The Network for Arts Administrators of Color

Mentorship & Sponsorship Pilot Program

As a new and growing network for building the career capacities, connections, and power of arts administrators of color in the Greater Boston region, ArtsBoston’s Network for Arts Administrators of Color (NAAC Boston) is launching a new initiative designed to elevate professionals of color. NAAC Boston’s Sponsorship & Mentorship Pilot Project builds on research showing that mentoring under-represented categories of professionals (like women and people of color)—by itself—does not drive systemic change in the power structures of our institutions and sectors.

What is needed is sponsorship, which focuses on advancement by tapping into resources of power and opening doors that add value to mentoring relationships and disrupt entrenched power dynamics. This project uses both components of this two-step process to increase the talent pipeline and develop future leaders of color in Boston’s arts sector.

How It Works


For mid-level administrators (4 or more years in the field) as a pathway for upward mobility in the field through supportive relationships with executive-level sponsors who can open doors, provide a seat at the table, and guide toward next-level leadership.


With structured professional development for junior– and entry-level arts administrators (1 to 3 years experience in the field) to accelerate their learning with personalized support from mid-level arts administrators of color.

Five mid-career mentors and five executive-level sponsors will be matched with five mentees and five sponsees for a March to December program.


Application: Interested Mentees and Sponsees can submit an application through Friday, February 15. Mentors and sponsors, nominated by the NAAC Steering Committee are confirmed before the interview process begins.

Interviews: The NAAC Steering Committee, Mentors, and Sponsors will conduct interviews with applicants from February 18 through February 28.

Onboarding: Final decisions and Mentor/Mentee and Sponsor/Sponsee pairings will be announced on Monday, March 4. A kickoff event, initial pair meetings, and participant training will take place in March. Applicants who are not paired with a Mentor or Sponsor will also be invited to join a learning cohort with all Mentees and Sponsees.

Program Engagement: Mentor/Mentee and Sponsor/Sponsee pairs will meet one-on-one monthly, as will the learning cohort for masterclasses with a featured Mentor or Sponsor. The full Mentor/Sponsor cohort will check-in as a group and individually with the steering committee over the summer.

Conclusion: Program evaluation and culminating farewell event will take place in December.

Leadership support provided by

Additional support provided by