Photo looking up at the Bowes Building
  1. Center for Innovative Leadership

Center for Innovative Leadership

A learning lab for the entire arts management talent pipeline

The Center for Innovative Leadership is committed to transformative change in professional music through developing powerful and replicable models that propel art and education, sustain artists, and welcome all members of the community. Offering intensive seminars, workshops, and organizational consulting, the Center’s programs are each designed to serve specific cohorts in arts management, from rising professionals in the field to senior staff to board chairs. All programs offered are open to SFCM students to audit or actively participate.


The Center is committed to the philosophy that each organization must function within a unique community and economic ecosystem, and believes the path to success is leading with imagination, courage, and optimism while applying skillful execution of key initiatives and iterative design conjoined with a clever financial plan. Read the Announcement

Chastiti Walker in front of city hall


Slated to welcome its inaugural cohort in 2022, we accelerated our own timeline in order to gather artistic and administrative leaders for a series of publicly viewable roundtable discussions July 2020, modeling the transparent collaboration the industry needs to move forward in a post-pandemic world.

Leaders Reframe False Dichotomies

July 7-9, 2020

Small groups of artists and administrators across the orchestra and opera world openly discussed important questions outside the bargaining table in response to the accelerated rate of change around us. Offered online only and open to all.

Guest Speakers:

Jennifer Arnold
Director of Artistic Planning and Orchestral Operations,
Richmond Symphony

Aubrey Bergauer
Executive Director, Center for Innovative Leadership,

Julia Bullock soprano

Julia Bullock

Jennifer Cho
San Francisco Opera,
California Symphony

Kale Cumings
Musicians Union
Local 6

Michael Gordon
Principal Flute,
Kansas City Symphony

David Lomelí
Director of Artistic Administration,
The Dallas Opera
Casting Director,
Bayerische Staatsoper

Ryan McKinny

Joy Payton-Stevens
Seattle Symphony
MBA Candidate,
Columbia University

Jessica Phillips
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Former Chair,
Players Committee

Kamala Sankaram
Composer & Co-Artistic Director,
Experiments in Opera

Weston Sprott
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Christopher Still
LA Philharmonic

Lidiya Yankovskaya
Conductor & Music Director,
Chicago Opera Theater

Igor Yuzefovich
BBC Symphony Orchestra

Innovative Leaders Stay Informed

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