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CAELI Application Instructions

We are no longer acceptions applications for CAELI 2018 cohort.

The Community Arts Education Leadership Institute (CAELI)
provides an intensive, transformative experience through which current and aspiring leaders advance their skills by engaging with top leadership trainers and nationally renowned practitioners. CAELI is ideally suited for those already in, or preparing to move into, a leadership role at a tax-exempt non-profit organization within the community arts education field. The eight-month program includes a five-day seminar at Bryn Mawr College (Philadelphia, PA), a 360-degree feedback process, peer-mentoring, and follow-up coaching. To optimize the learning experience, participation is limited to 26 individuals selected through a competitive application process.

Eligibility Criteria & Selection Process

Institute participants will gain skills and perspective needed to lead nonprofit arts education organizations and develop relationships with an extraordinary cohort of peers dedicated to advancing the field.

To optimize the learning experience, participation is limited to 26. Successful applicants will:

  • Be in a leadership role at a tax-exempt organization within the field of community arts education – or – be preparing to move into such a role within the next few years. For example, applicants may be executive directors, heads of departments, or other key staff members with management responsibilities.
  • Commit to participating in all Institute activities as described above and the Institute evaluation process.
  • Have the support of their organization to participate.*

Candidates will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated leadership potential: The applicant must demonstrate his or her leadership qualities and potential as indicated by organizational, community, governmental, and/or volunteer activities in the application.
  • Demonstrated commitment to a career in community arts education: Successful applicants will demonstrate their commitment to community arts education (e.g., education, work, and volunteer experience) and goals for making a deeper contribution in the future.
  • Potential to be an active & engaged participant: A successful applicant must be curious and demonstrate a strong willingness to work with, learn from, and share with a diverse cohort of participants.

Special efforts will be made to recruit a diverse cohort in terms of geography, ethnicity, gender, professional background, etc.

* Those not currently employed in the field of community arts education may apply but should contact National Guild director of learning and leadership development James Horton at 212-268-3337 ext. 12 to discuss their candidacy.


Thanks to American Express, the Cleveland Foundation, and other leading funders that have invested in the future of the community arts education, the $6,600 cost of the Institute has been considerably subsidized. Registration fees for 2018 are $2,200 for those from Guild member organizations and $2,600 for others. Registration fees cover:

  • Training materials
  • The 360-degree feedback process
  • Seminar tuition
  • Executive coaching sessions

Room and board during the 5-day/4-night institute at Bryn Mawr College is an additional $495. This covers four nights' lodging and all meals with the exception of dinner one evening, set aside to enjoy a night on the town with your peers.

Total Guild Member Cost $2,695
Total non-Guild Member Cost $3,095

How to Apply

1. Complete the online application form. On the form you will be asked to upload:

  • Two-page statement of interest OR three-minute video
  • Resume (3 pages max)
  • Professional bio (200 word max)
  • Current high-resolution headshot (jpeg, 300dpi or greater)
  • $50 application fee (paid by credit card through the form)

Your two-page statement or three-minute video should respond to the following three question

  • Why is participating in the Institute important for you at this stage in your life and career?
  • What is an instance when someone has given you feedback or other guidance that you've found helpful, and how did this influence the way you think about your role and how you work with others?
  • What are you dreams for how you might impact the future of community arts education?

2. Have a leader in your organization write a letter of recommendation addressing:

  • How he/she knows you, in what capacity, and for how long.
  • Why he/she feels you would be a good candidate for the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute.
  • How the organization will support your participation. Will it help cover your participation fee? Make time for your colleagues to participate in your 360-degree feedback process? Provide support in other ways?

He/she should e-mail your letter of recommendation to with the subject line reading “Recommendation for YOUR FULL NAME."


Contact National Guild director of learning and leadership development James C. Horton at 212-268-3337 ext. 12 or

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.