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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.

Fellows serve in a full-time position specializing in one area (Advancement, Artistic Administration, or Administration) while gaining knowledge in a range of essential functions across the organization, including artistic administration, 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 field.

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


The application deadline for the 2022-2023 Fellowship program has passed.

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, and response to brief essay questions.

Applications will be reviewed, and interviews will take place this summer. Successful candidates will be notified in early August 2022.


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 2022-23 Fellowship:

Application Period: May – June 2022

Application Deadline: June 28, 2022

Interviews and Selection:

  • First Round – July 5–15, 2022
  • Second Round – July 18–28, 2022
  • Final Round – early August 2022
  • Notification – early August 2022

Program Begins: October 2022

Program Concludes: July 2023

More About Each Fellowship:


As a member of Opera Theatre’s Artistic Administration Department, the Artistic Fellow will support OTSL’s artistic planning and activities for the Festival Season and across the year.

Includes areas of focus and learning such as: coordinating activities for the Gerdine Young Artist and Gaddes Festival Programs; contracting; union relations; budgeting; professional development; company management; rehearsal scheduling; music and score preparation; project management for annual Center Stage Concert and Black Music Month Concert.


Working with Opera Theatre’s Advancement Department, the Advancement Fellow will work across the areas of Marketing, Development, and Community Partnerships.

Includes areas of focus and learning such as: donor communications and stewardship; annual fund campaigns; grant writing and reporting; event planning and coordinating developing press releases and pitches; audience development; social media marketing; planning and executing ad campaigns; fundraising and community events.

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


As a member of the Administration 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, and Finance.

Includes areas of focus and learning such as: governance and board management; budgeting; strategic planning; HR; community engagement and learning events; constituent relations (working with board members, volunteers, and VIPs visiting the Festival Season).

Participating Fellows will:

  • Serve in a full-time position specializing in one area (Artistic, Advancement, or Administration) 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.