On BOARD is A&BC’s unique board training and matching program that prepares business leaders to serve on the Board of Directors of a nonprofit arts & culture organization and provides comprehensive matching services to determine which organization best suits the candidate's interests and skills. Since 1999, the Arts & Business Council of Chicago has successfully placed over 250 business professionals on nonprofit boards.

"Encouraging and supporting board service is a tool Blue Cross uses to develop its next generation of leaders. Blue Cross is particularly fond of On BOARD because it prepares candidates for board service…and builds camaraderie and personal and professional networks.” - Paul Boulis,  Former President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and former A&BC Board Member 

Are You Board-Ready?

On BOARD runs three times a year:

  • Spring (March-June)
  • Summer (June-July)
  • Fall (Sept-Oct)


Training Sessions 
The program consists of four 5-hour training sessions and 2 networking sessions with the participating arts organizations. 

The training sessions provide extensive instruction in the legal, ethical, and financial responsibilities of serving on a nonprofit arts board. Board governance experts, nonprofit arts leaders, and current board members offer varied and interactive coursework including experiential workshops, group discussions and case studies.

Candidates also attend performances and events of the participating organizations and attend board and committee meetings in order to determine which organization has the programming and board needs that best align with the candidate's own interests and talent.

Spring 2015 On BOARD course dates are as follows:

Early-Bird Application Deadline: Feb 6
Final Application Deadline: Feb 27

Training Sessions:

Saturday March 14, 9:00am-2:00pm Session 1

Saturday April 11, 9:00am-2:00pm Session 2

Saturday May 2, 9:00am-2:00pm Session 3

Thursday June 4, 4:30-8:00pm Session 4

Meet & Greet Networking Sessions with Participating Arts Organizations:

Wednesday March 18 5:30-8:00pm Meet & Greet I

Wednesday March 25, 5:30-8:00pm Meet & Greet II 

Summer 2015 On BOARD course dates are as follows: 

Early-Bird Application Deadline: May 22
Application Deadline: June 5

Training Sessions:

Wednesday June 17, 5:15-7:30pm Session 1

Wednesday June 24, 5:15-7:30pm Session 2

Wednesday July 1, 5:15-7:30pm Session 3

Wednesday July 8, 5:15-7:30pm Session 4 

Meet & Greet Networking Sessions with Participating Arts Organizations:

             Wednesday July 15, 5:00-8:00pm

Fall 2015 On BOARD course dates: 

Early-Bird Application Deadline: August 29
Application Deadline: Sept 9

Training Sessions:

Wednesdays Sept 16, 5:15-7:30pm

Wednesday Oct 14, 5:15-7:30pm

Wednesday Oct 21, 5:15-7:30pm

Wednesday Oct 28, 5:15-7:30pm

Meet & Greet Networking Sessions with Participating Arts Organizations:

             Wednesdays Sept 30 & Oct 7, 5:00-8:00pm

On BOARD Program Fees

The tuition fee for the program is $1,600. Participants who are accepted to the program and submitted a completed application by the early-bird deadline will be eligible for a discount rate of $1,375. A modest partial scholarship may be available for individuals working in the nonprofit, higher education, and civic sectors. 

Many companies sponsor employee tuition as a Professional Development or Community Engagement opportunity.  We recommend pursuing sponsorship before applying to the program and can provide documents to assist with this process.

Attention Employers

Employees participating in the On BOARD program expand their company’s sphere of influence in the community and gain exposure to a dynamic network of business and cultural professionals. They are able to translate the positive impact of their program and board service experience back to their professional duties.

Participants often find themselves sitting beside classmates who, by day, are business leaders and potential clients or customers. Companies that have partnered with A&BC to provide the On BOARD Training Program as a Leadership Development opportunity to their employees include:  Northern Trust, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Segal Company, West Monroe Partners, Quarles & Brady, and many others. To explore On BOARD as an opportunity for your employees, please contact us using the information below.

More Information
For more information about the On BOARD program or to apply, please contact Director of Programs - Board Services & Training, Kristen Teasdale (312) 372-1876 ext. 221. 

Generous support for On BOARD has been provided by:



Back to Top

Share this page on: