Apply Now | The Incubator for Executive Leaders of Color 2022

Apply Now | The Incubator for Executive Leaders of Color 2022
Image Detail: Paolo Arao (Fellow in Painting '21); "Back and Forth Forever;" 2020; sewn canvas, dyed cotton, denim, felt, nylon, wool; Photo Credit: Colin Conces

Executive leaders of Color from arts and cultural organizations based in the five boroughs of New York City are encouraged to apply by Monday, March 14.

Through the generous support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is pleased to announce the second edition of The Incubator for Executive Leaders of Color, a free program that will provide leadership training and community support for up to 16 arts administrators from April – September 2022. NYFA is implementing the learnings from the inaugural session to enhance program outcomes for this second session, which will be held both in-person and online (see Program Dates section for details). By fostering the professional development of leaders of Color, we aim to encourage the sustainability and success of their organizations, and the equitability and diversity of the arts industry.

NYFA will work with facilitators from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. The curriculum will be designed through the lens of inclusion and racial equity, and we will work diligently with partner organizations and external consultants to ensure that we meet the needs of our participants.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Serve as an incubator for exploring new models and trends in Arts Administration in New York City.
  • Increase an individual’s leadership capacity so that they can have a greater influence on the arts and cultural organization for which they work as well as the arts community as a whole.
  • Provide arts and cultural organizations with the means to sustain themselves long-term and thrive by training their current or future leadership staff with the core competencies they need for success.
  • Offer individual and group activities that focus on arts leadership and networking, leading to support and collaboration among participants and sparking new ideas.
  • Provide space to discuss issues specific to BIPOC leaders and move toward solutions.
  • Facilitate an opportunity to engage with a variety of nationwide leaders in the arts.

Selected participants will benefit from:

  • A peer cohort-based learning model that relies on shared experiences to explore and develop a greater awareness of your personal leadership style.
  • Case studies, guest speakers, panel discussions, and group exercises that focus on purpose-centered leadership, including diversity, equity, and inclusion; negotiation skills; and decision-making frameworks.
  • Peer-to-peer exchange and transferable resources which will further develop your organization in the long term and better support the communities you serve.
  • Technical workshops and panels related to HR management, strategic planning, fundraising, and board development.
  • Through NYFA’s arts leaders network and alumni, each selected participant can access a dedicated peer advisor for 6-8 hours during the program.

Program Dates:

Mandatory Sessions:*

  • Intro Meeting: Thursday, April 14, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT
  • One-day intensives: Thursday, April 28 and Thursday, September 22, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT
  • Check-in meetings and Technical Assistance Workshops: Thursdays from 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM EDT 
    Dates: May 12, June 9, July 7, July 21, August 4, August 11, and September 8

The program is designed as hybrid. The Intro Meeting and two One-day intensives are planned to be held in-person, and Check-in meetings and Technical Assistance Workshops will take place online on Zoom. We are following and implementing the local and state health guidelines closer to the dates of the in-person meetings, which will be moved online if necessary.

*Attendance is mandatory for all sessions, so please check your calendar before applying. 

How to Apply:

Application LinkClick here to apply via Submittable

First-time users will need to register with Submittable to access the application portal.

Application Deadline: Monday, March 14, 11:59 PM EDT


  • Self identify as a leader of Color.
  • Executive Leaders from non-profit arts and cultural organizations with all size budgets.** (e.g. Executive Director, Artistic Director, Deputy Director, Program Director, Development Director, Finance Director)
  • Commitment to mandatory attendance to all sessions.
  • Open to participants from the five boroughs of New York City.

**We acknowledge there are different organizational models in New York City, so if you have any questions about eligibility, please contact us at [email protected]


For the application, we ask you to provide:

  • Organization information (i.e. organization mission, focus, website, and operational budget).
  • Why you are interested in applying to this program and a list of goals relative to your leadership career path within the next 5+ years.
  • Your current role and responsibilities.
  • A particular challenge in your current organization that participating in this program could help you address.
  • A narrative bio of your professional career.
  • Contact details of a Board member or an Advisory committee member of your organization.***

***We will only contact them if you are selected for the program. This is to ask for their support for the time commitment involved. 

Applications will be reviewed by alumni of NYFA’s Emerging Leaders program and outside executive professionals and local art leaders of Color.

Notification: Applicants will be notified on or before Monday, March 28.

Questions? Contact NYFA and include “The Incubator for Executive Leaders of Color” in the subject line. 


I was selected as an inaugural cohort member of The Incubator for Executive Leaders of Color in 2021. I truly appreciated everything I have learned through meetings and workshops, however, the most crucial aspect of this program for me was the network and mutual support that we were able to create as a team. Even after the program, we are still connected and continuing the dialogues as now friends and colleagues. Coincidentally, I was offered an executive leadership position at Gibney as Managing Director of Administration shortly after we concluded the program, and I have no doubt this program had an impact on this result.

Jane Chaeeoun Cho, Director of Administration, Aaron Copland School of Music – Queens College

The Incubator’s sessions on Leadership Styles, Strategic Planning, Racial Equity, Active Listening, Peer-to-Peer Counseling, Stakeholder Mapping, and Self-Care are the kind of tools I need to continue my work. The Incubator allowed me to have a space to consider how I could successfully lead our organization without mission-drift, and the distinction of being seen as an Executive Leader of Color in my field will definitely strengthen my capacity to ensure our company’s survival during the pandemic and thriving into the future.

Kyoung Park – Artistic Director, Kyoung’s Pacific Beat

To request an accommodation or assistance in applying, please email [email protected]. We ask that requests for accommodation be made as soon as possible or by Wednesday, February 23 to allow adequate time for staff to support you in submitting an application before the deadline.

This program is made possible with the support of Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and is part of NYFA Learning, which includes professional development for artists and arts administrators. Sign up for NYFA’s free bi-weekly newsletter to receive updates on future programs.

Amy Aronoff
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