Page 1

CAELI Application Banner

Since 1985, the National Guild for Community Arts Education has offered cohort style training programs for Community Arts Education Practitioners to deepen their leadership and build strong relationships with existing and new peers in the field.  Now, after examining the breadth of offerings over the last few decades, the National Guild has expanded the previously offered CAELI program into a multi-cohort institute. The renamed CAELII, COMMUNITY ARTS EDUCATION LEADERSHIP and INTERCULTURAL INSTITUTE, will now offer three reflective, cohort-style experiences in SELF, ORGANIZATION, AND COMMUNITY to transform the leadership of community arts education artists, funders, and administrators. Learn more on our website about all three cohort offerings. 

This application process is for the annual Leadership Transformation Cohort focused on self in leadership. 


The Leadership Transformation Cohort is a self-reflective, transformative cohort experience through which both seasoned and emerging leaders advance their leadership skills by engaging with top leadership trainers, nationally renowned practitioners, and a diverse cohort of peers. This 6 month long cohort program includes a five-day in-person retreat, peer-mentoring, and follow-up coaching.

  • March - April: Applications opened, closed on April 22nd, and reviewed
  • Week of May 9,2024: applicants informed of acceptance, waitlist, or decline
  • June, 2024: prep work will be given to ground the cohort  before the in-person retreat
  • July 15 - 19, 2024: Five-day in-person cohort retreat at Green Mountain Retreat Center (Los Gatos, CA) 
  • August - November: Three 1:1 executive coaching sessions and 2 group sessions to support your individual leadership development plan. These sessions are scheduled flexibly between the months of August and November to complete your development plan.  

The CAELII Leadership Transformation Cohort will increase your leadership effectiveness by helping you:
  • Increase awareness of the characteristics of strong self-reflective practice
  • Identify your core values and learn how these influence behavior and decision making
  • Deepen your understanding of intersectionality and how personal biases influence leadership practice 
  • Build mindfulness and embodiment practices, and an understanding of collective care
  • Create a healthy boundaries document for relationship building, and practices to embrace conflict
  • Commit to your developmental goals, and with your coach, initiate a plan of action

Upon completion, cohort members join the Alumni Network to
  • continue to develop as leaders of their organizations, their communities, and the field of arts education
  • build a network of leaders who can share tools and provide support for one another; and
  • strengthen the Guild’s connections with the people and organizations it serves, expanding its ability to address critical issues.

To optimize the learning experience, participation is limited to 26 individuals selected through a competitive application process.

CAELII is ideally suited for those seeking to be catalysts of change through transformational leadership. Participants include community arts education stakeholders of all kinds: arts education administrators at nonprofit organizations and government agencies, independent teaching artists, as well as professionals from allied sectors, e.g., youth development, K-12 schools, mental health, and more.

Please read the eligibility criteria and application guidelines carefully before completing this form.

Note: Our goal is to make our application process as easy as possible.  If you have feedback on what works well or what doesn’t work well, or need accommodations in order to apply, we'd like to hear from you. Please contact Ashley Hare at or call us at (212) 268-3337 x 704

The application deadline is April 22, 2024.  You will be notified regarding the status of your application no later than May 13, 2024. If accepted, your registration fee and room & board must be paid by May 20, 2024. Fee schedules are available.

Personal Information

Examples: she/her, they/them, etc.

Professional Information

CAELII participation is eligible for leaders that are affiliated with organizations as well as those who are applying independently (e.g., independent teaching artists, community leaders, etc.).

Page 2

Financial Assistance

CAELII provides financial assistance to candidates who are accepted into the program and demonstrate a need for some level of financial assistance to participate. All applications seeking financial aid will be reviewed, however, priority for financial aid is given to leaders who have been/currently are systematically marginalized due to race, gender, or ability, leaders from organizations with budgets under $500k, and independent artists.

All participants are expected to contribute to their tuition. Tuition includes house and meals for the in-person retreat in July.

Personal Reflection
Please answer the following questions to help us get to know you better.  Please use one of the following formats (written, audio file, video, phone call with Guild staff*) to submit your answers:
  • Why is participating in the Institute important for you at this stage in your life and career?
  • What is an instance when someone has given you feedback or other guidance that you've found helpful, and how did this influence the way you think about your role and how you work with others?
  • In this peer learning space, what do you hope to share with others?
  • What are your dreams for how you might impact the future of community arts education?

*If you need accessibility support, please contact Guild staff for the option of a  phone interview to answer questions at