Americans for the Arts and their partners, The Joyce Foundation and American Express Foundation, introduce the first 12 fellows of the Arts & Culture Leaders of Color Fellowship.

The new ACLC Fellowship is a one-year professional development program for emerging and mid-career arts leaders of color across arts disciplines in the Great Lakes region. By coupling advanced leadership development for ACLC Fellows with targeted learning opportunities for their close professional mentors and regional arts leaders, Americans for the Arts is advancing approaches to arts and culture management towards greater racial and cultural equity around the Great Lakes. Ultimately, the program aims to be a model for systemic national arts leadership change.

Fellows will undergo a year of leadership learning guided by lead faculty Margie Johnson-Reese. The fellowship focuses on both individual career trajectories as well as the development of fellows as a cohort. From June 2019 to June 2020, each fellow will complete:

  • monthly themed group virtual reflections with select senior leaders of color in the arts;
  • three group in-person advanced leadership skills trainings and networking opportunities;
  • two in-person management development sessions alongside an existing supervisor or mentor; and
  • one culminating arts management and leadership project shared publicly based on the themes and challenges that emerge throughout the fellowship year.

The first cohort was selected through a competitive application process and runs from June 2019 to June 2020, in conjunction with Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention. The first of a two-year pilot, the 2019-2020 cohort includes 12 fellows from Chicago, Cleveland, and Indianapolis:

Chicago
Chip Moody, DuSable Museum of African American History
Gibran Villalobos, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Sarah Khalid Dhobhany, Mana Contemporary
Tracy Montes, Hyde Park Art Center

Cleveland
Andrew Valdez, Cleveland Playhouse
Aseelah Shareef, Karamu House, Inc.
India Pierre-Ingram, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture
Michele Crawford, Cuyahoga Community College; Initiate Studios

Indianapolis
Channie Jones, Edison School of the Arts, Inc.
Danicia Malone, Purdue Black Cultural Center
Devon Ginn, Madame Walker Theatre Center; Iconoclast Open Mic and Slam
Kavita Mahoney, Garfield Park Arts Center

Read more about the inaugural Fellowship Class here.

The 2020-2021 cohort will include fellows from Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and St. Paul. Applications for the 2020-2021 cohort will launch in 2020.

Americans for the Arts’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 Chicago, Cleveland, and Indianapolis with small groups of leaders of color, included: structural and institutional racism; limited access to senior-level arts administrators of color; feelings that exceptional work is undervalued or unrecognized; a disconnected professional community of peers; the perceptions that opportunity and welcome will be better elsewhere; among others.

To learn more, browse the ACLC Fellowship website or contact Emma Osore, Program Manager, Equity in Arts Leadership.



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