ARTS LEADERS AS CULTURAL INNOVATORS
Becoming an Adaptive Leader
Offered in cities and regions around the country, Arts Leaders as Cultural Innovators (ALACI) is a nationally renowned leadership development program presented by CultureSource. ALACI engaged cohorts of up to 20 first-time executive and artistic directors (with approximately one to five years of experience in their role) of nonprofit arts and culture organizations (or organizations that sustain significant cultural programs in their portfolio of services).
Diana Abouali, Arab American National Museum
Karisa Antonio, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Sarah Clare Corporandy, Detroit Public Theatre
Miah Davis, Detroit Artists Market
Kathryn Dimond, The Scarab Club
Christian Greer, Michigan Science Center
Kris Johnson, MSU Community Music School-Detroit
Jennifer Jones, Title Track
Ali Lapetina, Women of Banglatown
Jova Lynne, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
Mike Michelon, Ann Arbor Summer Festival
Toni Moceri, Allied Media Projects
Marie Patton, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
Susan Westhoff, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and Leslie Science & Nature Center
Hananiah Wiggins, Neutral Zone
The six-month process of seminars, executive coaching, virtual learning, and practicums that aims to equip leaders to navigate complexity, ambiguity, and opportunities for change in their organizations. Across this experience, seasoned facilitators work alongside the participant leaders to explore new strategies for supporting organizational innovation and adaptive changemaking.
The ALACI program sparked an important shift in my critical thinking about organizational development. It really has been the best professional development experience that I have had since becoming an executive director and has been critical in shaping my leadership, responding to the pandemic, addressing racial injustice, and supporting my community.
Executive Director, Neutral Zone
The elements of the program, over six months, have been carefully designed to reinforce each other and achieve maximum impact for participants and their communities.
Three full-group, two-day seminars for all participants together
- Held over four months, each for two days
- Faculty include leadership experts, seasoned process facilitators
- Seminar elements: learning modules, practical exercises, small group work, reflection, and coaching
- Leadership competency review and Belbin Team-Role Preference analysis for each participant
- Individual executive coaching throughout the program
Note: The dates for Seminar two have changed to April 18 and 19, 2024.
In-organization and In-community Practice
- Defined opportunities for each participant to engage in new practices and guide adaptive work in their organization
- Opportunity in phase two of the program (the second five months) for participants to work individually and/or together in small groups to address complex challenges in their community
Virtual Learning program
- Short videos, available on demand 24/7, on key topics in adaptive leadership and managing an adaptive change process – such as identifying complex challenges, building an innovation team, generating innovative strategies, creating an effective project framework, designing experiments and prototypes, and enrolling others
Individual Executive Coaching
- Participants will benefit from regular individualized phone counseling by a qualified executive coach, as follow-up to the seminars and virtual learning, and in parallel with participants putting new approaches into practice.
In this virtual information session, CultureSource executive director Omari Rush and seasoned process facilitator Liz Dreyer discuss the practice of adaptive changemaking and answer questions about the program curriculum. Previous program participants Lori Roddy (Neutral Zone) and Suma Rosen (InsideOut Literary Arts) also share their experience and its benefits to their leadership.
Liz’s work on the design, delivery, and management of Adaptive Change workshops, convenings, and coachings have been implemented in more than a dozen cities across the United States and in Canada. Undergirded by innovation and adaptive change frameworks, grounded in the situations and real issues of each organization and community, the cohorts develop organizational awareness, supporting peer-to-peer sharing of effective “next” practices, devising adaptive responses to complex challenges, and building the necessary skills and capacities to design and implement innovative initiatives. Communities include Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, Charlotte, New York, Houston, Philadelphia, Edmonton, Calgary, and Toronto.
Dr. Naimah holds a B.A. in Marketing from Michigan State University, an M.B.A. with a focus in Organizational Development, and a Ph.D. in Learning Design and Technology, both from Wayne State University. She is a 2018 alum of the German Marshall Fund’s esteemed Marshall Memorial Fellowship (MMF) and a 2019 alum of the Culture Source Arts Leaders as Cultural Innovators (ALACI) Adaptive Leaders Fellowship.
Why this program now?
Arts and cultural organizations are continuing to experience prolonged hardship from the aftereffects of the pandemic and turbulent economic conditions. This demands not so much improvement in existing organizational strategies, but departures from past practice—innovations in program formats, equitable engagement with diverse publics, creative use of the technology, organizational structures and governance, and new partnerships. ALACI trains seasoned and rising leaders to rehearse adaptive leadership—a set of practices that empowers leaders to act as collaborative hosts and imagine innovative solutions to challenges in the sector.
Why Southeast Michigan?
At arts organizations across the region, we are steadily welcoming new leaders to our sector, many of them first-time executive directors and CEOs. These professionals have expressed a desire for arts and culture-focused leadership development, something they have struggled to find elsewhere in Southeast Michigan. The Arts Leaders as Cultural Innovators program is the first of many that will expand the robustness of CultureSource’s professional development offering for arts leaders and member organizations.
This program helped me to develop an experimental mindset around problem-solving that has been advantageous during and after the pandemic. Through the ALACI fellowship and other EmcArts programs I’ve participated in, I’ve been able to build a set of tools that have been invaluable in guiding the Anton Art Center to learn our way through situations or contexts that have no clear path forward.
Executive Director, Advancing Macomb
Questions? Contact Program Manager Goode Wyche III at [email protected]
The Arts Leaders as Cultural Innovators program was designed and for years presented by the nonprofit arts consulting group EmcArts. CultureSource integrated EmcArts into our organization in 2022, making their unique and high-impact leadership development programs permanent offerings in our portfolio of services.
Each participant’s organization is asked to sponsor their fellow’s participation with a financial commitment of $2,000.
Applicants who are employees of CultureSource member organizations automatically receive scholarships of $1750 towards the program’s cost.
We are asking for organizational financial commitment as a means of ensuring that each individual has substantive backing for a program that will not only provide benefits for the individual and the organization but will also require ongoing organizational investment and support for the fellow to practice adaptive leadership skills.
EmcArts co-founder and long-time president Richard Evans passed away in 2022 after battling an aggressive cancer. Before his passing, Richard spearheaded the integration of EmcArts into CultureSource—securing a permanent Southeast Michigan home for the practice of adaptive changemaking that he pioneered in the cultural sector.
EmcArts, a social enterprise for innovation and adaptive change in the arts, worked for over 20 years to strengthen the capacity of arts leaders and organizations. Across its existence, EmcArts engaged more than 2500 individuals, 250 organizations, and numerous communities across the United States and Canada. Richard designed and implemented a sustained series of groundbreaking initiatives designed to help arts organizations design and manage innovation and adapt to changing environments.
CultureSource is dedicated to honoring Richard’s legacy by continuing his work of ensuring the sustained vitality of our most cherished arts organizations.