Apply Now: The Incubator for Executive Leaders of Color 2023

Apply Now: The Incubator for Executive Leaders of Color 2023
Image Detail: Ying Liu (Fellow in Interdisciplinary Arts '21), "PIGTAIL—A Swivel Stool Dance™️," 2019, ISSUE Project Room, interactive dance performance and sculptural objects, Photo Credit: Cameron Kelly Mcleod

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 13.

Through the generous support of the Altman Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is pleased to announce the third edition of The Incubator for Executive Leaders of Color, a free program that will provide leadership training and community support for up to 16-18 arts administrators from April to September 2023. 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. In order to enhance the program outcomes, we are implementing the learnings of the first two editions which were generously supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Serve as an incubator for each individual’s leadership development.
  • Provide space to discuss issues specific to BIPOC leaders and move toward solutions.
  • Explore new models and trends in arts administration in New York City.
  • Increase participants’ 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 strengthen arts leadership and networking.
  • Foster support and collaboration among participants.
  • Facilitate an opportunity to engage with a variety of leaders in the arts and spark new ideas.

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, and group exercises that focus on purpose-centered leadership skills including diversity, equity, and inclusion 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 related to HR management, strategic planning, fundraising, and board development.
  • A dedicated peer advisor for 6-8 hours during the program, accessible through NYFA’s arts leaders network and alumni.

Mandatory Program Dates:*

  • Intro Meeting: Thursday, April 27, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT
  • One-Day Intensives: Thursday, May 11, and Thursday, September 28, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT
  • Check-In Meetings and Technical Assistance Workshops: Thursdays from 10 AM – 11:30 AM EDT
    Dates: May 25, June 8, June 22, July 20, August 24, Sept 14

The program is designed to be hybrid. The 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 continue to monitor Covid-19 and in-person meetings will be moved online if necessary.

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

How to Apply:

NYFA only accept applications through Submittable. First-time users will need to register with Submittable to access the application portal.

Application Opens: Wednesday, January 18, 10:00 AM EST 
Application Closes: Monday, March 13, 11:59 PM EDT
Notification: Applicants will be notified on or before Friday, April 7, 2023.


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 20 to allow adequate time for staff to support you in submitting an application before the deadline.


  • Self-identify as a leader of Color.
  • Executive Leaders from non-profit arts and cultural organizations with all size budgets.** (i.e. Executive Director, Artistic Director, Deputy Director, Program 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 into 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.


Contact NYFA at [email protected] and include “The Incubator for Executive Leaders of Color” in the subject line.


The NYFA Executive Leaders of Color program is transformative. The sessions are tailored to meet our needs as working professionals in the arts. The program provides practical tools to navigate culture as we navigate the impact of COVID-19 to better support our teams. Our mentors go above and beyond by providing counsel and the instructors are full of warmth and smarts. I will be collaborating with my cohort for years to come. This program truly made a positive difference in my life. Doors are now open so we can be the changemakers we are called to be.

Christiamilda Correa, Development Director, Reel Works   

I am thankful to NYFA for providing this opportunity to gather leaders of Color from across the city. It allowed me to expand my community of colleagues to include a wonderful group of leaders that are interested in the best way to support the important artistic work their organizations do. I was also connected with a wonderful advisor who helped provide me support with the individual leadership challenges I was facing within my organizations and finding productive ways to be a better leader. These are relationships that will stay with me long beyond the end of the program and for that I am grateful.

2022 Incubator Participant

This program is made possible with the support of Altman Foundation, 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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