Application Instructions

Applications for CAELI 2019 are now closed. Applications for CAELI 2020 will be announced in early 2020. Please check back for more information. 

The Community Arts Education Leadership Institute (CAELI) provides an intensive, transformative experience through which both seasoned and emerging leaders advance their skills by engaging with top leadership trainers, nationally renowned practitioners, and a diverse cohort of peers.

The eight-month program includes a five-day seminar at Bryn Mawr College (Philadelphia, PA), from July 16-20, 2019, a 360-degree feedback process, peer-mentoring, and follow-up coaching. To optimize the learning experience, participation is limited to 26 individuals selected through a competitive application process.

Applicant Webinar

On March 6, 2019, we held an application orientation webinar which covered the program, application process, logistics, and answered questions. You can now watch the full webinar below.

Skip ahead for: 

5:00: What is CAELI? 

22:20: CAELI Alumni share about their experience

52:00: Q&A session 

1:09:00: How to craft a compelling application & application instructions

Eligibility Criteria & Selection Process

Successful applicants are:

  • Stakeholders in the arts education field. Applicants may be executive directors, heads of departments, or other key staff members with management responsibilities at tax-exempt organizations. Applicants also may be independent teaching artists and professionals from allied sectors (e.g., youth development, K-12 schools, mental health) that are working in arts education.
  • Committed to their professional growth by participating in all of the Institute activities and the Institute evaluation process.
  • Have the support of their organization to participate (if applying as a representative of an organization).

Candidates will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated leadership potential: The applicant must demonstrate his or her leadership qualities and potential as indicated by their short answer, written or video narrative, and letter of recommendation.
  • Demonstrated commitment to a career in community arts education: Successful applicants will demonstrate their commitment to community arts education (e.g., education, work, and volunteer experience) and goals for making a deeper contribution in the future.
  • Potential to be an active and engaged participant: A successful applicant must demonstrate a willingness to work with, learn from, and share with a diverse cohort of participants.

Special efforts will be made to recruit a diverse cohort in terms of geography, ethnicity, gender, and professional background.


Thanks to generous sponsor support, the full $6,600 cost of the Institute has been considerably subsidized for participants.

Total cost for CAELI 2019: 

Membership Status Tuition Room & Board  Total Cost
Guild Member $2,200 $495 $2,695
Non-Guild Member $2,600 $495 $3,095

Financial aid is available; complete the financial aid application along with your CAELI program application.

Registration fees cover:

  • Training materials
  • The 360-degree feedback process
  • Seminar tuition
  • Executive coaching sessions

Room & Board covers your housing and meals at the 5-day seminar at Bryn Mawr College. 

How to Apply
Applications for CAELI 2019 are now closed.

1. On the form you will be asked to upload:

  • Two-page statement of interest OR three-minute video (see instructions below)
  • Professional bio (200 word max)
  • Current high-resolution headshot (jpeg, 300dpi or greater)
  • $25 application fee (paid by credit card through the form)

Your two-page statement or three-minute video should respond to the following three questions:

  • 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?
  • What are your dreams for how you might impact the future of community arts education?

2. Submit a letter of recommendation:

Recommenders should e-mail your letter of recommendation to with the subject line reading “Recommendation for YOUR FULL NAME.

If you are applying through your organization:

Have a leader in your organization write a letter of recommendation addressing:

  • How they know you, in what capacity, and for how long.
  • Why they feel you would be a good candidate for the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute.
  • How the organization will support your participation. Will it help cover your participation fee? Make time for your colleagues to participate in your 360-degree feedback process? Provide support in other ways?

If you are applying as an individual:

Have someone with whom you have worked in a professional capacity write a letter of recommendation addressing:

  • How they know you, in what capacity, and for how long.
  • Why they feel you would be a good candidate for the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute.