The Performing Arts Program has been making grants to help emerging arts leaders develop satisfying and successful careers through the Next Generation Arts Leadership Initiative since 2009. The program commissioned Open Mind Consulting in late 2014 to reassess the arts leadership landscape in California and explore opportunities for future investments. Based on the research, this report provides recommendations to the field on how to better leverage cross-generational leadership and shared values to create a stronger arts ecosystem, as well information about how the Hewlett Foundation plans to respond. In expanding the scope, this area of work will operate under a new name: Arts Leadership Forward.

Key findings the report examines:

– Higher educational attainment among emerging arts leaders, coupled with higher debt levels, are creating greater demand earlier in individuals’ careers for sustainable compensation

– Degree programs and certifications in arts administration and nonprofit management now produce more formally trained early-career arts leaders

– Economic pressures have contributed to long-term leaders’ decisions to defer retirement

– With late-career leaders staying in their positions longer and greater numbers of early-career leaders entering the workforce, there are more cross-generational workplaces and distinct work styles

– Rapid demographic change has created unprecedented diversity in California, but this diversity is not yet represented in the executive and board leadership of the nonprofit arts sector


Performing Arts Program Director John McGuirk introduced the report with a blog post, What Do Arts Leaders Really Need?