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Colorado Change Leader Program

Program Summary

The Colorado Change Leader Program builds effective and ethical leaders and leadership pipelines for stronger Colorado creative communities and industries. 

The program is made up of:

  • A Change Leader Institute.
  • A Change Leader Implementation Project.
  • An annual Change Leader alumni convening at the CCI Summit
  • An alumni network.
  • Opportunities for funding to support alumni professional development and mentorship.

Intended Audience:
Emerging and established leaders—within groups, communities, or organizations—who are working through collaboration to build a better Colorado through arts and culture.

Program Goals and Objectives:
Build effective and ethical leaders and leadership pipelines for stronger Colorado creative communities and industries.

  • Through transformational experiences and curriculum, uncover leaders’ personal strengths and authentic leadership styles.
  • Deliver lasting leadership skills that empower ethical influence and productive collaboration.
  • Deliver and maintain wide-circle experiences where everyone is valued, has access, and feeds back into the program.

Strengthen Colorado’s creative communities through deep connections that realize the power of inter and intra-community collaboration.

  • Establish and encourage strong personal bonds for self-actualized networks.
  • Build an inclusive and welcoming environment where all participants unhesitatingly reach out to CCI and program alumni for support.
  • Build a network that connects creative leaders from across Colorado’s many diverse communities and geographies. 

The institute is a month-long leadership course that includes pre-readings, a three-day in-person leadership intensive, two 2-hour remote training modules, personal coaching, and meetings with a learning pod. Following completion of the Change Leader Institute, Change Leaders are eligible to apply for funding to support an implementation project. Alumni are also eligible to apply for funding to support initiatives that provide opportunities for professional development and collaboration within the alumni network.

Overview

Type: Leadership program

For: Colorado residents interested in community building

Cost: Participants are provided with a stipend that covers food, lodging, and materials required for participation.

Application deadline: July 1-August 30, 2024

OEDIT division: Colorado Creative Industries

Change Leader Institute

The Colorado Change Leader Program accepts 12-15 participants for the 3-day institute that is held annually in the fall. We keep class sizes small to allow active learning and personal connection. When reviewing applications, we consider participant and organizational diversity, equity, inclusion, and geographic diversity.
The institute is a month-long three-day leadership course that includes:

  • Pre-readings
  • A three-day in-person leadership intensive
  • Two 2-hour remote training modules
  • Personal coaching
  • Meetings with a learning pod
  • Helps participants change their communities

Change Leader Implementation Project

Following completion of the Change Leader Institute, Change Leaders are eligible to apply for funding to support an implementation project. Change Leader Projects are creative solutions to social and community needs. After you take part in the institute, you can submit a project proposal. If your proposal is accepted, Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) will give a stipend of up to $500 to complete your project.

You will need to plan a project that responds to your community’s needs. Each project is different, and we encourage Change Leaders to work together on projects. Past project examples include:

  • Supporting local civic engagement using arts as a medium
  • Implementing a creative activity using the Change Leader network as a collective volunteer pool of collaborative partners
  • Illustrating the impact of the arts and artists in meeting social and community needs through new targeted activities
  • Increasing connections among diverse groups in their respective communities
  • Raising awareness of and creating a stronger sense of unity in the Change Leader network and the creative sector through media and other public relations

Change Leader Network

An important part of the Change Leader program is continued engagement with the statewide network of participants. Change Leaders are resources and mentors to each other in the sometimes isolated work of creating lasting change in communities.

We hold statewide meetings of Change Leaders each year in conjunction with the Colorado Creative Industries Summit to continue networking and educational opportunities. 

Throughout the year, we engage Change Leaders through network communications, regional gatherings and other opportunities for learning and connection. We encourage Change Leaders to be active in the network and help in creating engagement around issues, challenges, and opportunities.

Change Leader Alumni are eligible to apply for the CO Change Leader Network Activation Grant for funding to support initiatives that provide professional development and develop avenues of mentorship, collaboration, and mutual support between Change Leaders.

Change Leaders are a diverse group and can be anyone working creatively to improve his or her community. They represent rural, urban, suburban, and mountain areas, communities and organizations of all sizes, businesses, and creatives.

To apply for the Change Leader Program, you need to:

  • Be a Colorado resident
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Work or volunteer as one or more of these: individual visual or performing artist or designer, civic leader, executive director, professor, government employee, business owner, representative of creative enterprises or a board member, or an administrator or volunteer of a cultural or creative nonprofit

If you are selected for an institute:

  • You need to participate fully in the three-day institute agenda
  • You are responsible for your transportation to the site

Applications for the Fall 2024 institute will be accepted between July 1-August 30, 2024. Please refer to the program schedule below to ensure that you are available to participate. Applications should be submitted through the new grants portal, Salesforce Public Sector.

If you submitted an application in 2022 or 2023 and have not participated in a Change Leader institute, CCI will contact you and your application should be in the new grants portal system, Salesforce Public Sector.

Week of October 7:  Pre-readings assigned; 1.5 hour virtual orientation meeting
October 13-16:  Change Leader Institute

Participants will arrive at the institute location on Sunday afternoon for a introductory activity and dinner that afternoon/evening

The institute will conclude mid-afternoon on Wednesday, October 16

Participants should anticipate a full schedule of events each day, including communal meals and evening activities

Friday, October 25:  Virtual 2-hour training
October 15-31: One-on-one check-ins with coach and learning pod meetings

We select Change Leader participants whose applications represent:

  • Passion and commitment to community engagement and the arts
  • A variety of arts and cultural leadership experience
  • Geographic, ethnic, and cultural diversity
  • Age and gender diversity
  • Community vitality through the arts and the creative sector

View CCI Change Leaders in a full screen map

Spring 2014: Mt. Princeton Change Leaders

14 change leaders pose in a line in front of a mountain view framed by trees

Brandy Brandy, Eagle, CO
Chantalle Hanschu, Denver, CO
Charles Leslie, Durango, CO
David Dadone, Boulder, CO
Delaney Keating, Gunnison, CO
Gisela Flanigan, Grand Junction, CO
Jay Seller, Denver, CO
Marilyn Leuszler, Trinidad, CO
Pamela Denahy, La Junta, CO
Pamela Pleasant-Foster, Craig, CO
Tanya Mote, Denver, CO
Tom Dessain, Crestone, CO

Fall 2014: Shining Blue Change-ineers
16 change leaders pose on steps in front of a white colonial style building. one woman in the front of the group holds a poster that says shining blue change leaders in blue marker

Amanda Flores, Taos, NM
Armondo Silva, Greeley, CO
Bruce Borowsky, Boulder, CO
Carlie Kenton, Gunnison, CO
Julie Worley, La Junta, CO
Katherine Danforth, Crestone, CO
Kathy Webb, Laporte, CO
Kenneth Grimes, Denver, CO
Kim Keith, Steamboat Springs, CO
Mary Hockenberry, Hotchkiss, CO
Ralph Holloway, Woodland Park, CO
Michael Varnum, Salida, CO

Spring 2015: Goose Buck-A-Neers
15 change leaders pose in a line in front of a brick industrial building

Andy Vick, Colorado Springs, CO
Angela Canada Hopkins, Loveland, CO
Catherine Augur, Creed, CO
Curtis Killorn, Salida, CO
Danielle Brooks, Aurora, CO
Jeannene Bragg, Denver, CO
Jose Esparza, Denver, CO
Judd Farner, Fort Collins, CO 
Kim Harrell, Aurora, CO
Maureen Hearty, Joes, CO
Rachel Basye, Denver, CO
Rachelle Alvarez, Rocky Ford, CO 

Fall 2015: GooseRiders
16 change leaders pose around a wooden planter with a mountain vista and cabin style house behind them

Annette Coleman, Lakewood, CO
Barbie Corey, Yuma, CO
Damon McLeese, Denver, CO
Dulcie Willis, Fort Collins, CO
Justin Garoutte, Antonito, CO
Lynn Waldorf, Denver, CO
Michelle Uyemura, Wray, CO
Nathan Richie, Golden, CO
Ryan Foo, Denver, CO
Sarah Leversee, Boulder, CO
Sheila Sears, Denver, CO
Tyler Breuer, Denver, CO

Spring 2016: The V Force 

Amy Kimberly, Carbondale, CO
Ben Litwin, Denver, CO
Bryce Alexander
Carla Aguilar, Denver, CO
Crystal Bliss Lardy, Colorado Springs, CO
Elizabeth VanDyne, Loveland, CO
Jeff Owsley, Alamosa, CO
Leah Brenner Clack, Boulder, CO
Leanne Goebel, Pagosa Springs, CO
Mary George, Paonia, CO
Ryan Nisogi, Denver, CO

Fall 2016: Change Devils
12 change leaders pose on a porch with mountain vista behind them

Toluwanimi Obiwole, Denver, CO
Karol Gates, Denver, CO
Deborah Malden, Boulder, CO
Ashley Ahlene, Buena Vista, CO
Kendall Smith, Englewood, CO
Winter Ross, Crestone, CO
Candice Bannister, Steamboat Springs, CO
Christy Costello, Denver, CO
Andrew Schneider, Trinidad, CO
Kristina Bad Hand, Denver, CO
Robert Joseph, Montrose, CO
Christine Scott, Durango, CO

Spring 2017: The Charettes
11 change leaders pose in a line in front of a golden wall. the front row of the group is holding an official change leader institute poster

Ruth Wilson, Denver, CO
Andre Carbonell, Denver, CO
Cris Ciani, Denver, CO
Maria Cocchiarelli, Walsenburg, CO
Kasey Correia, Ignacio, CO
Krista DeHerrera, Gypsum, CO
Hamidah Glasgow, Fort Collins, CO
Mary Hoffman, Alamosa, CO
Kathy Iwanowski, Denver, CO
Jing Yeng, Denver, CO
Jack Rogers, Fort Collins, CO

Fall 2017: Colaborado Change Gang

Meredith Badler, Denver, CO
Becca Bay, Timnath, CO
Lerita Cavness, Denver, CO
Lares Feliciano, Denver, CO 
Ann Lukacs, Fairplay, CO
Jill MacKay, Bellvue, CO
Matthew Mammola, Englewood, CO
Sooner McKay, Mount Crested Butte, CO
Erin Murphy, Durango, CO
Brendan Picker, Denver, CO
Mundi Ross, Colorado Springs, CO
Jan Nadav, Denver, CO

Spring 2018: Super Tasters
14 change leaders pose in a cluster on a grass lawn with a mountain vista behind them

Mary Jo Coulehan, Pagosa Springs, CO
Stuart Handloff, Steamboat Springs, CO
Amy Lynn, Denver, CO
Crystal Jacquez, Denver, CO
Wael Khalifa, Denver, CO
Denise Leslie, Durango, CO
Dagny McKinley, Steamboat Springs, CO
Taylor Tschida, Denver, CO
Claudia Moran-Pichardo, Denver, CO
Keyonne Session, Denver, CO
Anna Lee Vargas, Antonito, CO
Emily Whalen, Denver, CO

Fall 2018: Wave Riders
12 change leaders pose in a cluster in front of red rocks

Angie Lackey, Greeley, CO
Antonio Mendez, Denver, CO
Heather Leavitt Martinez, Durango, CO
JD McCrumb, Columbine Valley, CO 
Jonathan Howard, Denver, CO
Katherine Rich, Carbondale, CO
Samantha Johnson, Denver, CO
Scott Parker, Steamboat Springs, CO
Sydney Clapp, Denver, CO
Tara Thomas, Colorado Springs, CO
Victoria Martinez, Alamosa, CO
Suzi Smith, Denver, CO

Fall 2019: The Veginots Eleven

Caitlyn Love, Grand Junction, CO
Susie Kaldis, Paonia, CO
Gillian Laycock, Hugo, CO
Jennifer Dewey, Denver, CO
Garrett Hilpipre, Denver, CO
Alexis Whitham, Denver, CO
Sandra Dolak, La Veta, CO
Mary Elizabeth Lenahan, Boulder, CO
Helanius Wilkins, Boulder, CO
Ulises Fernandez, Denver, CO
Susan Lander, Durango, CO

Spring 2022: CO-FLOW
12 change leaders pose in a cluster on concrete stairs in front of a white stone covered building

Jen Olsen, Denver, CO
David Goe, Grand Junction, CO
Kristi Rogers, Trinidad, CO
Armida Huerta, Mancos, CO
Kennedy Reilly-Pugh, Pueblo, CO
Evan Tueller, Telluride, CO
Sarah Harrison, Denver, CO
Jevon Taylor, Denver, CO
Rachel Hanson, Lafayette, CO
Emily King, Arvada, CO
Sarah Slater, Denver, CO
Tya Anthony, Denver, CO

Fall 2022: Flocking Amazing
14 change leaders pose on a gravel path. Behind them is a river and brush-covered hills.

Andres Giraldo, Denver, CO
Beau Augustin, Denver, CO
Bliss Coleman, Aurora, CO
Cindy Foley, Colorado Springs, CO
Emma Acheson, Denver, CO
Josh Palmeri, Denver, CO
Katie Kindle, Fort Collins, CO
Lila Day, Pueblo, CO
Maura Adamson, Golend, CO
Megan Janssen, Carbondale, CO
Mitchell Oliver, Hotchkiss, CO
Alan Brooks, Denver, CO
Rachel Wattles, Hayden, CO
Tina Chavera, Denver, CO

 

Success Stories

“Art is often a solo enterprise, but it can also play a bigger role in communication and community building. Change Leaders has been a positive, practical influence and inspiration for me. Everyone who has anything to do with art should be part of this. Keep up the good work!”
– Craig Hibberd, Fort Collins 
“The Colorado Change Leader Institute helped me better understand the strengths and weaknesses in my community work, and gave me the tools to be effective in achieving my heart’s vision. The beauty of this training is I am still learning from it three years later.”
– Mary Hockenbery, Hotchkiss 
“The institute didn’t just help me refocus and gain a new perspective on what community leadership really means, it reminded me how to connect with others through authentic dialogue.”
– Becca Bay, Timnath

“The Colorado Change Leader Institute helped me better understand the strengths and weaknesses in my community work, and gave me the tools to be effective in achieving my heart’s vision. The beauty of this training is I am still learning from it three years later.”
– Mary Hockenbery, Hotchkiss 

“The institute didn’t just help me refocus and gain a new perspective on what community leadership really means, it reminded me how to connect with others through authentic dialogue.”
– Becca Bay, Timnath 

Program Manager

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