National Leaders of Color Fellowship

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Closed on October 16, 2023

Applications for this program are now closed. Join our mailing list to be notified about new opportunities. 

Meet the Leaders of Color Cohorts

Meet the next generation of arts and cultural leadership involved in the Leaders of Color program.

Read About the Participants

A professional development and networking opportunity for arts and cultural workers of color.

About the National Leaders of Color Fellowship

The National Leaders of Color Fellowship (LoCF) takes place completely online from late fall through early summer. During this free eight-month fellowship, selected fellows receive access to specialists in the field, strategic learning objectives determined to deepen thought on anti-racist and culturally-oriented leadership practices, and national-level network and cohort building. Upon completion of this program, participants transition to alumni status and have opportunities to collaborate with the US Regional Art Organization in their region as advisors, funding panelists, and/or other professional capacities.

This partnership program between South Arts and its colleague Regional Arts Organizations led by WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation) provides tools, continued learning opportunities and a network to administrators of color who seek to move into leadership positions in the arts and culture sector. Through this cohort-based learning model, LoCF has been attracting, training, networking, and promoting a new generation of diverse arts leaders since 2010.

Who is this program designed for? 

Applicants, selected by a panel of program staff, faculty and alumni, will meet the following criteria: 

  • Self-identify as Black, Indigenous and/or a person of color; 
  • Self-identify as an early or mid-career leader in the field of arts and culture; 
  • Is an arts administrator or a significantly arts-interested member such as a volunteer or a public official; 
  • Current resident of the United States, including U.S. Jurisdictions (American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands); and
  • Have not participated in or have participated in limited amounts of high-quality professional leadership development opportunities.

LGBTQIA2S+ individuals, disabled people, low-income and individuals residing in rural, remote or frontier areas are encouraged to apply. 

What does the program offer? 

Selected individuals will participate in a professional development and team-building workshop at no cost to themselves. The program is designed to: 

  • Build a cohort of cultural leaders of color in the southeastern United States who are committed to the advancement of the arts. 
  • Engage diverse emerging leaders in coursework and activities designed to strengthen competencies and prepare participants for leadership positions in the field. 
  • Provide opportunities for promising arts professionals to establish networks that support their careers and the cultural interests of the communities they represent and serve. 

Deepen participants’ understanding of the arts in the United States and how public support sustains the vibrancy of the sector. 

Important Dates: 

  • Application Opens: September 18, 2023
  • Information Session: September 21, 2023, 6:00 p.m. ET
  • Application Deadline: October 16, 2023
  • Applicant Notification: November 17, 2023
  • Program Dates: December 2023 through July 2024

Visit the application portal on the bottom of this page to begin or edit your application.

Information Session Recording

Download the Information Session Slides

The preceding information session was recorded on September 21, 2023.

Application Portal

Applications for the 2024 National Leaders of Color Fellowship are hosted on the dedicated LoCF website. Visit the LoCF site to learn more and apply.

Visit the LOCF Website


For more information about the National Leaders of Color Fellowship, contact Jessyca Holland.

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