We convene, train, and support the next generation of candidates and campaign staff.

About Illustration by Julia Rotham

Background

2016

Arena was founded to support the groundswell of people entering the political arena following the election of Donald Trump.

2017

We launched Arena Summit to convene the activists, candidates, organizers, and donors inspired by the political moment. We’ve since hosted five Arena Summits across the country, reaching more than 2,500 people. In 2017, we also launched our candidate support program in Virginia, investing in 11 candidates running for the House of Delegates and helping to flip the chamber, consolidating Democratic power in the state for the first time in a generation.

2018

As Arena Summit participants began to announce their own campaigns for office, we grew our candidate support program, expanding it from Virginia to the country at large. We invested in races up and down the ballot, ultimately helping to elect 25 candidates, including 10 to Congress in red-to-blue districts. We also continued to break down traditional barriers to entry in politics: 67% of our candidates were women, and 48% identified as people of color.

2019

We surveyed the candidates we supported in the previous election cycle and learned that they shared a common challenge: finding and training qualified campaign staff who represented the diversity of the communities where they were running. In response we launched a talent pipeline that forms the core of our work today. It includes:

  • Arena Academy, a best-in-class training program for aspiring campaign staff, focused on bringing women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community into the political process;
  • Arena Careers, an initiative to connect Academy graduates with career opportunities on campaigns and in progressive organizations through 1:1 coaching, direct referrals, and our bespoke Arena Careers platform, the LinkedIn for politics;
  • Arena Toolbox, a collection of free toolkits, tutorials, and templates for building winning campaigns; and
  • Arena Candidates, an expanded effort to identify and support candidates in critical races around the country.

2020

We continued to build and scale our talent pipeline, graduating 5,277 people from our training programs, and matching our graduates with jobs on campaigns up-and-down the ballot, from the Biden campaign, to Senatorial and Congressional races, to state legislative races and beyond. We also teamed up with Future Now Fund to support state legislative candidates in five battleground states: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, and Texas. We ultimately raised nearly $6 million for these candidates, placed 133 of our graduates on campaigns in these states, and helped elect 27 candidates to office.

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Meet the Arena team

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We need your support.

Arena needs your help to convene, train and support the next generation of candidates and campaign staff. Our programs are designed to make politics more accessible to more people. That’s why everything we do is free or low cost. This is made possible by the support of generous donors. Chip in to help progressives build winning campaigns.

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Stay up to date with news and resources from the Arena community

By providing your cell phone number you consent to receive periodic updates from Arena, including automated text messages and phone calls. Txt HELP for help, STOP to end. Msg & Data rates may apply. See our Privacy Policy.