Leslie is an educator and consultant working with artists and creative organizations to develop strategies to become sustainable, stronger and more deeply engaged with their communities. She teaches fundraising, cultural policy and co-designed the course Creating Sustainability: Inquiry to Action.
At CalArts she collaborated with Erik Ehn on the organization of 5 years of annual Arts in the One World convenings bringing international artists, activists and academics together to share art and activist practices. She currently serves as the Director of Research and Planning for CalArts Center for New Performance and has represented CalArts as a Partnership for Academic Leadership in Sustainability (PALS) fellow.
Leslie worked with Cornerstone Theater Company for ten years, serving as managing director from 1995 to 2001. She produced dozens of experimental, community-engaged, and site-specific theater projects and leading the company’s financial stabilization and growth. She was a founding member of the Watts Village Theater Company board and currently serves on Cornerstone's board, as Chair, and on the board of Los Angeles Performance Practice.
She has worked with not-for-profit arts organizations in Los Angeles, greater Boston and New York including the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center and the New Opera Theater Ensemble, Automata, Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, The Secret City and Great Small Works. She studied in Japan at Kyoto University and Kobe University where she collaborated with and learned from shogekijo and butoh practitioners. Leslie earned a master's degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Leslie has served on panels for Creative Capital, Creative Work Fund, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Network of Ensemble Theaters, National Endowment for the Arts, Theatre Communications Group, California Arts Council, Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, among others.