The Kennedy Center Announces Inaugural Next Generation Leaders Scholarship

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The Kennedy Center Announces Inaugural Next Generation Leaders Scholarship

The Kennedy Center announces the inaugural Next Generation Leaders Scholarship, the newest initiative in the Center's ongoing efforts to increase arts leadership opportunities for historically underrepresented populations. The Next Generation Leaders Scholarship seeks to remove some of the systemic barriers that prevent talented individuals from entering the field of arts administration by offering a 10-week intensive training program, mentorship, and a $4,500 scholarship. Applications are open now for the inaugural program that begins in Summer 2020; visit for more information and to apply.

"Field research and real-world experience tell us that diverse, representative workforces lead to stronger, more vibrant, more creative organizations," said Colby Thornton, the Kennedy Center's Director of Talent Acquisition and Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. "The Next Generation Leaders Scholarship addresses real barriers that prevent qualified people from entering arts administration: lack of experience, lack of networks, and lack of financial resources to gain experience. By removing these obstacles and inviting students and recent students in to learn at the Center, we are creating a pipeline for future arts leaders and we are enriching Kennedy Center culture right now."

Open to college juniors, seniors, and recent graduates, the 10-week program consists of a rigorous course to help individuals develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for future arts leaders. Awarded individuals are placed within a department and paired with a mentor, usually a mid-level manager or senior leader. Participants will also participate in job shadowing and educational seminars offered by senior staff on topics including artistic programming, strategic planning, marketing, and budgeting. The application deadline is January 31, 2020, and scholarships will be awarded in early April 2020 for a program that runs June 8 through August 14, 2020. Applicants must represent either cultural diversity or socio-economic diversity and be able to participate in the full 10-week course.

The Kennedy Center's Next Generation Leaders Scholarship complements the Center's many career advancement initiatives, including the robust internship program; the Kennedy Center Fellowship in Arts Management in partnership with American University; the Public Allies apprenticeship; the Experiential Education Initiative Internship (EEI) for individuals with intellectual disabilities; and the Rosemary Kennedy initiatives, which invest in youth with disabilities who are transitioning into the workforce. The Center is also home to a number of career development programs for aspiring artists and early-career professional artists.

Major Support is provided by the Pritzker Traubert Foundation.

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