The Engage professional development program provides locally focused leadership development training for small and midsize cultural organizations. Using a mix of assessment tools, coaching, and peer learning opportunities, Engage maps a course for participants to govern more capably, become more fiscally responsible, and address community needs that ensure long-term sustainability and improved community impact. Engage strengthens its participating arts organizations, amplifying an arts ecosystem that supports the wider community.

Support is provided by funders like the Houston Endowment, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, the Cross Foundation, and the Louetta M. Cowden Foundation, Bank of America, Trustee.

Engage is highly customized to meet every participating organization in its current state. Some lack formal budgets, or a fully formed Board of Directors. Participating organizations receive one-on-one coaching, customizing the experience based on their own needs. The strongest results of the program are seen in the development of a peer network. Convening monthly, participating organizations form strong bonds with their peers, sharing resources and solving problems together. The peer cohort not only strengthens bonds, it allows struggling organizations to share their strengths and learn from one another’s challenges.

We have seen Houston Engage participants make tremendous progress, and we look forward to the results of the newly launched Kansas City programming.