BOARD LEADERSHIP SPEED-DATING
Houston Arts Alliance
Sixteen potential board members. Fourteen arts and culture organizations. Five minutes. The bell rings, and the community leaders, seeking a board on which to serve, rotate around the room. After five minutes, they rotate again.
That was the setup for the closing reception of Houston Arts Alliance’s Board Leadership for the Arts training program, which wrapped up this month. If it sounds a lot like speed dating, that’s because it essentially is.
During five-minute mini-interviews, the 16 participants in this spring’s six-week program introduced themselves to representatives from small- to mid-sized organizations, and the organizations in turn gave overviews of their mission and goals. At the end of the evening, both participants and organizations filled out a form indicating whom they were interested in, and if it was a match, the “courtship” continued from there.
Each person matched with at least one organization, and each organization matched with one to five people, said Amy Gibbs, Capacity Building Initiative manager.
“It was a great opportunity to introduce potential board members—who because of the program now have an understanding of what it takes to be an effective volunteer—to organizations who need them,” Gibbs said. “We’ve had really great success with it.”
Program participants hailed from companies like Tudor Pickering Holt & Co., Bank of Texas, Merrill Lynch and Reed Smith. Two arts and culture organization executive directors also went through the program. Organizations that participated in the speed-dating event included Fresh Arts, Main Street Theater, Writespace and Musiqa, among others.
The speed-dating reception is the final step in the Board Leadership for the Arts program, which utilizes curriculum from BoardSource® to prepare participants for serving on organization boards. The class covers topics like roles and responsibilities, board and committee structures, fundraising and upholding professional standards.
The next six-week program will be offered in the fall. If you’re interested in participating, contact Amy Gibbs.