Arts-Based Leadership Entrepreneurial (ABLE) Fellows Program

Online nonprofit and arts administration training courses

Arts organizations and nonprofits face a unique set of challenges as they strive to implement big ideas with limited budgets and personnel. To succeed, organizations need leaders who can fill many roles and have a holistic understanding of how their organization functions. This Arts-Based Leadership Entrepreneurial (ABLE) Fellows Mastery Badge Program offers arts and nonprofit leadership training courses to help artists, arts organization employees, art communities, entrepreneurs, and arts board members become more informed and skilled leaders.

Gain the skills to provide leadership in the arts

Originating from the LEAP Institute for the Arts at Colorado State University, the ABLE Fellows program guides participants through the most vital aspects of running a successful 501(c)3 organization. Learn to properly formulate mission statements, goals, and objectives. Additionally, explore a wide range of leadership topics including:

  • sustainable leadership,
  • project planning,
  • grant writing,
  • fundraising planning,
  • program evaluation,
  • becoming the leader you want to be, and
  • other essential leadership strategies to carry you and your organization to future success.

This online arts administration training will also teach you about achieving long-term financial stability in arts organizations. Courses guide you in making tough financial decisions, employing board fiscal responsibility, and understanding how arts organizations can — and can't — earn money. The program also teaches you basic fundraising skills with specific training on donor research, how to develop contacts, donor cultivation, and designing a plan for the "ask."

Build skills and tools you can use immediately

Throughout this program, you will complete a variety of training activities. The final course, Arts Leadership and Management, requires you to compile your work from all of your courses to create a final portfolio. This will give you valuable, tangible materials that you can put to use in your current arts organization position, or future creative careers in nonprofits.

In addition to building an actionable portfolio, completing this program will enable you to:

  • Apply a range of management skills and leadership styles to projects.
  • Speak effectively and eloquently about the value the arts bring to communities.
  • Envision funding strategies in support of arts activities and events.
  • Use basic financial documents for decision-making.
  • Effectively evaluate projects.
  • Understand arts enterprise fiscal responsibility.
  • Carry out strategic and succession planning.
  • Practice effective communication for superior leadership.
  • Conceptualize successful collaborations with community members to best reflect community needs.

Earn digital badges to add to your resume

For every ABLE Fellows training course you successfully complete, you will earn a digital badge that can be displayed on your resume, online portfolio, and social media profiles. This allows employers, clients, and others to click on the badges, see exactly what you learned, and see that you gained these skills from Colorado State University.

You may opt to register for individual courses, groups of courses, or the entire Mastery Badge program. Learn more about how to register for these badges on the curriculum page.

More information

Courses in this arts management training program are designed by international arts management expert, Constance DeVereaux, Director of the LEAP Institute for the Arts and Associate Professor at Colorado State University. Read more about our faculty.