September 30, 2014
Clyde Valentín, director of the arts and urbanism initiative at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, is one of 50 international arts leaders chosen to participate in the 2014-15 class of The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture, a prestigious one-year leadership program of Virginia-based National Arts Strategies (NAS). The program focuses on leaders of organizations where “community is at the heart of the mission.”
The 50 executives will work together with NAS over the next year to address their biggest challenges and lead change throughout the arts and culture sector. NAS received applications from leaders in 32 states and 13 countries. Valentín is one of only two participants chosen from the state of Texas; the other is Brent Hasty, executive director of MINDPOP in Austin.
“Healthy organizations share deep connections with their communities,” said NAS CEO Designate Gail Crider. “We’ve seen that leaders who build and maintain a strong sense of local relevance are creating organizations for both the present and the future. We at NAS progress field-wide change by providing the training and support to these leaders. Having experienced this program and bonded as a community, these 50 leaders will have the ideas, tools and connections to effect change in their own organizations and to accelerate their work collectively to strengthen communities and the cultural sector.”
Now in its third year, The Chief Executive Program is built around two learning cycles that help leaders explore, reflect, apply and share concepts that address the two biggest challenges for cultural institutions – making strategic choices that are on-mission and leading change. Beginning in September 2014 and continuing through 2015, the program includes three in-person educational events at Vanderbilt University, at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and at Sundance Resort, as well as a variety of at-work activities designed to help leaders move forward on their own unique objectives and goals. These events and activities are designed to give participants a deeper understanding of the strategic challenges they face, a firm grasp of change leadership and the ability to translate their visions for the future into reality.
“Being selected for the NAS program comes at an important time as the arts and urbanism initiative begins to take shape,” said Valentín. “It reinforces for me that our work is on the right track. It presents a unique opportunity to network with and learn from arts leaders doing similar work around the world. It also connects SMU and Dallas to this work on another level and will eventually lead to more access for our students and local artists living and working in Dallas.”
Participants in The Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture were selected following a highly competitive recruitment process to identify the top executive cultural leaders from around the world whose organizations work closely with communities on creative initiatives. The leaders were selected from a wide range of cultural forms, locations, perspectives and experience levels. NAS said that these executives have proven themselves to be effective, innovative, collaborative and open-minded.
Development of The Chief Executive Program was made possible by the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Fidelity Foundation and The Kresge Foundation. For more information, visit artstrategies.org.