, she is passionate about cooking, camping, and complicated board games. Her education includes a B.F.A. in Theatre from Syracuse University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The New School.


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The best performances are the ones that make you feel like you’ve experienced the entire array of human emotions in a single moment.