Learning Lab: Working at the Intersection of “Arts &” @ Humboldt Park Cultural Center
Feb 12 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Art for art’s sake is a thing of the past. The arts, cultural, and creative sector (including institutional funders) is shifting to uplift civic causes in the communities it serves. Organizations working at intersections like arts and youth development, arts and health, and arts and veterans’ affairs are leading the way in using creativity and culture to improve the social and economic lives of their constituents.  

In this session we will discuss:

  • why artmakers are partnering with existing social service agencies
  • how artmakers are operating in divested communities where resources are scarce
  • the importance of arts, culture, and creativity in “non-arts” organizations
  • how you can thread social practice into your artmaking

Panelists: Calvin King / Founder and Executive Director / Free Lunch Academy

Cate Fox / Senior Program Officer / The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Lauren Krieg / Senior Program Officer / Albert Pick, Jr. Fund

Read the panelists bios.

Registration: $65

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Panelist bio: Calvin King III is a local Chicago business consultant and accomplished playwright with over 30 completed works for the stage. Calvin was very active in theater and writing for the stage during college. After becoming a father, educator, and youth pastor his creative work began to naturally center itself around children and youth. He set out to find ways he could use entertainment in an educational way to help coach and mentor young people to become the absolute greatest version of themselves, one choice at a time. Serving as the Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit Free Lunch Academy, Calvin has developed innovative teaching arts programs where children participate in their own learning and develop better social skills while having fun. Through mentoring his teaching artist staff and partnering with other organizations in the community, Calvin has made it a goal of the organization to eradicate bullying worldwide by October 1, 2025.


Panelist bio: Cate A. Fox is a Senior Program Officer at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. At the Foundation, Cate oversees: Culture, Equity, and the Arts and Community Capital awards as part of her work with the Chicago Commitment team.

Previously, Cate served as a senior consultant at The Alford Group, a consulting firm to the nonprofit community. Over seven years with Alford she helped nonprofit organizations, including those in the arts, evaluate programs, assess organizational strength, conduct strategic planning, and increase fundraising. Cate also worked with the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. to revise its international programs and structure.

Cate received a Master of Arts degree in Peace and Development Studies with first class honors from the University of Limerick (Limerick, Ireland), and a Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Hollins University (Roanoke, VA).

Panelist bio: Lauren Krieg is the Senior Program Officer for the Albert Pick Jr. Fund, a private foundation that supports Civic Engagement, Education, the Arts, and Violence Prevention Programming and Healthcare Access for Children and Youth. Lauren is also the Vice President of Iris Krieg and Associates, a philanthropic advisory firm that provides grant management and consultation services to foundations and individual donors. Through this role, for more than eleven years, she has worked for several other Chicago foundations supporting the arts and a variety of other issues. Lauren has served on the Steering Committee of the Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development since 2008 and has been a strong advocate for the use of arts as a tool for improving communities and people’s lives in both traditional and unique ways.

Lauren earned a Bachelor of Arts degrees from Bryn Mawr College in Spanish and Cultural Anthropology and a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Framingham State College.


On BOARD® Lab: Legal & Fiduciary Responsibilities of Board Members @ WeWork Monroe
Mar 7 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Topics include:

  • Laws governing nonprofit boards of directors
  • The role of the director: responsibilities & restrictions
  • Bylaws
  • Understanding the importance of Directors & Officers insurance
  • Duty of Care, Duty of Loyalty, and Duty of Obedience
  • Conflict of interest
  • Executive leadership responsibilities
  • Committees and non-governing boards: associate, auxiliary, advisory
  • The importance and process of strategic planning

Presenters: Braden Cleary / Director, Arts Services / Arts & Business Council of Chicago

Patricia Spiccia Marx / Attorney / Quarels & Brady

Cris Beilstein / Consultant / Elevation Collaborative

Price: $150

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CANCELLED: Think & Do Tank: South Shore @ South Shore Cultural Center
Mar 14 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm


Saturday, March 14, 2020, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr.

Do you need help getting your organization or creative enterprise to the next level? Are you unsure how to grow your business, expand your creative practice, or get things done? Get your business-related questions answered at our next Think & Do Tank!

The Arts & Business Council of Chicago (A&BC) connects skilled Chicagoans with creative people, creative communities, and creative businesses through Think & Do Tanks – half-day business consulting events and resource hubs designed to address the immediate needs of community-based art makers. Through Think & Do Tanks, and guidance from Business Volunteers for the Arts®, you’ll have the opportunity to tackle the questions and challenges of most importance to you.

What Happens at a Think & Do Tank?
Participants engage Business Volunteers for the Arts®—skilled Chicagoans, consultants, and subject matter experts in the areas of business planning, strategic planning, board governance, marketing, communications, human resources, accounting, and more—via one-hour, in-person consulting sessions. You choose your meeting time (1-4 consulting hours, per event) and area of consulting focus. Expect to walk away with actionable advice, concrete recommendations, and the essential knowledge needed to get things done!

Every Think & Do Tank includes community area-specific activities, networking, and a welcoming space for dialogue. A&BC staff will also be on-site to offer advice, connect you with programs, provide referrals, and help you navigate additional service providers.

Get Help In:

  • Concept & Development Planning
  • Board Governance
  • Financial Management
  • Income Generation
  • Audience Development & Marketing
  • Staffing & Structure
  • Facilities
  • And more!

Who Should Attend:

  • Chicago-area artists, creatives, culture-makers, and artist-entrepreneurs;
  • Community groups, collectives, and organizations (whether you’re a nonprofit or not!)
  • South Shore-area residents, organizers, activists, and change agents!

Consultations are free the day of this event. To reserve a meeting time in advance of the event, register here. Open to all. Walk-ins welcome.

For more information, email us at

This Think & Do Tank is presented in partnership with the City of Chicago Park District’s Arts & Culture Unit (ACU).

About Think & Do Tanks
The Arts & Business Council of Chicago (A&BC) offers Think & Do Tanks as part of the 77 Communities Initiative, a realignment of resources to prioritize supporting creative enterprises in divested communities. These half-day business consulting events and resource hubs, presented in partnership with the City of Chicago Park District’s Arts & Culture Unit (ACU), serve to engage artist-entrepreneurs, creatives, and groups where they are – in community. All Think & Do Tanks are open to the public.

Learning Lab: Sexual Harassment Training @ Webinar
Mar 16 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

This Learning Lab has reached capacity. To be placed on a waitlist, please contact Braden Cleary, Director of Arts Services at or (312) 372 – 1876 ext. 105.

As of January 1, 2020, Illinois employers must provide sexual harassment training to all full-time and part-time equivalent employees on an annual basis in order to be compliant with Illinois employment law. This includes nonprofit organizations! The Arts & Business Council of Chicago has engaged the Illinois Department of Human Rights to deliver compliance training to our clients.   

Participants will engage in a series of thoughtful discussions and exercises about the different perceptions of appropriate and inappropriate conduct. Participants will learn about the two types of sexual harassment, i.e.quid pro quo and hostile work environment, as well as issues including third-party and bystander sexual harassment. The training will encourage employees to report sexual harassment and help build a culture of respect.  

Due to limited capacity, this training is only open to current clients of the Arts & Business Council of Chicago. If you have questions about your client status, please contact Braden Cleary, Director of Arts Services at or (312) 372 – 1876 ext. 105.  

Registration: Free 

Presenter: Marcio Mendoza / Human Rights Trainer / Illinois Department of Human Rights

CANCELLED: Arts & Drafts @ Osito's Tap
Mar 19 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm


Thursday, March 19, 2020, 6 – 8 p.m.
Osito’s Tap, 2553 S. Ridgeway Ave.

What’s better than making new connections, sharing ideas, and having a local beer?

Meet us at Arts & Drafts, a quarterly networking event for Chicago’s arts, cultural, creative, and business communities. Each event brings together a unique mix of people and companies, under one roof, for one night only. If you believe in the power of the arts, want to make a difference in our city, or simply feel like getting to know Chicago a little better, this mixer’s for you!

Arts & Drafts is a casual opportunity to network, expand your circle, meet up with friends, and make new ones. Do you have a question about the Arts & Business Council of Chicago, our 77 Communities Initiative, or Business Volunteers for the Arts? Swing by and get it answered!

FREE to attend and open to all. Come for the networking, stay for the reposado.

For more information, email Kenneth Franco at or call 312.372.1876 ext. 102.

Happy Hour pricing will be available between 6 – 8 p.m.

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A parking lot can be found next to Osito’s Tap (accessible from Ridgeway). Metered parking can also be found off 26th Street and Ridgeway Avenue.

Special thanks to Osito’s Tap and owner Mike Moreno.

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About Arts & Drafts

Arts & Drafts is a quarterly networking event for Chicago’s arts, cultural, creative, and business communities. Each event brings together a unique mix of people and companies, under one roof, for one night only. The goal: To encourage new partnerships and relationships.

Future Dates:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
About Osito’s Tap

Osito’s Tap, established in 2019, is a speakeasy-style bar focused on the art of craft spirts, craft beer, and craft cocktails. This community-oriented space, set inside a historic grey stone building, was once the front to an underground bookie joint and, during the early 1900’s, home to a Bohemian bar for Czech immigrants. Today’s incarnation of the bar brings in a modern Latin flair and blend of the Little Village neighborhood’s rich cultural history, giving customers a unique experience filed with exotic and rare drink offerings. Osito’s Tap is a grant recipient of the City of Chicago Neighborhood Opportunity Fund.

On BOARD® Lab: Nonprofit Finances, Budgeting, & Tax Issues @ Webinar
Apr 4 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Topics include:

  • Financial oversight; policy creation and compliance; and safeguarding of assets
    • Policies: conflict of interest, whistleblower, document retention & destruction, executive compensation, etc.
  • Achieving financial accountability
  • What occurs during an audit and when you need one
  • Managing cash flow
  • Taxes including payroll, UBIT, and changes to GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles)
  • Maintaining nonprofit status through tax compliance – filing with the IRS and other government entities

Presenter: Megan Angle, CPAManager / Porte Brown LLC

Price: $150

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Learning Lab: Capital Campaigns (Webinar) @ Webinar
Apr 22 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Acquiring land, renovating buildings, and purchasing large supplies are huge projects that take careful planning. A capital campaign is a fundraising process that aims to raise enough money to make any of these facility-related purchases. Running a successful capital campaign is a surefire way for nonprofit organizations to own space in the community they serve and create community wealth as an anchor institution.

In this session we will discuss:

  • Understanding the feasibility of reaching a high-impact fundraising goal in your capital campaign;
  • Business planning and lending processes;
  • Marketing and communications strategies to advocate for donations to your campaign;
  • And getting to the finish line! How will you know if you were successful?

Presenter: Tracy Lewis / CEO / Lewis & Associates LLC

Meet the presenter!

Registration: $65

Fill out my online form.

Lewis & Associates LLC. intentionally & purposefully supports small businesses, nonprofits and government agencies, with strategic planning community engagement and project management consultation services. Lewis & Associates is lead by Tracy Lewis, who is a Detroit native with a passion for urban spaces, sensory experiences and politics. Tracy has a Masters in Public Administration from Wayne State University and has worked in communities of color for the past 12 years on a variety of community and economic development projects.

On BOARD® Lab: Fundraising & Arts Advocacy in the COVID-19 Crisis (Webinar) @ Webinar
May 2 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
On BOARD® Lab: Fundraising & Arts Advocacy in the COVID-19 Crisis (Webinar) @ Webinar | Chicago | Illinois | United States

Topics include:

  • Funding landscape for nonprofit organizations and sector-wide trends in giving
  • The role board members play in securing funds
  • Creating a donor cultivation strategy
  • The role of board members in arts advocacy
  • Emerging issues in arts & cultural policy including The CARES Act and the government’s role in COVID-19 response

Presenters: Suzanne Griffith / Navigate Nonprofits

Jonathan VanderBrug / Deputy Director, Civic Engagement / Arts Alliance Illinois

Price: Pay-What-You-Can

All dollars earned from this On BOARD® Lab will go directly toward our efforts to creatively and accessibly provide support and lend expertise to nonprofit organizations during the COVID-19 crisis.

Fill out my online form.

Learning Lab: Rebooting Your Strategic Plan (Webinar) @ Webinar
May 11 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

The COVID-19 crisis has taken a huge toll on nonprofit arts, cultural, and creative organizations. Many have faced canceled programs, staff reductions, and financial loss; and have been forced to put their strategic plans to the side. Although we don’t know when or if our organizations will operate in the way they used to, this webinar will outline tools to help organizations reboot their strategic plans in a way that is responsive to our new environment and find pathways to move forward. 

In this webinar we will discuss: 

  • Clarifying your commitments to yourorganization, audiences, donors, and community constituents. 
  • Assessing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on your organization. 
  • Generating ideas to address the most important gaps you now face.   
  • Identifying new opportunities in your business and artistic production with the changed world we now live in. 
  • Embracing an iterative mindset to reboot your strategic plan while the world continues to evolve. 

Presenter: Cris Beilstein / Elevation Collaborative

Meet the Presenter!

Registration: Pay-What-You-Can

Even $5 makes a difference! If you have a stable income, please consider making a contribution towards this webinar. All dollars earned from this Learning Lab will go directly toward our efforts to creatively and accessibly provide support and lend expertise to nonprofit organizations during the COVID-19 crisis.

Fill out my online form.

With over two decades of business leadership experience in innovation, product development, training, and coaching, Cris is known for her ability to see new possibilities in challenging situations and for her coaching skills that bring out the best in people.  She has an open and inclusive style, and her fusion of creative curiosity and technical practicality benefits clients as she guides them from thinking big to strategic planning and action.


Business Volunteers for the Arts: Spring Orientation @ Virtual
May 16 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Business Volunteers for the Arts® (BVA) connects skilled Chicagoans with arts, cultural, and creative communities in need of assistance. Are you interested in joining our pro bono consulting program and lending your abilities? Apply!

Application Deadline: May 3, 2020. Apply here.

For more information on BVA, click here.

Orientations are offered throughout the year. Individuals wishing to join BVA must submit a volunteer application, and participate in an introductory interview, prior to attendance.