Art of Leadership


Strong arts organizations, powered by effective leaders, are central to a thriving arts environment. These organizations inspire celebration and change for our communities. Art of Leadership is a seven-month board training program presented by the Regional Arts & Culture Council. The program provides a unique space for arts organization board members (from emerging to seasoned) to develop the knowledge and skills to lead arts organizations effectively and responsibly. Participating arts leaders engage in tailored courses to learn the foundations of serving, develop strong relationships, and problem-solve together. As a participant, you will join over 550 program graduates from the past 17 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.


The Art of Leadership program was so rich with information, knowledge, and experiences from both the business and arts community which allowed a very full and enhanced learning environment that was diverse and inclusive. The staff, guest panel members, and those participating in the Art of Leadership Program were so open and willing to share information and experiences that will help strengthen and sustain our organization as we continue work in the future.  

– Connie Carley – PassinArt: A Theatre Company


Program Details

  • Led by arts consultants George Thorn and Toni Tabora-Roberts
  • Seven workshop sessions including expert speakers, interactive sessions, networking, and topical information
  • Internship opportunities to observe an arts board
  • A complimentary Arts Card to use for two-for-one tickets to hundreds of local arts and culture events.
  • Networking opportunities with fellow participants and local arts and culture leaders.


Application & Cost

The application window for the 2018-19 Art of Leadership Workshop Series is now closed. If you are interested in applying to the 2019-20 cohort, please fill out the form below and you will be notified once the application is available (Summer 2019).


Fill out my online form.


Schedule and Curriculum

For the first six workshops, they are held at different arts and culture venues in the Portland area one Wednesday per month, October through March, from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm. Lunch is included. The final, seventh session takes place in the late afternoon and evening and includes graduation, networking, and a celebration reception—location TBD.


 #1      October 10, 2018

Oregon Children’s Theatre

1939 NE Sandy Blvd.

Portland, OR 97232

 PDX Arts: Setting the Stage


#2      November 7, 2018

Polaris Dance Theatre

1826 NW 18th Avenue

Portland, OR 97209

Nonprofit Nuts & Bolts  



#3      December 5, 2018

Milago Theatre

525 SE Stark Street

Portland, OR 97214


Getting Real About Arts Funding



#4      January 9, 2019

Cerimon House

5131 NE 23rd Avenue

Portland, OR 97211


Seeing Numbers: De-Mystifying Nonprofit Financials




#5      February 6, 2019

New Expressive Works

810 SE Belmont Street

Portland, OR 97214

Why Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Matter              



#6      March 6, 2019


8371 N. Interstate Avenue

Portland, OR 97217


Empowering Arts Leadership
#7      April 3, 2019

NW Natural 

220 NW 2nd Avenue

Portland, OR 97209

Graduation & Networking            




2018-19 Art of Leadership Cohort – Photo by Matt Tabora Roberts


Sponsorship Opportunities

The Art of Leadership program would not be possible without the valuable support of Workshop Sponsors. For more information on sponsorship opportunities and benefits, including complimentary registration for your employees, contact Alison Bailey at



For more information about Art of Leadership, contact Matt at