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Leaders of Color Seeking Fellows

By Margaret A. Keough

group of people standing and kneeling in four rows

The national Leaders of Color Fellowship (LoCF) is a strategic leadership development program for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) leaders in our region who are committed to the advancement of cultural equity in the arts. Using a cohort structure, the program has emphasized experiential learning, community building, and service to the field.

The nation’s six Regional Arts Organizations (RAOs)—including Mid-America Arts Alliance—are currently seeking fellows for an all-expenses-paid, 8-month fellowship to be held online from October 2022–May 2023. Applications were due August 31 and are now closed.

This fellowship is designed as a robust strategic leadership development program for leaders of color who have promise and/or demonstrated performance aligned with equity. As such, applicants are strongly suggested to receive pay from their employers for hours spent engaging with this fellowship opportunity. The RAOs are available to provide a letter of support as a resource by request.

In 2010, the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) established its Emerging Leaders of Color Professional Development Program (now known as the Leaders of Color Fellowship), which promotes multicultural leadership and equity in the arts by:

  • Building a cohort of cultural leaders of color in the western United States who are committed to the advancement of the arts.
  • Engaging diverse leaders in coursework and activities designed to strengthen competencies and prepare participants for leadership positions in the field.
  • Providing opportunities for promising arts professionals to establish networks that support their careers and the cultural interests of the communities they represent and serve.
  • Deepening participants’ understanding of the arts in the United States and how public support sustains the vibrancy of the sector.

In 2020, WESTAF partnered with its sister regional arts organization, South Arts, to launch the southern region’s ELC program. Alumni of both regional programs are no longer “emerging,” they are, and have been, established leaders in the field—some for well over a decade.

Read the press release about the program.

Have questions about this program?
Margie Johnson Reese, one of the program’s instructors and longtime arts management professional, is hosted two office hours to answer questions.

  • Monday, August 15, 6:00–7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 16, 9:00–10:00 a.m.


Image from 2019 Leaders of Color convening