Credit: Amanda Tipton Photography

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 2019-2020 are now closed.


Make an Impact

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

Network and Engage

The cohort comprises 50 participants from diverse 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 850 Leadership Arts graduates, many of whom continue to serve in leadership positions ranging from governing boards to working committees with local cultural organizations. Participation automatically enrolls you in the Leadership Arts Alumni Network (LAAN), which hosts regular social gatherings, arts experiences and ongoing board education.

What to Expect

Monthly half-day sessions are held from September 2019 through May 2020. Each session includes a networking brown bag lunch, expert speakers, creative activities and an informal happy hour. Sessions cover relevant topics, such as governance, advocacy, fundraising, and current issues in the arts. Each session is hosted at a different cultural venue, from a ceramics classroom to a theatre or dance studio.


  • 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

There is a $30 non-refundable application fee.

Deborah Jordy Leadership Arts Scholarship

The Deborah Jordy Leadership Arts Scholarship is 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. Learn more about the Deborah Jordy Leadership Arts Scholarship Application.


What People Are Saying About Leadership Arts

  • “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


  • “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

  • “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


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