graphic of geese flying

Change Leader Institute

Change Leader Institute is a professional development program. 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.

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.

We strive to create a diverse group representing rural, suburban, and urban areas.

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.

What are the program objectives?

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

What do I have to do to participate?

Each attendee will be required to apply for the Institute. 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.

Each attendee 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.

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.

Due to COVID-19, ArtsWA will host trainings online. Each session will be approximately 2 hours, over six consecutive weeks. After COVID, we will introduce an in-person, three-day institute.

What will I learn at Change Leader Institute?

The Change Leader curriculum is designed to help attendees effectively lead change in their communities and organizations. You will learn to do the following:

  • Navigate group dynamics
  • Practice mindful listening
  • Demystify power
  • Leverage change
  • Examine leadership styles
  • Understand personalities
  • Facilitate change
  • Obtain commitment
  • Honor resistance
  • Explore negotiation tactics
  • Implement transitions
  • Communicate change
  • Build community

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: