Be Part of Leadership Arts

Celebrating 25 years in 2021, Leadership Arts is a nine-month training program that prepares people to serve on nonprofit boards of directors and increase their civic engagement in the arts. The Leadership Arts curriculum focuses on building the necessary skills to be an effective volunteer leader and exploring relevant topics to Colorado’s arts sector.

Leadership Arts 2021-2022 has a fresh dual-track, hybrid approach. Sessions will alternate between in-person gatherings at cultural venues and virtual classes for increased flexibility, accessibility, and statewide reach. Participants can select the comprehensive program experience or an abbreviated virtual-only track.

Meet the 2021-2022 Leadership Arts cohort!

Make an Impact

  • Learn the ins and outs of nonprofit board service
  • Connect with professionals from a variety of industries and backgrounds
  • Sharpen your leadership skills and build confidence
  • Become a more engaged and effective arts advocate
  • Leverage applicable business skills in a new way
  • Network with like-minded individuals
  • Make a difference in our cultural community

Network and Engage

Each cohort comprises a diverse mix of personal and professional backgrounds. They range in industry sector, career level and experience, but all share an interest in the arts and civic engagement. There are more than 970 Leadership Arts graduates, many of whom continue to serve in our cultural sector.

The new virtual-only track is designed to make Leadership Arts accessible to arts supporters across Colorado, particularly in rural and mountain communities.

What to Expect for Leadership Arts 2021-2022

From September 2021 through May 2022, the Leadership Arts cohort will gather to learn, discuss and engage with topics relevant to board service, civic leadership and arts advocacy.

In-person sessions will be hosted at cultural venues in the Denver metro area. Virtual classes will be hosted on Zoom. All sessions will feature expert speakers, engagement activities and networking opportunities. Check out the 2021-2022 Session Schedule.

Individuals are strongly encouraged to enroll in the comprehensive program. This holistic experience provides skill-building for nonprofit board service, firsthand engagement and education in our arts eco-system, and meaningful relationship building opportunities within the cohort.

The abbreviated virtual-only track is designed for participants who live outside the Denver metro area. It focuses on skills necessary for effective volunteer leadership and enhancing statewide connections.


Tuition rates vary by program track. CBCA Members receive substantial savings!

  • For the comprehensive program, tuition is $1,500 for CBCA Members and their employees. If three CBCA Member employees apply, tuition is reduced to $1,350 per person.  Non-member tuition fees are $2,200.
  • For the virtual-only program, tuition is $700 for CBCA Members and their employees. Non-member tuition fees are $850.

Applications for the 2021-2022 Leadership Arts cohort are closed. Applications for the 2022-2023 program will open in June 2022. 


The Deborah Jordy Leadership Arts Scholarship Fund provides a limited number of full and partial scholarships every year.

Leadership Arts is committed to ensuring that cultural nonprofits are led by diverse, effective and inspired board members.  We also strive to build an inclusive community of arts advocates. The Deborah Jordy Leadership Arts Scholarship is intended to recognize leadership potential, increase the financial accessibility of the program, and ensure a variety of perspectives and experiences in advancing arts and culture. Preference will be given to applicants from underrepresented and/or historically marginalized communities. Preference is also given to those applying for the comprehensive program.

What People Are Saying About Leadership Arts

  • “Attending CBCA Leadership Arts was a pivotal moment in my life and career.  Before Leadership Arts, I was looking for ways to get involved.  I would volunteer in my local community, but I knew there was a piece missing.  Growing up a dancer and having a strong passion for the arts, I knew I had to find a new way to embrace the arts without stepping on the stage and being the performer.  Leadership Arts has given me a new way to look at the arts, community and the relationship that is built between the two.  I would not have been given the education, confidence, networking opportunities or new experiences if it wasn’t for the stage Leadership Arts provided.  I am forever grateful for this opportunity and I know the skills I developed because of this program, will be used in years to come. ” – Mariah Gayheart, Sr. BU Risk and Controls Analyst, TIAA
  • “The CBCA leadership program was such a valuable experience to be a part of. Being on the Western Slope, I had the unique opportunity to be selected for the 2020-2021 cohort and through the program, I was able to be fully immersed (even remotely!) in a wide variety of topics that are important to being an active and engaged board member. The topics we studied and learned in this program are foundational for healthy boards and communities, and I’m eager to put my skills to work in the Grand Valley, Western Slope, and throughout the state.” – Caitlyn Love, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Mesa Mall
  • “Leadership Arts taught me more about the arts community in Denver, prepared me to be a more effective arts advocate, and importantly gave me the confidence and skills to serve on a nonprofit board. I currently serve on the board of Athena Project Arts, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering women and girls in the arts, and I helped found and now serve of the board of Union Hall, a cultural community partner aiming to advance opportunities for emerging artists and creatives. As a board member, I have been able to leverage my business skills to help support these organizations and I have also had the opportunity to meet some amazing members of the cultural community in Denver.” – Katie Blum, Director, Acquisitions, East West Partners

  • “Leadership Arts was an amazing program. I met so many interesting and diverse professionals, many of whom I’ve stayed connected with after the program.  It gave me a better understanding of Denver’s arts and music scene. It also introduced me to many nonprofit cultural spaces in our community.” – Thanh Nguyen, VP Private Wealth Banker, BOK Financial
  • “I recommend CBCA’s Leadership Arts program as a way to familiarize yourself with both board responsibilities as well as the broader arts community in Colorado. Serving on a board offers an opportunity to view organizations and organizational activity from a different perspective; those experiences can enhance your business skills and effectiveness at influencing outcomes throughout your career. By serving on the board of an arts organization, you can also contribute to the community at large and connect with other people who share your values and interests.” – John Walthier, VP Treasury Operations, Prologis
  • “After going through Leadership Arts, I feel prepared to serve on boards, excel in my career, and be a more engaged member of my community. The arts are vital to society’s well-being, and it’s great to have a program that educates a diverse group of people on how to be better advocates for organizations that bring so much joy, healing and enrichment.” – Clara Shelton, Marketing Coordinator/Copywriter, Colorado Public Radio
  • “I thoroughly enjoyed the structure of the Leadership Arts program and came out of it feeling much more prepared to take on a role on a nonprofit arts board. As a result, I’ve joined two boards and feel that I will be able to make a meaningful impact on both of these organizations. I look forward to engaging much more deeply into the Denver arts scene through these organizations.  Thanks again for offering such a great program to train us, but also connect us directly with such great organizations through the Board fair.” – Steve Birchfield, EVP & Chief Financial Officer, Summit Utilities

Thanks to our 2021-2022 Leadership Arts Sponsor