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Change Leader Institute

Change Leader Institute is a professional development program for people in the arts and culture field. Attendees will learn how to support and affect change in their organizations or communities. They will also become part of a statewide network of Change Leaders who learn from and mentor each other.

Prospective attendees must apply to the program to be considered. Each group is selected by ArtsWA to ensure equity, inclusion, and organizational and geographic diversity.

Who can participate in Change Leader?

  • The Change Leader Institute is designed for artists, culture bearers, arts professionals and community leaders connected to the arts.
  • Elected officials, entrepreneurs, board members in the cultural sector, and city and county staff who support the arts are also encouraged to apply.
Applications for 2024 are now closed.

What are ArtsWA’s goals for the program?

  • Provide professional development opportunities for those in the arts and culture sector
  • Support artists, arts professionals and others who want to grow their skillset
  • Prepare artists, creative entrepreneurs, community, and civic professionals to successfully facilitate change
  • Create a statewide network of community leaders who can exchange ideas and collaborate on projects
  • Reduce geographic isolation of arts and culture leaders in rural communities

How can I join the program?

Each attendee will be required to apply for the Institute. You must commit to participating in the Institute in its entirety. This is critical to your success, and the success of others in the cohort. You will be required to sign a commitment statement with your registration form.

Funding from ArtsWA covers the cost of the online Institute and all training materials. Attendees are responsible for securing access to the internet to join the training sessions.

What will I learn at Change Leader Institute?

The Change Leader curriculum is designed to help you learn how to lead change in your community or organization. You will learn how to:

  • Practice mindful listening and reflection skills
  • Understand group dynamics and how to build team cohesion
  • Understand the nature of power and how to empower yourself and others
  • Understand the process of leading change
  • Understand different leadership styles, including your own
  • Recognize different types of resistance and how to work through them
  • Explore negotiation tactics for mutually successful outcomes
  • Obtain commitment from others in your group
  • Lead transitions in the change process
  • Use various facilitation techniques to guide group meetings of all sizes
  • Build a stronger community

How is the Institute structured?

Each training has 12 participants that come together for an intensive, hands-on learning session. These cohorts are small so attendees can engage in the teachings and find connection with others in the group.

The Change Leader Institute is based on a ‘learn by doing’ approach. The curriculum focuses on reflective listening, insightful questioning, and activities that help people understand themselves and their approach to change.

ArtsWA currently hosts trainings online. Each session will be approximately 2 hours, over eight consecutive weeks.

When are upcoming Change Leader trainings?

ArtsWA generally hosts two online trainings per year. The next cohort is scheduled for:

Winter 2024: January 24 – March 13, 2024

Program Sponsor

The Change Leader Program began in Utah in 2011 to provide professional development opportunities for arts professionals in that state. There are currently Change Leader Programs in four western states: Utah, Idaho, Colorado and Washington. Thanks to our colleagues at the Utah Division of Arts and Museums for their dedication and support in launching Change Leader Institute in Washington.


For questions about the Change Leader Institute, please contact: