Ends on May 1, 2018

About the Award

The LEAD® Award for Emerging Leaders was created in 2008 to acknowledge arts administrators who are motivated by the LEAD® conference to become an advocate for accessibility within their own organizations and communities. These individuals have successfully applied what they learn at the conference to open doors to and shape opportunities that are inclusive of people with disabilities and older adults in the cultural arts.


Recipients must have attended a LEAD® conference within the past two years and implemented a new access initiative or project as a direct result of their attendance. These new initiatives can include any efforts to improve accessibility, such as conducting a docent, staff, or volunteer accessibility training; providing materials in alternate formats; interpreting a lecture or performance; reviewing and revising organizational policies; forming an access advisory committee; etc.

Applications for the 2018 Awards for Emerging Leaders must be received by May 1, 2018. Applications will be reviewed by committee and applicants may be contacted for an interview.


Employees of the Kennedy Center and individuals contracted to work directly with the Office of VSA & Accessibility at the Kennedy Center are ineligible for LEAD Awards while they are under contract and for one year after termination of their agreement. This shall not include individuals engaged solely to provide expertise as speakers or otherwise in connection with any Kennedy Center events.

VSA Affiliates and VSA Contractor organizations are welcome to apply or be nominated for LEAD awards, however, they must demonstrate that a significant portion of their cultural access work is not funded by the Kennedy Center.

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