Image by Amanda Tipton Photography

Leadership Arts Board Fair 2021

Registration is open for the annual Leadership Arts Board Fair on Wednesday, May 19 from 3:30 – 5:00 pm. The Board Fair is an opportunity for cultural nonprofit organizations of all sizes and types to meet Leadership Arts graduates and start the conversation about volunteer service and engagement. Organizations must register in advance in order to participate. Nonprofit registration closes on Wednesday, April 28. All past Leadership Arts alumni are encouraged to participate. Please let us know if you’re coming by Monday, May 10.

Participate in Leadership Arts

For over 20 years, CBCA has built a pipeline of leaders in the arts through Leadership Arts. This unique nine-month program equips and inspires professionals to be effective nonprofit board members and arts advocates. It is the only program of its kind in the region focused on arts & culture. The Leadership Arts curriculum focuses on building the necessary skills to be an effective volunteer leader and explores relevant topics to our local arts sector. Applications for Leadership Arts 2021-2022 will open in June 2021 and be due in early August. 

Leadership Arts 2020-2021

Check out the Leadership Arts 2020-2021 Class Roster and meet this next group of cultural leaders and arts advocates.

All Leadership Arts alumni are invited to return and take a “refresher” class. With our virtual program this year and an expanded curriculum, it’s even easier for alumni to connect. Check out the Leadership Arts 2020-2021 Class Schedule. Contact if you’re interested in attending.

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 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 900 Leadership Arts graduates, many of whom continue to serve in our cultural sector. Participation automatically enrolls you in the Leadership Arts Alumni Network, which offers ongoing board education and networking opportunities.

What to Expect for 2020-2021

From September 2020 through May 2021, the cohort will gather virtually twice a month to learn, discuss and engage with topics relevant to board service, civic leadership and arts advocacy. Virtual classes will feature regional and national expert speakers and community leaders, as well as small group discussions and creative activities. Check out the schedule of classes. Topics include:

  • Principles of Effective Governance
  • Fundraising Strategies
  • Advocacy for the Arts and Creative Industries
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Nonprofit Financial Stewardship
  • Arts & Social Justice
  • Arts & Healing
  • Business and Arts Partnerships

In addition, there will be regular occasions for groups to connect in-person to explore cultural venues, experience the arts firsthand and build lasting networks with each other. We will be flexible throughout the program and adjust as necessary based on input from the class and current guidelines for health and safety.


  • CBCA Members and their employees: $1,500 per person
  • Three employees of a CBCA Member company: $1,200 per person
  • Non-Members: $2,200 per person
  • EARLY BIRD: Apply by July 17 and save 10% off the total tuition.

There is a $30 non-refundable application fee. The Deborah Jordy Leadership Arts Scholarship Fund provides a limited number of full and partial scholarships. CBCA offers flexible payment plans for all participants.

Deborah Jordy Leadership Arts Scholarship

The Deborah Jordy Leadership Arts Scholarship Fund was started in honor of CBCA’s former executive director, Deborah Jordy, who served the organization for over 12 years. It was created by the CBCA Board of Directors in late 2016 and provides a limited number of full and partial scholarships to Leadership Arts participants. Funds to support this scholarship have are raised through past and current Leadership Arts participants, as well as the CBCA Board of Directors and community members.

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.

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 and board member at Celebrate the Beat
  • “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 and board member, Athena Project Arts and Union Hall


  • “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

  • “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


  • “As an artist and an attorney, I sometimes have a hard time finding the intersection between those worlds. It was a pleasure to participate in Leadership Arts because it created an intersection between those areas. I met so many professionals who were committed to contributing to the arts in Denver. How refreshing! Plus, now I’m confident that I can participate as a board member and contribute in a positive way. If I don’t know how to handle a situation, now I have a bunch of people to ask. What a great resource!” – Meg Gibson, Attorney, Majors Gibson


  • “This was an amazing program and opened up so many new organizations within the arts that I had no idea existed in Denver and the surrounding communities.  The lectures were educational and provided the tools to get started in a capacity as a volunteer or board member.” – Cathy Parks, Nurse Case Manager, Pinnacol Assurance


  • “To paraphrase a saying I’ve heard, the more you learn, the more you realize there’s so much you don’t know. I experienced this in so many ways through the Leadership Arts program. From organizations that I wasn’t are of, to Creative Arts Districts that jewel the state, to the intricacies of what it means to be on a Board and help steer wonderful organizations, every week provided great learning and opened my eyes and mind. I know that I’ve leveraged some of my learning within my organization, and I’ve become more confident in my perception of being on a board and being an advocate for arts and culture in Denver.” – Eric Godoy, Community Programs Coordinator, Denver Museum of Nature & Science