Leah Horn


Second Round of National Leaders of Color Fellowship to Launch with Support from United States Regional Arts Organizations Application Opens September 18 for Unique 

Eight-Month Leadership Development Experience

Denver, CO, September 11, 2023—Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) has partnered with its five United States Regional Arts Organization (USRAO) counterparts in continued support for the National Leaders of Color Fellowship, a transformative leadership development experience curated by WESTAF in order to establish multicultural leadership in the creative and cultural sector. By partnering with the other RAOs (Arts Midwest, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mid Atlantic Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, South Arts), the program has expanded nationwide and its mission has become a national endeavor. 

The fellowship will take place completely online from late fall through early summer. During this no-cost eight-month fellowship, selected fellows receive access to specialists in the field, strategic learning objectives determined to deepen thought on anti-racist and culturally-oriented leadership practices, and national-level network and cohort building. Upon completion of this program, participants transition to alumni status and have opportunities to collaborate with the USRAO in their region as advisors, funding panelists, and/or other professional capacities.

“WESTAF has been committed to investing in and amplifying the voices of leaders of color through our regional cohort programs for over a decade,” said Anika Tené, director of social responsibility and inclusion. “What we have seen in the first year of this nationalprogram resonates with our past experiences. BIPOC leaders know the field; they know the gaps and have experienced the strengths. Coming together as regional arts organizations to strategize with BIPOC leaders is a great step forward that we have seen after the first year of the program. We look forward to engaging the second year’s cohort in these ways and beyond.”

For additional information and to apply visit The application will open on September 18 and the deadline to apply is Monday, October 16, 2023.


WESTAF is a regional nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to strengthening the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts in the West. WESTAF assists state arts agencies, arts organizations, and artists in their quest to serve diverse audiences, enrich the lives of local communities, and provide access to the arts and arts education for all. Through innovative programming, advocacy, research, technology, and grantmaking, WESTAF encourages the creative advancement and preservation of the arts regionally and through a national network of customers and alliances. Founded in 1974, WESTAF is governed by a 22-member board of trustees and serves the largest constituent territory of the six U.S. regional arts organizations and includes Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Learn more at

About the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations

The United States Regional Arts Organizations (USRAOs) strengthen and support arts, culture, and creativity in their individual regions as well as across the nation. They serve the nation’s artists, arts and culture organizations, and creative communities with programs that reflect and celebrate the diversity of the field in which they work. They partner with the National Endowment for the Arts, state arts agencies, individuals, and other public and private funders to develop and deliver programs, services, and products that advance arts and creativity. Learn more at