National Guild For Community Arts Education

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Planning for Leadership Transition


Like other nonprofits, community arts education (CAE) organizations are facing a wave of change, as long-time leaders—often founders who have directed an organization for thirty years and more—retire. Transitioning to new leadership raises a range of issues that boards and leaders must address in order to safeguard the founder’s legacy, maintain the organization’s ability to serve its constituents, and enable it to evolve as needs change.

In the latest issue of GuildNotes, two CAE organizations offer examples of successful transitions handled in different ways. Community Music Center, San Francisco, CA, conducted a search for a new executive director after Stephen R. Shapiro informed the board that he planned to retire in just under two years. At the Philadelphia Folklore Project, Selina Morales became director in 2014, four years after being hired as program associate.

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Featured Member

Founded in 1948, Art League Houston has radically evolved beyond the parameters of traditional art leagues. While keeping the core of the art league model—a robust membership deeply committed to the value of visual art in contemporary life—Art League Houston embraces 21st century approaches to curatorial programming, community-building, place-making, art education, and outreach to under-served communities. Their mission is to connect the community through diverse, dynamic, and creative experiences that bring people together to see, make, and talk about contemporary visual art.


This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.