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The Chief Executive Program™
Action Plans
Program Timeline
Program Fellows


Arts & Culture Strategy
on Coursera »

Join colleagues around the world to develop your leadership skills and cultivate your knowledge of the field. Learn at your own pace, for free. Enroll today »

Creative Community Launchpad »

Bainbridge Island, WA | March 17-20, 2016
Fellows attend a three-day in-person feedback session where they present their project pitch to national funders and leaders in the field of creative placemaking and receive feedback.

Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy »

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA | March 2-5, 2016

Students will meet their colleagues, learn about key concepts such as negotiation, decision-making and human-centered design and meet the NAS & Penn teaching teams.



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The Chief Executive Program


Our Partners

This program is the result of the incredible collaboration and support of The Kresge Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Fidelity Foundation, University of Michigan and Vanderbilt University.


National Arts Strategies believes that arts and culture are vital to community life. We also believe that community is vital to arts and culture. We've seen that the organizations who thrive are the ones who understand and connect with their communities. They partner with other local organizations and take part in civic initiatives. Most importantly, they listen to community members. This kind of connectivity and relevance is the key to sustainability.  With the support of The Kresge Foundation, we've built the Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture for CEOs working at the intersection of culture and community. These individuals lead organizations that use culture to respond to local needs and contribute to healthy neighborhoods.

The Experience

The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture is built around two learning cycles that help leaders explore, reflect, apply and share concepts that address the two biggest challenges for cultural institutions – making strategic choices that are on-mission and leading change. Throughout the program, they also have opportunities to think beyond their local organization and community to debate the big-picture questions facing the cultural field and how we can respond to them. At the program's end, leaders meet one more time to draw upon their learning and harness the collective brainpower of the community to explore answers to these questions.

Learning Cycle

During the selection process, leaders shared the organizational objectives they hope to achieve over the course of the program and the issues they see for the field. Over the first few months of the program, leaders make connections with their colleagues and the NAS team. NAS provides tools and platforms to help participants connect around the issues they outlined during the selection process. We also lead them through activities like building an action plan to help tailor the program to their style and needs.

Action plans are the maps participants use to navigate the program and achieve the objectives they've set. They are living documents that help leaders incorporate the ideas and learning into their everyday work in an effective and meaningful way.

Learn more about the action plans »

During the program, participants come together at three in-person events and participate in a variety of “at-work” activities designed to help them move forward on the key objectives they have defined. These events and activities are designed to give participants a deeper understanding of the strategic challenges they face, a firm grasp of change leadership and the ability to translate their visions for the future into reality.

View a timeline of the program »



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