Art of Leadership 2017-18



Art of Leadership is a six-month board training program presented by the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Its goal is to create and influence diverse boards for the region’s small and midsized arts & culture organizations. As a participant, you join over 500 program graduates from the past 15 years who serve a wide range of organizations.

This program is for you if you identify as:

  • someone looking to join a board
  • a current member of an arts & culture board
  • a professional staff member who works directly with a board

RACC will provide foundational knowledge and real life case studies that help prepare volunteers and staff to address the challenges and opportunities that come with nonprofit board service.

“If only everyone considering nonprofit board service could take part in The Art of Leadership! The program and the knowledgeable team behind it is of tremendous value to our community, giving current and aspiring board members a great foundation of knowledge in the arts, our local creative ecology, and how to be an effective board member.”  

– Cary Clarke, Executive Director, Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington


Program Details

  • led by arts consultants George Thorn and Toni Tabora-Roberts
  • six half-day workshop sessions including expert speakers, interactive sessions, and topical information
  • Internship opportunities to observe an arts board
  • a “speed dating” event to meet with organizations that are seeking new board members and patrons
  • complimentary tickets to arts and culture events
  • networking opportunities with fellow participants and local arts and culture leaders.


Application & Cost

Unfortunately this year’s class is full, but if you’d like to be among the first to receive information next year, leave your information and we’ll be in touch next summer for Art of Leadership 2018-19!

Sign up for notifications

The application deadline for this year’s Art of Leadership cohort is Friday, September 8. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance in the program no later than Friday, September 15—space is limited. Apply at
Tuition is $800 per person. However, please do not let cost be a barrier when applying.  Price adjustments can be requested in the application process.

Schedule and Curriculum

Each workshop is held at a different arts and culture venue in the Portland area one Wednesday per month, October through March, from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm. Lunch is included for 5 workshops. The final “Graduation and Speed Dating” session takes place in the late afternoon and evening, and includes a celebration reception.


Workshop #1 (October 18, 2017)
  • Overview of the Program
  • The Region’s Cultural Scene
  • How Does an Arts Organization Operate?
Workshop #2 (November 15, 2017)
  • The Role of the Nonprofit Board in Today’s Changing Environment
  • Non-Profit Basics
  • Responsibilities of Board Members
  • Relationship of Professional Leadership and Board Leadership
 Workshop #3 (December 13, 2017)
  • Funding the Arts: Issues and Challenges
  • Development and Fundraising: Board Members’ Roles in Each
  • Fundraising: How Board and Staff Work Together to Ensure Success
Workshop #4 (January 10, 2018)
  • De-Mystifying the Financial Reports of Nonprofit Arts Organizations
  • Financial Reporting Through the Eyes of the Executive Director and Board Treasurer
  • Budgeting and Planning for Today’s Economic Realities
Workshop #5 (February 7, 2018)
  • Overview and Case Study: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Case Study: Adaptation & Change
  • Questions to Ask Before Joining a Board
  • Legal Responsibilities of a Nonprofit Board
Workshop #6 Graduation and “Speed Dating” (March 7, 2018 – EVENING)
  • Topic Discussions
  • Art of Leadership “Stellar Graduates” Panel
  • Mingle and “Speed Dating” with Arts and Culture Organizations




For more information about Art of Leadership, visit or contact


Sponsorship Opportunities

 The Art of Leadership program would not be possible without the valuable support of our program sponsors. For more information on sponsorship opportunities and benefits, including complimentary registrations for your employees, contact Alison Bailey at or download our Sponsorship Opportunities information sheet.

Presenting Sponsor:

The Art of Leadership 2017-18 series is presented by the Nike Asia-Pacific Employee Network.

Supporting Sponsor:

Additional support for Art of Leadership 2017 comes from McDonald Jacobs.