Clayco Future Leaders Fellowships

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

St. Louis, MO

Work Location: In-office


  • Full Time
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Sat, Jul 31, 2021
  • Work Location: In-office
  • Opera
  • $750

Website Opera Theatre of Saint Louis


Program Description

The Clayco Future Leaders Fellowship at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis supports and cultivates future arts leaders and administrators from backgrounds historically underrepresented in opera and arts administration, particularly those who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color). Opera Theatre’s Clayco Future Leaders Fellowship Program provides in-depth experiences that advance the skills, knowledge, and capabilities that make these careers possible.

Fellows serve in a full-time position specializing in one area (Advancement, Artistic Administration, or Administration) while gaining knowledge in a range of essential functions across the organization, including artistic administration, fundraising, marketing, audience cultivation, and business administration.

Through this fellowship, Opera Theatre seeks to introduce a diverse group of young professionals to the issues, challenges, and rewards of running an arts organization, whereby developing successful arts administrators who represent the diversity of our communities and who will add to the vibrant future of the opera field.

All Fellows will receive a full-time salary, benefits, a relocation and transportation stipend, and professional development. The 2021-2022 Fellowship program will begin on October 1, 2021 and conclude on July 31, 2022.

Weekly Salary: $750.00 plus monthly transportation stipend


Participating Fellows will:

  • Serve in a full-time position specializing in one area (Artistic, Advancement, or Administration) while also learning about a range of essential functions across the organization;
  • Receive individualized guidance and training from OTSL staff and company members;
  • Be a critical team member in the preparation for and execution of Opera Theatre’s programming, including a Festival Season;
  • Utilize a curriculum and structure that provides appropriate guidance and instruction while encouraging individual responsibility for projects, connections with partners for collaboration, provides information and resources for professional development, and that empowers the Fellows in their future careers;
  • Be matched with an individual mentor who is a leader in opera or the broader arts industry, who will provide regular guidance and coaching;
  • Participate in networking with leaders from across the St. Louis arts community and the national opera field;
  • Be a member of a cohort of fellows, and have access and connection to the developing network of “alumni” from the program;
  • Complete the program having further developed both the hard and soft skills needed to excel as an arts administrator, including an overarching understanding of how an organization runs, in-depth departmental experience, and professional development.

Opera Theatre is committed to:

  • Employing a robust and diverse recruitment and selection process;
  • Hiring a class of Fellows that reflect the diversity of talent, skills, and ideas of the St. Louis community, the operatic field, and the country as a whole;
  • Providing a professional, supportive, and welcoming work environment and program structure that listens and responds to the needs of the Fellows;
  • Paying a livable, appropriate wage with benefits, assisting the Fellow with finding housing arrangements if necessary, and providing a moving and travel stipend;
  • Providing individualized mentorship, fostering confidence critical to entry level professionals;
  • Investing in the training and professional development of the fellows beyond the work experience by providing networking connections and opportunities in St. Louis, and sponsoring participation in national Opera America forums and events;
  • Investing in the success of Fellows by supporting their subsequent job search and careers, serving as references, providing recommendations, and continuing mentorship.



Three fellows will be chosen for the 2021-2022 class, one in each of the following positions:


As a member of Opera Theatre’s Artistic Administration Department, the Artistic Fellow will support OTSL’s artistic planning and activities for the Festival Season and across the year.

Includes areas of focus and learning such as: coordinating activities for the Gerdine Young Artists Program; contracting; union relations; company management; rehearsal scheduling; music and score preparation; annual Center Stage Concert


Working with Opera Theatre’s Advancement Department, the Advancement Fellow will work across the areas of Marketing, Development, and Community Partnerships.

Includes areas of focus and learning such as: donor communications and stewardship; annual fund campaigns; grant writing and reporting; developing press releases and pitches; audience development; planning and executing ad campaigns; fundraising and community events


As a member of the Administration Department, the Administration Fellow will support the business management of the organization, in addition to partnering with various departments across the organization, such as the office of the General Director, Education, and Finance.

Includes areas of focus and learning such as: governance and board management; budgeting; strategic planning; HR; community engagement and learning events; constituent relations (working with board members, volunteers, and VIPs visiting the Festival Season)


Application and Selection:

Apply At:

All candidates must complete the online application, which includes submitting a resume, cover letter explaining their interest in the program, and response to brief essay questions.

Applications will be reviewed, and interviews will take place this summer. Successful candidates will be notified in early August 2021.


Individuals from backgrounds historically underrepresented in opera and arts administration, particularly those who identify as BIPOC, are invited to apply.

Eligible candidates must have completed at least two years of college level work or have equivalent experience in arts or arts-related work (administration, performance, or other related experience).

Candidates may be aspiring or early career administrators or those transitioning from performance into administration.

Strong candidates will have a passion for the performing arts. They will be self-motivated, balance multiple responsibilities effectively, and demonstrate strong communicate skills that will allow them to interact with artists, donors, volunteers, board members, and staff in a range of professional situations.


Program Timeline for 2021-22 Fellowship:

Applications Due: July 25, 2021

Interviews and Selection: July – August 2021

Program Begins: October 2021

Program Concludes: July 2022


*Note: We use the term BIPOC to mean that we seek to serve individuals of color who identify as: Black/African/African American, Afro Latino/a/x, Caribbean, Chicano/a/x, Mexican, Central American, South American, Middle Eastern/North African, Indigenous Peoples, Southeast Asian/Asian, Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian, Native Alaskan.

We recognize that these descriptions and this language is ever-evolving and will always be inadequate. If this description resonates with you, we invite you to apply.


About Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization known for innovative productions featuring outstanding young artists.  The company offers a festival opera season each spring which attracts ticket buyers from zip codes throughout the metropolitan area, as well as visitors from nearly 50 states and multiple countries.  As of 2021, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has presented 32 world premieres and 28 American premieres, which may be the highest percentage of new work in the repertory of any American company. In addition to the spring Festival Season, Opera Theatre operates year-round education and community programs serving nearly 17,000 local children and adults.


Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has a year-round artistic and administrative staff of approximately 40, which grows to approximately 500 during the Festival Season. Several hundred volunteer members of the Opera Theatre Guild provide support for all aspects of Opera Theatre’s work and advocate for the company throughout the greater St. Louis community. The company’s annual budget size is approximately $10.8 million; contributed revenue represents more than 50% of budget.


At Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, we value diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We are committed to being an equal employment/engagement opportunity workplace, and will not discriminate against employees or applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, physical or mental disability, genetic information or characteristics, protected veteran status, or any other protected class under federal, state, or local law.

Please let us know if you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process.

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