CreateNYC: Leadership Accelerator

CreateNYC: Leadership Accelerator

Program Description

The CreateNYC: Leadership Accelerator is a pilot professional development course available up to 25 full-time, mid-level cultural workers working in any area of the cultural sector. The program is designed to promote diversity and equity in the cultural workforce by strengthening management skills that are integral to career growth and mobility within the sector as well as by building a diverse network of peers who can support one another as they advance into leadership positions. Threaded throughout the program will be an examination of systemic challenges that exist in the workplace and an exchange of strategies to promote equity in the cultural workforce. The program curriculum was developed by the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) and the CUNY Creative Arts Team, and is supported by DCLA as part of its CreateNYC cultural plan efforts.


There is no cost to attend this program; DCLA encourages employers to permit accepted staff members to participate in this program as normal work hours (without having to use annual leave or leave without pay).


  • Thursday, March 29, 2018: Application release date
  • Friday, April 13, 2018: Application due date (including supervisor recommendation letter)
  • Friday, May 4, 2018: Accepted applicants notified 
  • Tuesday, May 29, 2018: Program start date


CreateNYC: Leadership Accelerator is open up to 25 full-time, mid-level cultural workers working in any area of the cultural sector, for an organization that receives funding from DCLA through the Cultural Development Fund (CDF) or as a CIG.

For the purpose of this program, "mid-level" is defined as someone who has independent financial, programmatic, and/or operational responsibilities. Applicants must have a minimum of three years' experience as a "mid-level" employee at a cultural organization.

For the purpose of this program, "full-time" is defined as the maximum number of hours that can be worked for an organization, given the organization's regular hours of operation.

While there is no limit on how many staff members can apply from a single organizations, it is highly likely that given the competitive and limited nature of the pilot, an organization would be represented by only one staff member in the program.


The course will consist of five, full-day sessions (10:00am-4:30pm) in a classroom setting located in midtown Manhattan. Selected participants are required to attend all five days. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Session dates and topics are:

  • Tuesday, May 29, 2018: Personal Development
  • Tuesday, June 05, 2018: Communication
  • Tuesday, June 12, 2018: Collaboration
  • Tuesday, June 19, 2018: Management
  • Tuesday, June 26, 2018: Strategy

Location and Accessibility
All sessions will take place at the CUNY School of Professional Studies on 119 West 31st Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan), Room 407. Note: ID is required to enter the building.

The 31st Street building entrance is accessible. Every floor has accessible restrooms. The closest subway stations, which both have elevators, are 34th Street/Penn Station (1, 2, 3) and 34th Street/Herald Square (B, D, F, M, N, Q, R, W.) Further accessibility information, including how to request accommodations, will be provided upon acceptance into the program.

Application package includes the following 4 pieces:

  1. Completed application (see below)
  2. Resume
  3. Personal Statement, no more than 500 words addressing the following two questions:
    1. What specific skills are you interested in developing that you think might be required to advance professionfally in this sector? Please explain your current role and how developing these new skills will help your career. (250 words)
    2. What challenges exist for you that might prevent professional advancement? (e.g., skill-building, racial or gender bias, etc.)? (250 words)
  4. Signed letter of recommendation from your current supervisor, of no more than 500 words, which describes your role and responsibilities within the organization and why you would be a good candidate for the CreateNYC: Leadership Accelerator program. (Instructions will be emailed directly to your supervisor once your application is submitted; see further details below in the application. Letter must include the supervisor’s signature and title.)

Application packages, including your supervisor recommendation letter, are due by 11:59 PM on Friday, April 13, 2018.

Click here to submit your application.

If you have any questions, please contact Dawn Picken at the CUNY School of Professional Studies,