ASPIRE LORT Leadership Fellows Program

The KCACTF/LORT ASPIRE Leadership Fellows Program is designed to cultivate a new generation of artistic and administrative leaders for the American Theater with a focus of engaging Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and members of other groups that are consistently underrepresented in the field. This diverse national cohort of fellows assembled from all of KCACTF’s eight regions will engage in topics concerning equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism as well as leadership skills building, investigation of institutional challenges, and professional networking opportunities.

This week-long fellowship occurs as part of the annual national convening of the American College Theater Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The curriculum is designed and led by professionals from LORT institutions in partnership with staff from the Kennedy Center and the American College Theatre Festival Regional Chairs.

For more information about the ASPIRE program and the application process, please contact LORT EDI Co-Chair Kelvin Dinkins, Jr. (Executive Director, American Repertory Theater, [email protected]) or Stefanie Sertich (KCACTF National ASPIRE Coordinator, [email protected].


Students interested in the world of arts leadership are encouraged to register for this program. Whether you hope to become an artistic leader or you are curious about how theaters operate, ASPIRE is a fantastic festival opportunity, and 2024 offers us the opportunity to connect both virtually and in-person with fellow theater artists and leaders from across the country. ASPIRE Arts Leadership programming will include workshops and discussions curated by all of KCACTF’s ASPIRE Regional Coordinators, National ASPIRE Chair Stefanie Sertich and the National ASPIRE team.

In 2024, there are two ways to participate in the KCACTF/LORT ASPIRE Arts Leadership program: in-person at your Regional Festival, or virtually via Zoom on March 2nd/3rd. (The latter option is intended for students who are not able to attend their Regional Festival or whose schools do not participate in KCACTF.)

In-Person ASPIRE Arts Leadership Events

Students attending a Regional Festival can register for ASPIRE Arts Leadership through the region’s website. You must be registered for the festival in order to participate in the program.

Virtual ASPIRE Arts Leadership Event

The virtual ASPIRE Arts Leadership program will include seven hours of gatherings on Zoom—not counting time participants spend creating their individual final presentations.

The schedule is as follows:

Sunday December 3, 2023 2:00 – 3:00PM EST

Saturday March 2, 2024 2:00 – 5:30PM EST
Sunday March 3, 2024 2:00 – 5:30PM EST

Final Presentations and Feedback
March 8 and 9, 2024 –  Each student will have one 30-minute slot to be scheduled with the coordinator

Register Here!

National ASPIRE Arts Leadership Cohort

One fellow from each region as well as a small number of participants from the virtual cohort will be selected to join the National ASPIRE Arts Leadership cohort in Washington, D.C. for a week-long fellowship.

Applicants for the ASPIRE Arts Leadership Program are evaluated based on potential and interest to:

  • Create and articulate an artistic or administrative vision.
  • Lead and inspire others.
  • Collaborate with all members of a team.
  • Engage within the community at large.
  • Think outside the box and innovate.
  • Articulate the theatre’s role and relevance in global diversity and current events.

For more information on the final presentation, click here.