Our Progress

NAS builds and supports a diverse community of cultural leaders who drive inspiring change for the future. Our interlocking suite of programs support leaders from a variety of backgrounds throughout their careers whether they lead or work with an organization or independently. The following briefly explains our theory of change.

Our Beliefs

Inequity is an injustice that we do everything within our power to address. Leaders come in many forms and from many places. It's time that all leaders are recognized. We actively choose diverse participants who are all values-based, creative thinkers who want to change their world. And, we work with leaders and communities to shift mindsets, conversations and imbalances.

Our sector can’t just respond, it must lead. But, as the world gets more complex, so does the role of a leader. Our long-term support helps the visionary leaders of today and tomorrow have the important and sometimes difficult conversations that enable more potent strategic decisions.

We create deep exchange across generations of leaders and among the world’s leading minds, with whom we partner based on their relevance, rigor and reputation. With these academic leaders and institutions, we offer our sector the benefits of proven process and methods that can be challenged, adapted and used time and time again, rather than “flavor of the month,” single personality approaches.

Growing over three decades, our alumni community is a powerful mix of disciplines, cultures, geography, ages and roles. Leaders test and strengthen their styles by learning alongside one another, transferring knowledge, deepening connections and broadening networks. As a growing community of practice, we create a more vibrant cultural ecosystem.



Our Programs


Our Goals

Create and support a more diverse pipeline of leadership
Build leaders' skills in the area of driving change
Give leaders frames to redefine a broader and more inclusive ecosystem
Address leaders' isolation at intervals and over time creating confidential, challenging and nurturing spaces



Case Stories

“Being taken out of your comfort zone and looking at decisions that made your organization vulnerable was tough. But the Chief Executive Program’s lessons helped me build skills that create even more value for our community and the support of my incredible cohort helped me share a vision more effectively with both partners and my team.”

Shahina Johnson,
CEO and Artistic Director, Create Studios

Read Shahina's story


“My ability to lead and manage strategically is now night and day to what is was before I entered the Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy.”

Guy Yedwab,
Managing Director of Operations, League of Independent Theater

Read Guy's story

“Getting to meet leaders from my industry and having access to them when I have a question has had a huge impact on my work. However, one of my best friends from the program is a woman who runs an aquarium in North Carolina. We’ve learned so much from each other.” 

Shirley Sneve,
Executive Director, Vision Maker Media

Read Shirley's story

“I found it useful to talk to people who run organizations of different sizes. Leadership positions can be quite isolating. There was a trusting environment in the program which allowed you show up in ways you simply can’t in other places. It was liberating to talk leader-to-leader.”

Katy Clark,
President, Brooklyn Academy of Music

Read Katy's story