ACI is committed to

cultivating and connecting emerging arts leaders both in, and to, the contemporary art world. This includes building a supportive community of arts leaders, as well as equipping arts leaders with transformative leadership skill sets for success. Our ultimate goal is to drive economic access in the arts, in turn driving cultural equity and inclusion both inside, and beyond, the contemporary art world. 


ACI runs various training institutes for emergent leaders. ACI’s flagship Artist Training Institute, a two-week long convening focused on transformational entrepreneurship training and community building, was hosted in Boston in 2014, 2015 and 2016. In 2018 ACI ran its inaugural Youth Participatory Action Research in the Arts (YPAR) with Boston Public School youths, culminating in a presentation of their work at the 2019 Arts Equity Summit. Arts leaders we work with include current and aspiring leaders in the arts sector, spanning: independent artists, curators, museum educators, arts traders, arts educators, and arts entrepreneurs. To deliver effective and cross-disciplinary training, ACI partners with several community partners. Interested in learning more? Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with opportunities.


Arts leader retreats are open to all artist leaders of color (ALOC) and wider ACI community partners. During retreats, community members are encouraged to convene and rejuvenate with a growing social justice community committed to building global inclusion through the arts. Workshops are shaped by the attending arts leaders interests, experiences and skills. The majority of workshops throughout a retreat are led directly by the arts leaders attending. We also promote unstructured time to simply rest and reconnect. Our inaugural arts leader retreat took place in November 2017, and we hope to run a similar retreat in the fall of 2019. 

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ACI is committed to the elucidation of inequities; as well as the celebration of culture, in the contemporary art world, so that we may collectively work towards justice, access and equity. 

In the summer of 2017 ACI conducted Phase I of a baseline, mixed-methods inductive attitudinal study on the 'Cultural Equity Gap', focused on influencers who hold power in the contemporary art world, including focus groups and a national quantitative study. The study was supported by the SSRC Dissertation Development Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston, with funds from the Andrew Mellon Foundation. 

Findings released electronically on 1/29/18, download the PDF report here. 

In the summer of 2018 ACI began Phase II of the 'Cultural Equity Gap' study, focused on the perspectives of self-identifying arts leaders of color, all of whom are part of the Network for Arts Administrators of Color, an affinity group born out of ArtsBoston. In addition to these focus groups, ACI is running a year-long Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) component with Boston high school youths. In aggregate, the focus groups and the YPAR component seek to understand what authentic leadership looks like, as well as what levers for change are, in the contemporary arts world. 

Results will be used for advocacy and awareness through publication and conference presentation, as well as for direct programmatic design and refinement.

We are also in the process of expanding and replicating study methodology in various cities nationally. If you feel this blueprint research would be supportive for your arts community ecosystem drop us a line to discuss intersection. 

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