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Seattle Opera.



The Seattle Arts Fellowship is a yearlong fellowship program hosted by Seattle Opera, Seattle Symphony, and Pacific Northwest Ballet to develop the next generation of arts leaders. The fellowship is for individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC) and are seeking leadership positions in arts administration.

The paid fellowship includes hands-on work experience in arts administration and learning opportunities including leadership training, skill building, mentorship, and networking. The fellowship cohort will engage in peer-to-peer learning, connect with local arts leaders, and build a strong network to support their career development.

2021/22 Fellows

Dalanie Harris

Dalanie Harris is a double bassist and podcaster from Los Angeles, CA. She began her musical studies with piano at age 7, and later switched to double bass at age 12. She has played in orchestras all over Los Angeles, including the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Youth Orchestra Los Angeles. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Harris is a fierce advocate for equity and cultural inclusivity in classical music spaces. In November 2018 Harris co-founded Classically Black Podcast, which brings listeners into the world of classical music through the eyes of Black classical musicians with a new and interesting twist. Harris has hosted and presented at conferences promoting equity and inclusion for Black musicians across the country including SphinxConnect, the YOLA National Symposium, and the El Sistema USA National Symposium.

Kierra Nguyen

Kierra Nguyen is a dancer and artist from Seattle, Washington. A recent graduate of Oberlin College, she received her BA in Dance and Studio Art, where she immersed herself in performance, choreography and collaboration. She also pursued leadership roles as a stage manager, performance director, dance research assistant and student department representative. She is honored to be a part of the inaugural Seattle Arts Fellowship cohort and looks forward to the work and learning ahead.

Recently, Kierra worked as an Arts Administrative Assistant for Equinox Development Unlimited LLC as well as a dance teacher for young kids. She feels lucky to have performed in LanDforms Dance’s drive-through performance Cooped Up: We’re Still Inside in October of 2020.

Kierra has had the privilege of performing in works by Pat Graney, Amy O’Neal, Kate Wallich, Gil Kerer, Alon Karniel, Alysia Ramos and Nathan Trice. She is a recipient of the Helen Ward Memorial Prize in Theater & Dance.

Gabriela Páez Shutt

Gabriela (Gabi) Páez Shutt is an emerging arts administrator with a passion for education, community engagement, and access, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Most recently, Gabi graduated from Florida State University with a M.A. in Arts Administration. During her graduate studies Gabi interned with the Arts Administrators of Color Network, “Negro Spiritual” Scholarship Foundation, and the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium. Gabi is excited to start her new role as the Community Engagement Fellow with the Pacific Northwest Ballet as part of the inaugural cohort of the Seattle Arts Fellowship in the summer of 2021.



The fellowship is open to all applicants identifying as BIPOC. Ideal candidates will be individuals who aspire to become leaders in arts organizations, have a passion for the arts, and display an interest in developing new, creative ways to lead arts organizations.

Applications to the fellowship closed on February 1, 2021.


Applications will be reviewed by a committee consisting of staff from Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Symphony, and Seattle University.

Applicants will be reviewed on the following:

  • Potential and interest to be a leader in the arts
  • Demonstrated interest in the advancement of opera, ballet, and/or orchestra
  • Ability to communicate clearly, both orally and through writing.

After the initial review, a small pool of applicants will be invited to an interview either in-person or via Zoom in March 2021. Fellows will be selected in April and will begin their fellowship in Seattle on July 1.


Fellowship participants will be notified by March 2021. Fellows are expected to participate in a full-time (37.5+ hours) fellowship position in Seattle from July 2021 to June 2022. In addition, Fellows will participate in:

  • Meetings and check-ins with their Leadership Mentor
  • Monthly cohort meetings
  • Leadership and career development trainings and workshops
  • Meetings with local arts leaders
  • Networking opportunities


Fellows will receive hourly compensation at the rate of $24/hr, plus full benefits commensurate with the benefits package offered to full-time employees at their organization. All positions are hourly, non-exempt. Relocation expenses will not be covered.


As a program partner, Seattle University invites all Fellowship applicants to apply for the Seattle University MFA in Arts Leadership. Applicants who apply and are accepted to both programs are eligible for financial aid through Seattle University. 

Learn more about the MFA in Arts Leadership program online.  


Who should apply to the fellowship? 
The fellowship is open to all applicants identifying as BIPOC. Ideal candidates will be individuals who have recently entered the workforce or are transitioning into arts administration, aspire to become leaders in arts organizations, have a passion for the arts, and display an interest in developing new, creative ways to lead arts organizations. Applicants must have legal authorization to work in the United States.

Are there age restrictions?
As a full-time position, all applicants must be 18 or older. The fellowship is designed for those who have just entered the workforce (college graduates) or those transitioning into nonprofit arts careers.

Do I need prior arts administration experience to be considered?
Nope! Anyone who identifies as BIPOC and is considering a career in arts leadership should consider applying.

What will my job duties be if I am selected?
Your duties will depend on the specific fellowship position you choose on your application. Details can be found in the job descriptions posted above.


Still have questions? Email us at with any questions regarding the fellowship program or your application.