Calling All Arts Administrators of Color!

If you’re an arts administrator of color from Chicago, Cleveland, or Indianapolis, check out this awesome opportunity from Americans for the Arts!

Virtual Information Session March 18, 2:00 p.m. EST Watch the Replay Here
Priority Application Deadline    March 20, 2019 11:59 p.m.
Final Application Deadline    March 27, 2019 11:59 p.m.
Interviews + Decisions  no later than April 26
Fellowship Dates  June 11, 2019 – June 12, 2020


Americans for the Arts (AFTA) has partnered with The Joyce Foundation and American Express Foundation to introduce the Arts & Culture Leaders of Color Fellowship (ACLC Fellowship).

AFTA’s research, echoing research by the Hewlett Foundation, suggests that emerging and mid-career leaders of color are not advancing to senior leadership positions or are migrating out of the field rather than up through it. Possible drivers, based on listening charettes hosted in each city included: structural and institutional racism, limited access to senior-level arts administrators of color, feelings that exceptional work is undervalued or unrecognized by powerbrokers, a disconnected professional community of peers, the perceptions that opportunity and welcome will be better elsewhere, among others.

The ACLC Fellowship is a one-year professional development experience for emerging and mid-career arts leaders of color across arts disciplines. The 2019 – 2020 cohort includes fellows from Chicago, Cleveland, and Indianapolis and the 2020 – 2021 cohort will include fellows from Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and St. Paul. The two-year pilot aims to be a model for systemic national arts leadership change by coupling advanced leadership development for ACLC Fellows with targeted learning opportunities for their close professional mentors and regional arts leaders who, all together work to advance their approaches to management towards greater racial and cultural equity in the Great Lakes region.


  • Provide fellows with ongoing professional development, support, and networking that promotes learning and growth, a sense of leadership, career vision, equity orientation, and business skills.
  • Highlight pathways to leadership for a diverse set of arts management professionals in the Great Lakes region, particularly those who feel their race or ethnicity has negatively affected their leadership prospects.
  • Promote and foster a culture of racial diversity, equity, and inclusion in the arts management field, within arts organizations, and in the community.


A total of 12 fellows from Chicago, Cleveland, and Indianapolis (four fellows from each city) will be accepted into the 2019 – 2020 cohort through a competitive application process.

Each applicant MUST:

  • be available for all scheduled in-person and virtual events (see schedule on additional information page);
  • self-identify as a person of color and/or ALAANA: African, Latino, Asian, Arab, Native American;
  • be an emerging or mid-career arts professional [between one (1) and 15 years in arts, culture, or heritage management];
  • be employed full-time at an organization with at least two full-time staff;
  • live in Chicago, Cleveland, or Indianapolis at the time of application.

Highly competitive applicants INCLUDE:

  • evidence of a commitment to cultivating personal and professional skills needed to ascend in arts leadership;
  • a demonstrated interested in promoting cultural equity;
  • promise as a risk-taker and innovator of programs, policies, or practices that advance an organization or community.


The fellowship curriculum follows five core themes and is delivered in component parts that support fellows in their work to advance arts institutional missions as well as their individual career trajectories. Core themes include:

  1. Learning and Growth
  2. Career Vision
  3. Management and Business Skills for Leaders
  4. Leadership as Strategy for Individual and Organizational Growth
  5. Leadership as Instrument for Equity

Program Partners + Sponsors

The Joyce Foundation
American Express Foundation

More information: