LEAP 500 - Leadership in the Arts

  • 3 credits

An enduring question regarding leadership is whether it comes naturally to only some individuals or is it developed by habit through practice, or is it something that can be learned. In the arena of arts management and policymaking, the question is more important given the dynamic nature of the arts and their profile in contemporary society.

This course takes as its purpose the development of leadership principles and skills through theoretical exploration and practical application. Students will encounter important leadership theories for learning and reflection, methods for studying and applying leadership, and opportunities through peer interaction to develop their own capacities for leadership in local and international art systems. Student seeking leadership career positions or who wish to augment their leadership acumen will find this course particularly useful.

This course can be applied towards:


Senior or graduate standing.

Textbook and Materials

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


  • Exploring Leadership (2011)
    Bolden, R., Hawkins, B., Gosling, J. and Taylor, S.
    ISBN: 978-0199547661
  • Leadership Theory and Practices, 7th Ed.
    Northouse, P. G.
    ISBN: 978-1483317533
  • Leadership: A Very Short Introduction (2010)
    Grint, K.
    ISBN: 978-0199569915


Jill Stilwell


Jill Stilwell brings 25 years of public sector arts and culture experience to LEAP. During her tenure as the cultural services director for the City of Fort Collins, Jill oversaw the Lincoln Center for the Performing and Visual Arts, the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, the Art in Public Places program, the Gardens on Spring Creek, the Creative Center, and administered an arts-granting program. Jill spent 10 years as a museum director and curator and continues to teach museum studies courses. Jill has real-world experience and expertise in managing and operating cultural facilities and programs, cultural planning, arts policy, public art, cultural capital projects, fundraising and grant writing, community engagement, and nonprofit arts management.

Jill was instrumental in Fort Collins receiving the 2011 Governor’s Arts Award and most recently led the effort for State certification of the Downtown Fort Collins Creative District in 2016. Jill has a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in art history and museum studies from the University of Denver.

Min Cho


Min Cho holds a Ph.D. in art education with a specialization in arts administration, a master’s degree in arts administration, and a program evaluation certificate from Florida State University. She also has a bachelor’s degree in art history from Tufts University. Prior to joining LEAP, she was an assistant professor in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has worked in museums, galleries, community arts programs, and state-wide funding organizations. Her life passions revolve around the arts, education, critical thinking, and business and as a result, her teaching incorporates aspects of all those components to provide a more holistic learning experience.

Christine Pelletier


Christine Pelletier is the patron services/education coordinator/music librarian for the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, which includes the production and design of season programs, educational outreach, ticketing, and music distribution. She is also adjunct faculty at Colorado State University for the LEAP Institute for the Arts. Her degrees include a Bachelor of Music in French horn performance from the University of Dayton, a Master of Music in French horn performance from Arizona State University, and a Master of Arts in leadership and administration from Colorado State University. Christine has previously worked as an event planning consultant for Ascend at Colorado State University, the communications coordinator for the Colorado State University Middle School Outreach Ensemble, a project manager for the exhibit “CSU Meets Africa” at the Global Village Museum in Fort Collins, Colorado, and a graduate teaching assistant at Colorado State University and Arizona State University. She has also performed with ensembles including the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix Opera, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, and various chamber groups.