Leading Arts People & Organizations

Fall 2014 Arts Leadeship Digital Classroom


The Fall Arts Leadership Digital Classroom will examine leadership principles, theories, and practices to build your capacity for creating inspired teams, flourishing organizations, and effective change. This four-part classroom will discuss fundamentals as well as provide case studies of exemplary arts leadership. Join experts, practitioners, and fellow administrators to dig deeper with case studies and readings, and connect you through phone calls and discussion forums.

Whether you are facing the everyday challenges of running an arts organization or finding yourself in a position with little authority and big ideas, learning effective leadership is crucial  to generating professional momentum to move you forward. Regardless of their years in the field, arts administrators need to stay current on new trends and also understand the foundations of leadership.

Arts administrators must have equal parts passion and skill to drive forward. The health of the arts ecosystem relies on both the heart and brain of the arts administrator, who is prepared to either innovate or adopt best practices. The capable and creative art administrator is versed in the art and science of leadership and looks to the entrepreneurs and social change agents of the field for inspiration. Developing this bird’s eye view ensures their impact reaches beyond their walls while making them an indispensible part of any organization.

Leadership by the Book: Defining & Describing Leadership for the Arts Administrator

Presentation & Discussion: Thursday, October 2nd,  3:00pm - 4:30pm ET

Regardless of its vision or the quality of its artistic product, a poorly lead arts organization is doomed to struggle or fail. Challenging leaders can either micro-manage staff to the edge of insanity or give too little direction leaving staff confused about what they are suppose to be doing. Effective leadership begins with inspiring one’s people and increasing job satisfaction, which ultimately creates flourishing organizations.

Understanding the different components and styles of leadership helps arts administrators handle various situations and individuals accordingly – there are times to be autocratic and times for democracy. In this class we will introduce the major leadership theories and styles and discuss how they manifest in arts administrators and organizations. We will also discuss how we can “manage up” to improve your job satisfaction.

The Art of Leadership: Leadership Traits, Skills & Intelligences

Presentation & Discussion: Thursday, October 16th,  3:00pm - 4:30 ET

Authority or title is not synonymous with leadership. Certain individuals have a knack for inspiring and motivating us while others have a knack for deflating and alienating us. Who would you prefer to be? Individuals who have developed core leadership qualities easily navigate both challenging situations and their careers.

Understanding core leadership qualities can help you develop your own leadership qualities and increase your career prospects. In this class, we will introduce the core leadership traits, skills, and intelligences and provide you with tools to assess and develop them in yourself.

Leading Arts People: Motivation, Culture, and Memory

Presentation & Discussion: Thursday, October 30th,  3:00pm – 4:30pm ET

The quality of an arts organization depends upon its people. But the unique challenges of arts administration such as a small, artist-trained “jack-of-all-trades” staff and fluctuating budgets can make it difficult to create a positive work culture, ensure team motivation, and maintain institutional memory.

An organization’s leaders set the organization’s tone, which can either create an inspiring and meaningful place to work or pure drudgery. Understanding how a leader shapes a workplace can help you take the initiative to assume leadership duties that will strengthen your organization. In this class, we will discuss how people are motivated to give their best, how leaders shape work culture, and how to preserve and use institutional memory- all to strengthen your organization and your leadership qualities.

Leading Art through Change

Presentation & Discussion: Thursday, November 13th,  3:00pm – 4:30pm ET

Arts leaders must adapt their organization to changing demographics, technology, and markets. Sometimes arts administrators don’t know where to begin or don’t have the authority to initiate change. No matter what your title is, however, a good idea deserves to be discussed, analyzed, and if merited, implemented.

When old organizational systems or structures are no longer producing desirable outcomes a leader must create new ones. How can you work to ensure that you and your organization are creating the impact you envision? How should you introduce new ideas and change? In this class we will discuss the process of initiating and implementing change in your organization.


Presenters will be announced shortly.

*Note: Class and call dates are subject to change based on presenter availability.