On BOARD is the Arts & Business Council of Chicago’s (A&BC) unique program that provides arts and cultural organizations with the opportunity to meet with highly-qualified and trained individuals who are ready to engage as active board members.

We recruit business professionals who are passionate about the arts and want to make a difference in the community. These individuals attend a series of trainings that cover the major aspects of board service and how to be effective ambassadors for the organization they join. The goal at the end of the program is for an individual to match with a participating organization.

Our program director Noemi Garcia is here to be your guide throughout the program and help facilitate a match being made between an individual and your organization.

We offer the On BOARD program three times a year:

  • Winter session runs February - May
  • Spring session runs May - August
  • Fall session runs September – January

You are required to send 1-3 organization representatives to the Meet the Boards networking event. This event is your first opportunity to meet the individuals participating in the On BOARD program. The Meet the Boards events are held on Wednesdays from 5:30-8pm in downtown Chicago.

Meet the Boards Dates

  • Winter: February 7, 2018 - Application deadline is Jan 12
  • Spring: May 16, 2018 -  Application deadline is Apr 13
  • Fall: Sept 26, 2018 - Application deadline is Aug 17

Eligibility Requirements


  • Annual budget between $50K-1.5M
  • 3+ years of incorporation
  • Board of 5+ members
  • 2 or more non-founding/non-staff board members
  • Directors & Officers insurance
  • Regular performances/programming scheduled during the first 2-3 months of the program session
  • Regular board meeting schedule


  • 501c3 tax-exempt status is current
  • Current client of A&BC
  • Up-to-date Board Member Expectations Description
  • Must provide comp tickets to performances/programming during the session with the exception of fundraisers



Apply Today

Current A&BC clients may submit an On BOARD Application here.

Your organization must be an active client of A&BC to be eligible for participation. If you have not come in for a formal consultation with A&BC’s staff in the past 3 years or if you have had leadership changes within your organization, you will first need to submit a New Client Application.

Formal program acceptances and deferrals will be sent out two weeks prior to that session’s Meet the Boards date.

    Program Fee

    The program fee is nonrefundable and not dependent on you matching with an On BOARD candidate.

    Organization's Annual Budget Participation Fee
    < $450,000 $350
    $450,000 - $850,000 $550
    > $850,000 $750


    If you have questions or want to learn more about the On BOARD program, please contact On BOARD Director Noemi Garcia at ngarcia@artsbiz-chicago.org or 312-372-1876 x103.