The National Council of Arts Administrators offers up to six Emerging Arts Administrators Fellowships annually.

Fellowships are for attendees to join the annual conference each year. Applicants do not need to be a current administrator.

Fellowships are targeted for those early in their academic/administrative career and/or those anticipating an administrative appointment. Fellowships cover the cost of conference registration and a one-year council membership. Fellows will be paired with members of NCAA,= who will act as mentors for the conference and the following year. 

A post conference written report on the experience is required. NCAA is a dynamic forum for the introduction and dissemination of ideas and strategies of concern to today’s arts administrator. The Council likewise provides an important platform for networking and professional support among individuals, and thus has the potential to be an important catalyst for the cultivation and development of new administrative professionals.

This award is open for self-nomination. NCAA asks that the applicant’s home institution consider subsidizing the candidate’s travel expenses should they be offered the fellowship. Acceptance of this fellowship is not contingent on such a subsidy. The criteria for award selection includes appropriateness of the Emerging Fellowship relative to stage of the candidate’s career, quality and clarity of the candidate’s statement including what they intend to achieve as a result of the fellowship and how the candidate adds to the diversity of NCAA’s membership in terms of geography, ethnicity, gender, and/or type of institution.

The deadline for application is June 1, 2024. When the application portal is open, an email notification will be sent. 

The Fellowship Committee:

Michael Wille
Director – Wonsook Kim School of Art
Illinois State University
[email protected]

Mariah Doren
Director, Academic Programs  
Rhode Island School of Design, Continuing Education
[email protected]

Vagner Mendonça-Whitehead
Director – School of Visual Arts Vagner Whitehead
Penn State University
[email protected] 


Some Quotes From Recent Fellows:

"As a new Chair of a large art department, I found my fellowship at Ground Work, the 2017 NCAA conference held in Tucson Arizona, to be a wonderful resource with which to begin my tenure with confidence and support. The many conversations I was able to have with my mentor, Hester Stinnett, about issues and concerns facing my department were invaluable to me as a new administrator; additionally, Hester helped me to feel at home in the organization from the first moment we met. At every turn, I was greeted with thoughtful peers who generously shared insights into issues facing the arts in ways that helped me think about challenges facing my department, the arts and education from new perspectives." 
Beth Thomas . Chair – Art Department . SUNY New Palz


"The Tucson conference was my first NCAA conference, this conference introduced me to a small group of dedicated individuals committed to the arts and its administration. I learned about their journeys from faculty members to art administrators, the journeys were diverse and full with challenges and successes, but mostly satisfying

While in Tucson I was lucky to have met wonderfully knowledgeable people and new mentors. They were all very helpful, candid, and willing to lending a helping hand with every aspect of their experience with the administration of the arts and academic departments. Soon after I attended the NCAA conference Memphis College of Art, my current employer, announced that they would be closing its doors soon. The announcement was somewhat expected, but nevertheless I was dumbfounded by the news and suddenly, just like that, I found myself on the job market once more. I am confident that the knowledge and experiences I acquired during this conference will make me a stronger candidate and I’m looking forward to new opportunities where I can apply everything I learned at the 2017 NCAA conference."
O. Gustavo Plascencia . Associate Professor . Director of MFA Programs . Memphis College of Art


"A colleague at my university and I recently agreed that we were suffering whiplash from the constantly revolving entries and exits among our upper administration - unified direction and vision for department chairs and school directors has been difficult to determine. Budgetary woes, staffing cuts and hiring freezes have been the norm for years.  With each new dean and provost and CFO and president we hoped for the best, while expecting the worst.  We knew we had both fallen into “woe is me” attitudes.  I believe I was firmly in that state of mind when I arrived in Tucson and I could not be more thankful for the revival of spirits and renewed sense of purpose that Ground/Work provided!

Having Peter Chametzky serve as my mentor was a great boon.  His experience, wisdom and practicality as an art historian working as a director of a school of art and design was the grounding that I needed.  The fact that he was also familiar with the St. Louis region was an extra help!   It is truly necessary for rising administrators to be able to model the realistic expectations and frustrations of leadership alongside the real pleasure that we receive as scholars, teachers and, yes, administrators.  Conversations with Peter and other NCAA colleagues helped remind me that I love my job.  That is a luxury that I will not take for granted."
Maureen Quigley . Associate Professor/Chair of the Department of Art and Design . University of Missouri - Saint Louis


"The NCAA conference was filled with great opportunities for networking, engaging workshops, glimpses into host institution’s facilities and faculty, and a wonderful opportunity to have mentorship from senior administrators. My very favorite day was the kickoff on Wednesday, in which we heard some wonderful short presentations and were able to discuss various case studies at our round tables. Following the afternoon activities, there was an opportunity to meet new people at a reception, which I appreciated due to me being new and not knowing anyone.

"Overall, the NCAA experience was wonderful, and has now soared to the top of my priority list for annual conferences to attend. I enjoyed it so much that I plan to encourage both of my chairpersons to attend as well next year in Grand Rapids! 
Dave Beck . Director . UW-Stout School of Art & Design

 "For me, the best part of being an NCAA Fellow at the conference was the many conversations had within the context of a breathtaking Tucson resort. Many thanks to my mentor, Professor Nan Elizabeth Goggin, who shared her wisdom on the dos and don’ts of administrative work. I am also indebted to the other arts administrators to whom she introduced me. They, too, were generous in giving advice and sharing their administrative experiences. I gleaned real strategies that I am implementing now in my role as Graduate Program Director. It is reassuring to know that I am a part of a broad but tightly knit community of art administrators from all levels and domains of academia.

Lastly, credit is due to Carma Gorman, whose primo scholarly presence made me aware of the NCAA and its fellowship in the first place."
Audrey G. Bennett . Professor & Graduate Program Director . Department of Communication and Media . Rensselaer University