Voice of Denver: CBCA's Unique Leadership Program Focused on Arts & Culture

Deborah Jordy, Executive Director of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, invites Denver's business leaders to apply for its Leadership Arts program.
Denver is chock-full of leadership training programs and professional development opportunities. Each is distinct, tailored to the needs of the participants and their ambitions. But there is only one program in the region that focuses on the arts and culture sector. 
The Leadership Arts program by the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts  (CBCA) is a unique eight-month leadership training program that educates, equips and inspires individuals to serve on boards of directors of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations.  Monthly half-day sessions are hosted at local cultural institutions and led by subject matter experts on topics such as strategic planning, advocacy, governance and fundraising.  
The Colorado Business Committee for the Arts has offered Leadership Arts for nearly two decades. The program has graduated more than 600 emerging leaders from 364 companies who are making a lasting impact on Colorado's arts and nonprofit community. 
"Colorado's artistic and cultural vibrancy not only enhances our quality of life, but also helps to attract employees and companies and sparks ingenuity that delivers bottom-line value for businesses and communities," says John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado and former CBCA Board Chair. "By promoting the connection between business and the arts, CBCA inspires creative leadership with the bold thinking to foster innovation and success."
This one-of-a-kind program provides meaningful opportunities for individuals to learn about and contribute to Denver's creative community.
"I have always been passionate about the arts, but looked to Leadership Arts to kick-start my volunteer and board service with cultural institutions," says Sarah Hogan, Leadership Arts alumna, Vice President at Barefoot Public Relations and Board Chair at The Delores Project.

The program culminates with a Board Fair, attended by dozens of cultural organizations. Leadership Arts alumni have a reputation for excellence. Graduates have gone on to serve as Board Chairs, recruit fellow participants to Boards and stay connected through CBCA's Leadership Arts Alumni Network.
Chip Walton, Founder and Producing Artistic Director at Curious Theatre Company, says participants have been an invaluable resource on the Curious Board of Directors. "We could always count on Leadership Arts grads to bring a tremendous skill set and preparation to our board, and those same trustees have continued to contribute remarkably to our organization throughout our entire history." 

Businesses also benefit from increased employee confidence, civic engagement, external visibility and philanthropic commitment.
"I have lived in Denver for five years and I think the CBCA program should be mandatory for every new resident," says says Benjamin Sawyer, VP and Wealth Management Advisor at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank and Leadership arts alum. "I learned about places, programs, and cultural opportunities that I never knew existed."
CBCA is currently accepting applications for the 2013-2014 Leadership Arts class. The application is available on CBCA's website. Applications are due by 5pm on Friday, August 23, 2013. Applications can be received by email to main@cbca.org; by mail to CBCA, 130 W. 12th Ave Denver, CO 80204; or by fax to 303/282-5174. 
CBCA's mission is to advance Colorado's creative economy by connecting business and arts. CBCA is a member organization of leading companies that have a philanthropic commitment to the arts and recognize the link between cultural vitality and creative and innovative success. Over 130 metro area businesses, representing 70,000 employees, are members of CBCA. Contact main@cbca.org to learn more about CBCA membership. 
Prior to joining CBCA, Deborah Jordy served as Executive Director of the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. Deborah sits on the Americans for the Arts Private Sector Council and co-chairs the Create Denver Advisory Committee. In 2011, Deborah was named to the national Board of Directors of Americans for the Arts.
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