This fellowship is currently not active. If you’re interested in information about this fellowship, contact us. Learn more about creating a fellowships for our network, foundation, or issue area here.

The Program

With the support of the Surdna Foundation, Rockwood hosted the National Fellowship for  Leaders in Arts and Culture in 2012 and 2013. The Fellowship is designed  for leaders engaged in cultural work, film, dance, visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, multidisciplinary arts, etc. to elevate the societal impact of their work as critical agents of change. Through the program, artists and cultural workers will have an opportunity to develop stronger working partnerships within their cohort and with other leaders of social movements.

You can read more about the fellowship alums from the following links:

2013 Leaders in Arts and Culture
2012 Leaders in Arts and Culture

In 2015, Rockwood launched a new program with leaders in film and social change with the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms unit. Please follow this link to learn more.

What to Expect

The intensive leadership program is designed to teach powerful visioning, listening, speaking, presentation, coaching, team-building and feedback skills to leaders engaged in cultural work and the arts that are concerned with the well-being of humanity and the biosphere. Fellows will attend Arts of Leadership trainings in groups of three to four leaders through spring 2013. The Fellows will convene as a full learning community at a Fellowship Gathering in June 2013. Most retreats will take place in Northern California. Although, for the first retreat, Fellows can asked to be placed in the New York-based training but space is not guaranteed. Space is limited and we may not be able to accommodate everyone who requests to be placed in that training. Fellows should plan on covering travel costs to Northern California for both trainings.

Program Offerings


To launch the program, Fellows will attend Rockwood’s Art of Leadership in smaller “sub-cohorts” of, generally, 3-4 Fellows through May. The rest of the participants in the Art of Leadership will have applied to the training separately from the Fellowship – so will include activists, organizers, program directors and other nonprofit leaders who are not in the Fellowship, thus may not be artists or cultural workers.

The Art of Leadership is an intensive retreat workshop in which participants will hone skills related to articulating vision, managing difficult conversations, and identifying personal leadership strengths and challenges. Each participant receives a 360-degree leadership evaluation from peers.

Applicants will be asked to state their first, second, and third choice among the following Art of Leadership dates. Rockwood staff will do their best to accommodate the final cohort based on the Fellow’s preference.

  • January 21-25, 2013, Sonoma, CA
  • March 17-21, 2013, Sonoma, CA
  • April 15-19, 2013, Briarcliff Manor, NY
  • April 29 – May 3, 2013, Sonoma, CA
  • May 6-10, 2013, Petaluma, CA

FELLOWSHIP GATHERING | June 3-7, 2013  Petaluma, CA

In the second training, we will convene all  Fellows in a four-day retreat to delve deeper into their professional development and partnerships, building off the tools and experience of the Art of  Leadership. In addition to furthering the practice of leadership development, this advanced network training will reserve time and space for Fellows to engage in essential conversations specific to the social change artists’ community. It is designed for leaders to enhance their skills in areas of both leadership and collaboration.

The Trainers

The Art of Leadership is led by nationally- and internationally-recognized thinkers, educators, and activists who are experienced in sharing the most in-depth, leading insights on leadership development, collaboration and capacity building. You can find bios for our training team here.

The Fellowship Gathering will be led by:

Suzanne Hawkes

Suzanne focuses on strengthening the voices of civil society organizations in Canada and countries worldwide. As a facilitator, workshop leader, coach and campaign consultant, she has worked with hundreds of nonprofit organizations. She is driven by a passion for supporting the power, skills and wisdom in social change leaders and organizations.

Maria Ramos-Chertok

Maria is a consultant, trainer, writer and mediator. Her areas of expertise include conflict resolution, team building, managing change and cultural competency. She earned her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley.

Key Skills

  •     Deal more effectively with leadership and organizational challenges
  •     Manage relationships to increase personal and organizational effectiveness
  •     Sharpen and sustain compelling visions for your work
  •     Inspire and align others to work effectively towards common goals
  •     Increase sustainability and engage with tools to prevent burnout
  •     Build partnerships inside and outside your organization
  •     Engage in a national learning community of leaders

Fellowship Participant Criteria

Rockwood’s optimal criteria for enrollment to the Fellowship includes a cohort of leaders who:

  • Are cultural workers and/or artists (film, dance, visual, performing, literary, multidisciplinary, etc.) whose creative work represents a thoughtfulness about humanity and the biosphere in general.
  • Are working in community, preferably within a social change organization (501c3), and are actively building partnerships that have a national impact.
  • Demonstrate personal/professional readiness to learn new leadership skills – including coaching, feedback, communication, and personal sustainability – and to be assessed and evaluated for same
  • Have experience with and interest in gaining more skills with and opportunities for collaboration
  • Will contribute to a learning community that reflects a diversity of racial/cultural backgrounds, issue focus, geographic and artistic mediums.
  • Will make the full time commitment to the program – including two 4-5 day residential retreats; peer coaching which involves at least two one hour calls monthly throughout duration of program as scheduled by participants; and two to four full-cohort conference calls led by Rockwood staff.
  • Will make a contribution towards program participation based on organizational budget (see costs below)