Rising Arts Leaders of San Diego (RALSD) provides programming, resources, and networking opportunities to emerging arts and culture professionals that build their leadership skills, improve their professional competence, enhance their career progression, and keep them abreast of new developments in the field.
The mission of RALSD is to make San Diego an innovative, inspiring, world-class arts leader by fostering a thriving, progressive arts community.
Rising Arts Leaders San Diego was a program of The San Diego Foundation’s Arts & Culture Working Group, produced in partnership with the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and in affiliation with the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network. RALSD is fiscally sponsored by Media Arts Center San Diego and is part of an emergent network of up and coming arts leaders throughout California supported by the Center for Cultural Innovation. Originally funded through The James Irvine Foundation RALSD has received a grant from Center for Cultural Innovation / CAL Now Network to continue programming into 2020. There are currently four active networks statewide: San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley. Though each network is structured differently to reflect the nuances of its region, the networks meet in an effort to strengthen the state’s emerging leaders’ representation.
RALSD serves early and mid-career nonprofit arts and culture administrators with programs that support individual professional and leadership development.
We believe that a thriving, progressive arts and culture community will be achieved through robust connections between working artists, arts administrators, and cross-sector allies working together to achieve true and systemic equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in the field.
We seek to create a thriving, progressive arts and culture community by:
• Providing members with leadership and professional training including symposiums, seminars, workshops, mentorship programs, and other learning opportunities.
• Enabling members to connect in-person and online with peers and experienced arts professionals in both structured and informal learning environments.
• Sharing information and resources to enhance our members’ knowledge of current affairs in the field and other career development opportunities.
• Building our organizational governance and infrastructure to ensure RALSD’s continued growth and sustainability into the future.
Advocacy – The Rising Arts Leaders of San Diego Steering Committee and membership have been vocal supporters of city funding for arts organizations in San Diego. We also support and elevate the voices and practices of local artists through our annual Arts Fest event and our Artist Toolbox online interview series.
Professional Development – Rising Arts Leaders of San Diego provides our members with various leadership and professional development opportunities throughout the year. Formally, RALSD produces one such event per quarter. The fall quarter event is registered as a “Creative Conversation” through the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network in an effort to connect with Emerging Leaders across the nation. Through our Steering Committee, RALSD is connected to a number of professional associations in San Diego, and we leverage these relationships to keep our members informed of additional opportunities in the community as well.
Networking – Rising Arts Leaders of San Diego provides informal networking opportunities through happy hours, mixers, and arts events on a monthly basis at various locations throughout San Diego and online.
Grants – Twice a year, Rising Arts Leaders of San Diego provides “Quick Grants” to individual Rising Arts Leaders members to fund professional development and leadership opportunities that will aid in their career growth. In 2020, we introduced an Emergency Response Fund that made unrestricted micro-grants to members in need as well as an Artist Supplies Fund that allowed members to receive goods from a wish list to complete their works in progress.
Rising Arts Leaders of San Diego is committed to advancing equitable access to professional development and leadership opportunities. We are committed to actionable diversity and inclusion within our organization and membership. We celebrate that the San Diego arts and culture community is diverse, and acknowledge that underrepresented groups must be supported. We provide equal opportunities to people of any race, ethnicity, cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, marital status, geographic location, philosophy, educational attainment, religion, veteran status, citizenship status, and ability status.
Rising Arts Leaders of San Diego is well aware of the long history of injustice, oppression, and racism against BIPOC within arts and culture institutions, and our society at large. And as an organization, we seek to dismantle harmful systems and heal our community. We all must do better to ensure that underrepresented groups are supported, uplifted, and centered in the San Diego arts and culture community.
We believe that having a Steering Committee and community members of differing backgrounds and life experiences enhances our ability to create equitable opportunities for our BIPOC community.
We commit to using our platforms to lift up and amplify the voices of our BIPOC community of artists, creatives, administrators, and stakeholders through our programs, events, and communications.
We will continue to develop, remain accountable to, and enhance our internal processes and practices to ensure that equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility are the guiding principles in planning all of our programs, events, and member opportunities.