Arrowhead Arts Leadership Fellowship 2021

Arrowhead Arts Leadership Fellowship 2021

Fellowship Summary

Artists of color in any discipline may apply.

This leadership program is for artists of color who are interested in becoming leaders in arts organizations. Participants in this highly interactive program—which includes personalized coaching—master the processes and tools required to unleash the potential in individuals, energize their teams, and empower themselves to achieve consistently higher levels of performance and deliver better bottom-line results in the arts leadership realm.

This leadership program offers a stipend that will allow the artist to develop their leadership skills and contribute to decision making at the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council over a period of six to nine months. The Arrowhead Regional Arts Leadership Fellow will be engaged in the ARAC’s processes focusing on developing their skills within the arts organization.

The fellow’s actual role and project will be structured in a way specific to each person with the goal of advancing their knowledge in arts leadership. The fellow will participate in ARAC staff and board meetings as well as work on a specific project they choose. [The fellow can propose their own project to do during the period of the fellowship or choose from several projects that we have identified as needing to be accomplished; a list is included below]. As part of the application, potential fellows should suggest a project they would be interested in; they will then work with the current fellow to refine their idea before the final selection. The proposals need not be incredibly complicated, just a chance for the applicant to think how this would benefit themselves.

The fellow can select educational training(s) of their choosing to advance their professional development at the expense of ARAC up to the budget set for the program.  We can provide the fellow with a list of trainings by organizations like Grantmakers in the Arts, Springboard for the Arts, or the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, but we’re open to any trainings that the fellow thinks would be beneficial to themselves.

ARAC knows that artists of color are asked to participate in many leadership roles in the community. We think of this fellowship as both a way to compensate those artists for their leadership and to identify the next generation of leaders so we can benefit from their knowledge.

The Arrowhead Regional Arts Leadership Fellow will be encouraged to engage in the ARAC’s Equity process focusing on dismantling structural racism and reducing barriers to equitable engagement in the non-profit sector decision-making. We don’t expect that any fellow will help us “solve” the issues we face, but we hope that by paying you for your wisdom, we can keep moving forward.

Some potential projects:

  • Continue the work of the ARAC Board and Staff to find ways to serve our region more equitably. Some possible projects within this realm include:
    • Continuing the facilitation at board members of imagining a more inclusive and equitable future for ARAC.
    • Working with individual ARAC staff members to continue to progress on their individual equity agendas.
    • Helping us work through our policies to evaluate them from a lens of equity.
    • Help ARAC develop a more inclusive outreach program that will get us to reach artists that ARAC has missed in the past or who feel excluded or not actively included in our programs and/or opportunities.
  • Help us evaluate a specific grant program as part of our periodic evaluation process.
  • Help us design more non-grant services for artists, perhaps even come up with a new way to help artists.

Team Description


  • Drew Digby is the Executive Director and will serve as the key point of contact and direct manager, support in researching and considering policy interventions, and guide the fellow on making connections for community engagement.
  • Holly Hackett-Rich is the Grants Manager of ARAC and will support the fellow through plan management and outreach.


  • Be an artist of color in one of the seven counties of Northeastern Minnesota.
  • Be interested in arts leadership either as a board member, wanting to serve as a staff member of an arts organization, wanting to run an arts organization, or serve in another leadership role in the arts.

Requirements for the Fellowship

  • Agree to serve on at least two artistic review panels (about 5 hours of panel meetings and 16 hours of prep)
  • Attend ARAC monthly board meetings during the fellowship (about 12 hours)
  • Attend at least five ARAC weekly staff meetings (about 5 hours)
  • Seek and attend educational training that would be pertinent to the fellow related to arts administration and/or arts leadership. (2-20 hours)
  • Complete their accepted proposed plan. (10-40 hours)

Total 50-100 hours over 6 to 9 months.


$3,000 in three $1,000 payments at the conclusion of each segment of the fellowship plus a $1,000 budget for training opportunities.


Application Process 

Interested candidates need to submit a letter with their plan for what they’d be interested in doing with the fellowship, with a note on how it would be beneficial for themselves and beneficial for ARAC.

For proposal ideas it is strongly recommended that the applicant contact the current fellow to assist in their future fellowship proposal before submission. Please contact our current fellow at with the subject line “ARAC Fellowship” if you would like to talk before submitting.

You can also contact Drew Digby, ARAC’s Executive Director, with other questions: for questions regarding the fellowship.

Submission deadline: April 16, 2021