By David Currence
There were no gowns or tassel-adorned hats, but graduation day for ASC’s Cultural Leadership Training (CLT) program was no less memorable. On June 4, 2013, 31 of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s emerging leaders gathered on the stage of the Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts to celebrate the knowledge and skills they acquired during CLT’s intensive program.
When asked what the graduation means for participants, ASC Vice President of Cultural & Community Investment Katherine Mooring said, “It’s a great way to celebrate their passion and dedication. They’ve gained a richer understanding of and deeper commitment to the cultural community through educational sessions and cultural events over the past nine months, and now, they’re ready to put that knowledge to work in leadership roles across the cultural sector.”
Empowering new leaders with best governance practices and a deeper understanding of the cultural sector have always been CLT’s main goals. By equipping talented participants with the tools needed to be productive volunteers and board members for cultural organizations, the entire community stands to benefit from cultural organizations that are better equipped to adapt, grow and flourish through strong internal leadership. “They’re taking the gifts, skills and knowledge they use in their daily professions and learning how to apply them in new ways to guide and enhance cultural organizations,” said Mooring.
Just like most new graduates, CLT grads were biting at the bit to find positions through which they could apply their newfound knowledge, and thanks to CLT’s innovative cultural “speed dating” session (conducted in February) where cultural organizations “speed date” CLT participants via a series of 10-minute conversations to identify good matches, all of the graduates have found active roles within the cultural community.
As ASC bids farewell to the CLT Class of 2013, we look forward to welcoming a new class in September.