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Mentorship Program for Opera Leaders of Color

The Mentorship Program for Opera Leaders of Color provides support for BIPOC administrators who are at the threshold of taking their next leadership step. It pairs them with more seasoned leaders in the opera field who can serve as coaches and advocates.

The selected mentees will participate in a yearlong program designed to identify barriers and achievement gaps and implement action plans for professional growth and long-term career success.

The Mentorship Program for Opera Leaders of Color was established in 2021 through the continued efforts of the Racial Justice Opera Network Steering Committee to bring equity to the art form. It intentionally identifies and disrupts barriers to increase representation and agency for BIPOC leaders at all levels in the opera field.

Mentee-mentor pairings of the 2024 Mentorship Program for Opera Leaders of Color are generously underwritten by BIPOC Arts and an anonymous donor, with additional support from Anne-Marie Blancquaert, Walter Bruyninckx, and Corey Kinger.

How to Apply

OPERA America will support mentorship teams by providing funding and additional resources for in-person and remote mentoring sessions as well as travel, hotel, and registration to attend Opera Conference 2025. Mentees and mentors will commit to the full 15-month mentorship partnership. Each mentee will be matched with a mentor based on the mentee's expressed needs and interests.

Eligibility: Participation as a mentee in the Mentorship Program is available to individuals who have current or recent employment experience at an OPERA America member organization and who identify as one or more of the following races/ethnicities: Black, Latiné, Asian, Pacific Islander, South Asian, Arab, Middle Eastern, North African, and Native American/Indigenous.

The mentee-mentor pairs commit to working together for the full 15-month program, including attending OPERA America's annual conference.

The guidelines document below includes additional eligibility details.

Application Cycle
Program dates: April 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025
Application available online: January 10, 2024
Application deadline: January 31, 2024
Review and interview process: February 2024
Participants notified: March 2024
Program Guidelines & Worksheets

Individuals interested in applying for the Mentorship Program for Opera Leaders of Color should review the documents below to ensure they are eligible and at an appropriate stage of their career to participate in the program.

Applicants who are not eligible for this program may consider other leadership programs including the Mentorship Program for Women Administrators, Leadership Launch, and Leadership Intensive.

For questions about applications or eligibility, contact Vincent Rutter-Covatto, director of learning and leadership, at VRutterCovatto@operaamerica.org or 646.699.5237.

Meet the Alumni

Mentorship Program mentees and mentors are listed with their titles and company affiliations at the start of their participation.