July 2018

An Arts Nonprofit

By Jill Mcmillan

Are you passionate about the arts? If you’re reading this, I sure hope you are! There are so many ways to get involved and support the incredible work of our arts community—attending shows and exhibitions; donating to an organization you care about; volunteering at arts events; and advocating on the local, state, and national levels. But if you’re looking for a deeper level of engagement with the arts community in Nashville, have you thought about nonprofit board service?

By serving on a nonprofit board of directors, individuals can refine their leadership skills, learn organizational planning, practice creative decision-making, develop conflict-management tactics, and help strengthen the overall community. You’ll also have the opportunity to build your network, serving alongside other interesting and enthusiastic community members excited about the organization’s mission. If they’re passionate about the organization, individuals of any background can be an asset to a nonprofit board.

So you’re ready to get involved, but where do you start? If there’s a specific organization you’re interested in, get in touch with them directly to see what volunteer opportunities they have so you can start getting to know their programs and staff. Many organizations look for board members that are already engaged in their activities.

Another option is the Arts & Business Council’s Arts Board Matching program. Arts Board Matching promotes dynamic leadership in the arts community by helping people cultivate the skills needed to be effective, engaged board members, and by making matches between vibrant individuals and arts organizations. Participants are equipped for board service and success at four half-day workshops, and after completing the workshops, participants are invited to a “speed dating”-style matching event with representatives from local arts organizations. Applications for the Arts & Business Council’s Arts Board Matching program will open in mid-July. Learn more and apply at www.abcnashville.org.

If you’re inspired to make the arts community in Nashville a better place, I urge you to consider serving on a nonprofit board. Bringing your energy and expertise to the table can truly be a transformative experience for both you and the organization.


Photograph by Heidi Ross

Jill McMillan is the Executive Director of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville, where she is thrilled to serve the cultural sector at the intersection of arts and business. You can reach her at jmcmillan@abcnashville.org.

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