Art of Leadership


Photo by Intisar Abioto

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 600 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.



The application for the 2019-2020 cohort will open on August 1, 2019. If you would like to be notified once the application is available, please complete the form below.


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.


Topics Include:

  • PDX Arts: Setting the Stage
  • Nonprofit Nuts & Bolts
  • Getting Real About Arts Funding
  • Seeing Numbers: De-Mystifying Nonprofit Financials
  • Why Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Matter
  • Empowering Arts Leadership


Sponsors of the 2019-2020 Workshops Series


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