PREPARING AND DEVELOPING PROFESSIONALS FOR BOARD SERVICE
Manager, Arts & Business Council of Greater Houston
Local Arts Agencies (LAAs) provide programs and services to support the arts within their communities. As the city’s designated LAA, Houston Arts Alliance offers a wide range of programs and services for organizations and individual artists. We hope that by sharing the stories of how the arts transform, enliven and connect our city, the more resources will be garnered to support this vital aspect of our current and future economy and quality of life.
Creating an exceptional board of directors can be challenging. When board building is done well, it is one of the most time intensive and complex aspects of nonprofit leadership. Exceptional boards consistently invest in building their boards and recognize that electing new members is only one part of this comprehensive cycle. The Arts & Business Council of Greater Houston is creating opportunities to help simplify and demystify this process, making it easier for nonprofit arts and culture organizations to identify prospective board members who understand the roles and responsibilities that accompany a high-impact volunteer leadership position.
Board Leadership for the Arts is a training program for individuals interested in learning and refining their knowledge related to the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit boards. Classes have open discussions on board leadership fundamentals and challenges related to ethics, selecting and supporting the CEO, setting organizational direction and ensuring resources for the originations they are currently serving or will serve in the future. In addition to learning board basics, participants have the opportunity to hone their unique knowledge, skills and abilities to assist when seeking out positions on boards.
While several opportunities are offered within Houston for individuals to learn more about board service, this program offers something unique to its participants. Each class has the opportunity to select several arts and culture organizations to interview during the final class session, which resembles a “speed-dating” format. Not only do participants meet with multiple boards in one evening, they are encouraged to experience each organization’s artistic product, or how they are fulfilling their mission within the community, for the duration of the class using tickets provided by the organizations.
Board Leadership for the Arts wrapped up its second class last week. The robust training program has been met with enthusiasm from both the nonprofit arts and culture community, as well as the business community. Class participants have included professionals at all stages of their careers, from young to seasoned, representing a wide array of for-profit industries including banking, energy, engineering, design and legal.
To learn more about the Board Leadership for the Arts program and how you can participate, click here.
Not convinced this program is for you? Listen to coverage of the Spring 2015 Board Leadership event on Houston Public Media!