Arena Academy 201

Advanced trainings to help political professionals navigate the 2020 election cycle.

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What is Arena Academy 201?

In an industry that typically relies on self-guided learning, we want campaign staff to have the training and community they need to be successful this campaign cycle. So we designed the Academy 201 trainings for senior staff on 2020 races of all sizes.

Trainings are hands-on and interactive, and range from 90-minute evening courses to half-day or even two-day sessions.

Each session focuses on a specific topic during which you'll learn from experts, connect with peers, and work through real-life problems.

Who can apply?

Anyone can apply, but priority is given to people actively working on campaigns in Arena's priority states: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Texas. All trainings are completely free.

We’ll notify you a week before the training whether you have been admitted.

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Upcoming Trainings

Apply to Arena Academy 201: GOTV.

August 30-31

Is your campaign ready for GOTV? Two months out from Election Day, and with early voting around the corner, it’s time to prepare you and your team for GOTV. This training is for senior staff in all departments on campaigns. We’ll break out and cover topics relevant to your specific role, as well as spend time together holistically understanding and planning for GOTV across the campaign. You’ll have an opportunity to deep-dive on state-specific materials. We’ll cover the structure, checklists, rules, and training you’ll need to prepare your staff to turnout voters.

This training is specifically designed for senior staff on campaigns.

Time: Sunday, August 30 from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. EST and Monday, August 31 from 11 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. EST
Application deadline: Friday, August 14
Admissions notification: Monday, August 17


  • What are the technical requirements? You will need a computer with a working camera and microphone and a connection to the internet to attend these trainings. We recommend you download Zoom ahead of time.

  • When will I hear about whether or not I’ve been admitted? You’ll receive an email no later than the Monday before your training is set to begin. Admissions will also happen on a rolling basis. Due to overwhelming interest, only applicants who are accepted into the session will be notified. If you're placed on a waitlist and accepted from the waitlist, you’ll receive notification of acceptance at least 48 hours prior to the session.

  • When is the application deadline? Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and are due the week before your training of choice is set to begin.

  • I’m not sure I can commit to the full training. Can I attend part of a training? We prefer that participants attend the full training. These sessions are interactive, and we want to create a sense of community. We can only do that by dedicating time and being fully present.

  • How much do Arena Academy 201 trainings cost? These trainings are completely free, though limited by space.

  • What’s the schedule? For the most part, trainings run from 11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. EST on Saturdays. Each training will include between 2 - 3 sessions. We’ll have ample breaks between sessions and for lunch.

  • Will we receive the materials we use in the training? Yes. Slides will be made available to participants after the course. You’ll be asked to join Arena Careers in order to have access. You can join ahead of time by creating a profile here.

  • I have a disability / need support or an accommodation: We are committed to supporting all participants in their learning experience. If you need accommodation or support of any kind, please let us know on your application form or write to

Previous Trainings

  • Best laid plans, and how to change them. Saturday, July 18 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. EST. Application deadline Friday, July 10. Campaigns are rapidly adapting to the new context of COVID-19. And in any year, campaigns are always changing and facing new challenges. As a campaign staffer, you’re making dozens of decisions about how to reach the voters you need to, how to keep staff safe, and how to develop the right message to reach donors and voters. It’s hard to know what to do. Come to this Arena Academy 201 session and you’ll learn a framework for adapting and workshopping a current challenge you’re facing. No matter what challenge you’re facing on your campaign—whether with organizing, fundraising, or messaging—this will teach a human-centered design approach which will help you break down the process of problem-solving into clear steps that place people and constituents at the heart of the solution. You’ll be able to use this framework again and again as challenges arise over the course of this campaign cycle.

  • All things digital with ACRONYM. Friday, July 24 from 3:00 - 7:30 p.m. EST and Saturday, July 25 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. EST Are you running a digital program this cycle? Or adding digital to the long list of things that you already do on a campaign? Join Arena and ACRONYM for two days of in-depth training on all the digital skills you need to make your campaign successful. In a time of social distancing, it has never been more evident that digital plays a role in just about every aspect of campaigns. We’ll cover topics from launching, evaluating, and creating beautiful digital ads to organizing and mobilizing voters online. We’ll explore digital trends such as live streaming your campaign, learn about campaign cornerstones such as SMS and email, and review critical topics such as combating misinformation and evaluating digital tools. You’ll hear from experts in the field of digital and understand how to apply those skills immediately to your campaign and role.

  • Centering Equity within Campaigns. Tuesday, July 28 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. EST How do you want to win? Join Dr. Kira Hudson Banks for a session about how staff can center equity in campaigns. From the way your campaign organizes to the way it allocates resources to the way it treats staff, you are making decisions about how to engage and prioritize marginalized communities and communities of color. Dr. Hudson Banks is a scholar, teacher, and researcher rooted in Black Psychology. Her work helps people understand themselves, others, and systems of oppression.

  • Adapting Your Organizing Program to 2020. Saturday, August 1 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. EST How do you run a vote by mail program? How have your organizing universes changed given different capacity? How do you manage remote teams of organizers and volunteers? If you can’t knock doors, what should you do instead? How do you make sure your campaign is connecting with voters from marginalized communities? During this session, we’ll get hands-on to adapt your organizing goals and universes. We’ll review models for relational and distributed organizing and understand how you can implement and track relational tactics. We’ll also talk through best practices for implementing and tracking vote by mail programs.

  • Maximizing Political Partnerships. Wednesday, August 5 from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. EST Not sure how best to leverage relationships with large national organizations? Wondering how to approach local groups about supporting your campaign? Political partnerships can be intensive to establish, difficult to manage, but rewarding when done right—and these days, you can’t win without ‘em. During this panel, you’ll hear from the political staff of large and small organizations. We’ll uncover best practices for engaging political partners and managing those relationships. You’ll be able to ask questions of the panelists and to participate in smaller discussion groups after the panel.

  • Advanced Communications. Saturday, August 8 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. EST As we near the election, voters and the press are tuning into races up and down the ballot. The way that your campaign and candidate communicate with press and voters is vital. During this training, we’ll cover three important topics that will help your campaign succeed: speechwriting, debate prep, and working with the press. You’ll have the opportunity to workshop material directly related to your campaign and learn from a team of experts.

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