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Clayco Future Leaders Fellowship

The Clayco Future Leaders Fellowship supports and cultivates BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color) future arts leaders and administrators. Opera Theatre’s Clayco Future Leaders Fellowship Program provides in-depth experiences that advance the skills, knowledge, and capabilities that make these careers possible.

Three fellows serve in a full-time position specializing in one area while gaining knowledge in a range of essential functions across the organization, including artistic administration, production, community engagement, fundraising, marketing, audience cultivation, and business administration.

Through this fellowship, Opera Theatre seeks to introduce a diverse group of young professionals to the issues, challenges, and rewards of running an arts organization, whereby developing successful arts administrators who represent the diversity of our communities and who will add to the vibrant future of the opera and arts field.

All Fellows will receive a full-time salary of $750 per week, benefits, a relocation reimbursement, monthly transportation stipend, and professional development.


Applications for the 2023-2024 fellowship program are now closed.

Application and Selection:

Individuals from backgrounds historically underrepresented in opera and arts administration, specifically those who identify as BIPOC, are invited to apply.

All candidates must complete the online application, which includes submitting a resume, cover letter explaining their interest in the program, brief video response to questions, and personal statement.

Applications will be reviewed, and interviews will take place this summer. Successful candidates will be notified in September 2023.


Eligible candidates must have completed at least two years of college level work or have equivalent experience in arts or arts-related work (administration, performance, or other related experience).

Candidates may be aspiring or early career administrators or those transitioning from performance into administration.

Strong candidates will have a passion for the performing arts. They will be self-motivated, balance multiple responsibilities effectively, and demonstrate strong communication skills that will allow them to interact with artists, donors, volunteers, board members, and staff in a range of professional situations.

Program Timeline for 2023-24 Fellowship:

Application Period: July – August 2023

Application Deadline: August 18, 2023

Interviews and Selection:

  • First Round – mid-August 2023
  • Second Round – late-August 2023
  • Final Round – mid-September 2023
  • Notification – mid-September 2023

Program Begins: November 27, 2023

Program Concludes: August 30, 2024

2023-2024 Fellowship Positions:



As a member of the Production & Operations Department, the Production Fellow will take on a critical support role for the department assisting with the preparation of production elements for multiple projects, planning, budget tracking, purchasing, as well as production staff support services.

Includes areas of focus and learning such as: project management, designer hospitality, reading and analyzing designs, budget reporting, product research and purchasing, contracting, recruitment, union relations, scheduling, timesheet review, coordinating activities for educational programs.


Working as a vital member of the Administration & Finance Department, the Administration Fellow will support the business management of the organization, in addition to partnering with various departments across the organization, such as the office of the General Director, Education Department, and the Finance team.

Includes areas of focus and learning such as: budgeting; HR policies and procedures; financial strategy; MIP accounting system; data management, analysis, and reporting; community engagement and learning events; constituent relations (working with board members, committee volunteers, and VIPs visiting the Festival Season), and strategic planning.

Kathleen Kim as Josephine Young holds up an iPad in An American Soldier.


Working with Opera Theatre’s Marketing & PR Department, the Marketing Fellow will support OTSL’s audience building activities and sales campaigns across the Festival Season and other year-round programming.

Incudes areas of focus and learning such as: marketing campaign planning, copywriting across a variety of advertising and communications mediums, graphic and video design using the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, e-mail marketing, social media and influencer marketing, website maintenance, community event support, and Tessitura database analysis.

Participating Fellows will:

  • Serve in a full-time position specializing in one area while also learning about a range of essential functions across the organization;
  • Receive individualized guidance and training from OTSL staff and company members;
  • Be a critical team member in the preparation for and execution of Opera Theatre’s programming, including a Festival Season;
  • Utilize a curriculum and structure that provides appropriate guidance and instruction while encouraging individual responsibility for projects, connections with partners for collaboration, information and resources for professional development, and that empowers the Fellows in their future careers;
  • Be matched with an individual mentor who is a leader in opera or the broader arts industry, who will provide regular guidance and coaching;
  • Participate in networking with leaders from across the St. Louis arts community and the national opera field;
  • Be a member of a cohort of fellows, and have access and connection to the developing network of “alumni” from the program;
  • Complete the program having further developed both the hard and soft skills needed to excel as an arts administrator, including an overarching understanding of how an organization runs, in-depth departmental experience, and professional development.

Opera Theatre is committed to:

  • Employing a robust and diverse recruitment and selection process;
  • Hiring a class of Fellows that reflect the diversity of talent, skills, and ideas of the St. Louis community, the operatic field, and the country as a whole;
  • Providing a professional, supportive, and welcoming work environment and program structure that listens and responds to the needs of the Fellows;
  • Paying a livable, appropriate wage with benefits, assisting the Fellow with finding housing arrangements if necessary, and providing a moving and travel stipend;
  • Providing individualized mentorship, fostering confidence critical to entry level professionals;
  • Investing in the training and professional development of the fellows beyond the work experience by providing networking connections and opportunities in St. Louis, and sponsoring participation in national Opera America forums and events;
  • Investing in the success of Fellows by supporting their subsequent job search and careers, serving as references, providing recommendations, and continuing mentorship.


*Note: We use the term BIPOC to mean that we seek to serve individuals of color who identify as: Black/African/African American, Afro Latino/a/x, Caribbean, Chicano/a/x, Mexican, Central American, South American, Middle Eastern/North African, Indigenous Peoples, , Southeast Asian/Asian, Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian, Native Alaskan.

We recognize that these descriptions and this language is ever-evolving and will always be inadequate. If this description resonates with you, we invite you to apply.

The Clayco Future Leaders Fellowship is possible thanks to a generous three-year commitment from Clayco and Bob & Jane Clark.