The Diversity in Arts Leadership Labs, geared towards emerging to mid-career arts leaders, provided access to tailored training aimed at helping these leaders develop the skills needed to advance in the arts management field. Arts nonprofits have limited resources and many do not provide training and tools for junior staff to rise through the ranks. As a service organization already doing impactful work in this space, we expanded our footprint beyond our undergraduate DIAL internship program to support mid-careers and provide a workforce development resource for the nonprofits that they will one day innovate, transform, and lead. This directly addressed the gaps in diversity illustrated in the Department of Cultural Affairs’ survey and what has been reported as barriers for people in the field.


  • Engage early and mid-career leaders in conversations about diversityequityinclusion, and belonging in the arts field

  • Provide opportunities for diverse future leaders to gain a better understanding of how others have navigated their career development in the arts

  • Support arts administrators from historically and currently underrepresented communities in accessing professional development programming with practical tools to help advance their career pathways

Program Details

A 3-part series of professional development for individuals across arts disciplines aimed at helping emerging and mid-career arts leaders develop the skills needed to advance in arts management and expand their toolkit for how to navigate within the field. This series will include conversations on navigating career pathways, networking and mentorship opportunities, positive disruption, and identifying power dynamics in the arts. Each session will allow participants to hear from guest speakers who are leaders in the arts field and allow time for questions after each presentation.

The DIAL Labs capitalized on the phenomenal connections and expertise available to Americans for the Arts through its local network of arts nonprofit leaders, corporate professionals, board members, and friends at foundations, government agencies and other organizations. Our team surveyed alumni and arts managers for feedback on topics that would be the most beneficial to learn at this pivotal time in their careers and our findings informed our topics: Re/thinking Mentorship in the Arts for POC, Contextualizing Power and Creating Change That Can Last, and Dancing Between Intention and Impact. Virtual presentations and Q&A opportunities with leaders that will address topics to broaden impact beyond New York City, allowing those living across the country to participate and interact with this work.

DIAL Labs began in 2018 as a cohort-model for virtual and NYC-based arts leaders hoping to transition from mid-career to senior leadership roles. It launched with 22 cohort participants who completed a three-part professional development series and were provided with one-on-one mentoring by senior arts leaders around the country. The professional development sessions were made available to those outside of the cohort as well, in order to expand our reach of mid-career leaders in the field. Below you can find the bios for our 2018 DIAL Labs cohort and their mentors.


We invite participants to sign up for the recorded professional development sessions. See below for more information. Register here for the entire 3-part series.


Re/Thinking Mentorship in the Arts for POC

Recording: Click for More Information

Contextualizing Power and Creating Change That Can Last

Recording: Click for More Information

Dancing Between Intention and Impact

Recording: Click for More Information


2018 DIAL Labs Experience

Selected Cohort Bios

Selected Mentors Bios