Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA), A&BC’s founding program, recruits and trains experienced business professionals, and then assigns them to serve on pro bono consulting projects for small-to-medium sized nonprofit arts organizations throughout the Chicago area.
“Being a BVA gives people a chance to practice their craft in a different field, or to play a different role on the team than they do at the office. Applying your marketing training to the arts often forces you back to consider and explain the underlying principles, which is a great discipline. You can't get away with too much marketing jargon and are forced to think and express yourself clearly. I have had a ball as a BVA and will go on as long as the Arts & Business Council will let me tag along.”- Toby Sachs, Managing Group Director. mcgarrybown (BVA since 2002)
On a project-by-project basis, volunteers contribute their professional skills and resources to enhance the management capacity of arts organizations with limited resources. In return, business volunteers enrich their professional and personal lives - by building their human networks, strengthening their business skills and becoming an integral part of the behind-the-scene world of the arts.
Become a Business Volunteer for the Arts
A&BC business volunteers are experienced professionals. To qualify, you must have a minimum of five years of professional managerial experience. A&BC specifically looks for candidates with expertise in marketing, public relations, strategic and business planning, accounting and financial management, information technology and human resources.
If you’d like to apply to become a Business Volunteer for the Arts, please fill out an ONLINE APPLICATION. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so interested candidates are encouraged to apply now. After your application is reviewed, you’ll be contacted for an interview. To participate in the BVA program, there’s a nominal, one-time administrative fee of $100.
Preparing You for Success
New business volunteers must attend a BVA Orientation before starting on a project. We offer the BVA Orientation four times a year— winter, spring, summer and fall on Friday afternoons from 2:00 - 6:00 pm in downtown Chicago.
- Winter Orientation: January 25 (application deadline is January 11)
- Spring Orientation: May 3 (application deadline is April 19)
- Summer Orientation: August 2 (application deadline is July 19)
- Fall Orientation: October 4 (application deadline is Sept 20)
Once participants complete the BVA Orientation, they receive twice-monthly bulletins listing available projects. If interested, BVAs with complementary skills are assigned to a specific project as part of a two-to-four member team. Projects typically require ten hours of work per month and last from two to six months. The actual time commitment depends on the nature of the project, but all parties agree on an anticipated outcome and completion date at an initial project meeting.
For more information please email Katie Kurcz, Director of Programs - Management Services, or call (312)372-1876 ext. 229.