November 29, 2023 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

At the Arts & Business Council of Chicago, we are creating a world where creativity is universally valued as a resource with limitless potential for social and economic impact. We are an arts service organization focused on serving Chicago’s cultural workers and enterprises through consulting, programming, and mentorship to ensure community vitality and an equitable creative economy. 

One of the ways in which we fulfill our mission is through On BOARD®, the Arts & Business Council of Chicago’s unique board governance and leadership training program. Throughout six sessions we prepare individuals who are ready to engage as active board members of arts, cultural, and creative nonprofit organizations to successfully understand and own their role as board members.  

On BOARD®: Board Cultivation. Actionable Insights on Board Recruitment, Engagement, and Assessment 

A superb board member brings a combination of time, treasure, and talent to an organization. So why do we continue to evaluate and prospect board members strictly on their treasure ‘capacity’? If a board of directors is to reflect the community it serves, the sector must consider more equitable qualifications.   

Arts & Business Council of Chicago (A&BC) Executive Director Kristin Larsen will present her innovative, point-based, planning and assessment model to engage boards of directors. Larsen will guide you through using game theory and a points-based evaluation system to reduce anxiety around giving capacities and create an equitable board of directors that is welcoming to groups that have been historically marginalized.  

In practice, Larsen has seen this fresh accountability system increase committee participation, mobilize current board members to prospect new members and donors and ignite a sense of self-governance that reduces stress and time for the Executive Director. You’ll leave this lab with an action plan to define the entire scope of what your board of directors can bring to the organization and design your own point-based assessment model that’s not all about the give/get.  

We encouraged Executive Directors, Artistic Directors (directly interfacing with board of directors), Board Presidents, and Chairs of Board Governance committees to participate in this session.

Learning objectives  

  1. Attendees will understand how to translate their board’s Roles & Responsibilities into supporting the organization’s annual operating and work plans  
  2. Attendees will understand how to use this tool to ease board recruitment practices  
  3. Attendees will gain skills in motivating current board members to contribute to prospecting and communicating within their own networks  
  4. Attendees will understand how to utilize this tool to increase committee participation and motivate self-governance, reducing their stress and time in board management  
  5. Attendees will understand how to use this tool to increase board attendance at special events and fundraisers; also motivate board members to bring new guests to special events and fundraisers  
  6. Attendees will gain knowledge of how this tool can create board equity (socioeconomic, gender, race, access, etc.)  
  7. Attendees will expand the tenure of their board members using this tool as it presents a visible and tangible representation of a board member’s contributions 


Content Expert: Kristin Larsen, Executive Director at the Arts & Business Council of Chicago.

Kristin rejoined the Arts & Business Council of Chicago in 2017 after serving as Director of Programs in the early aughts. Prior to returning to A&BC, Kristin was Executive Director of Stage 773 (2013-2017), a performance venue in Lakeview, Executive Director of Remy Bumppo Theater Company (2002-2012), and a business representative with Actors’ Equity Association (1995-2000) after many years of being an Equity Stage Manager.

Kristin has her BFA in production management from The Theatre School at DePaul University and her MA in facilitating organizational effectiveness in the arts from DePaul University’s School for New Learning. Kristin serves on the Americans for the Arts Private Sector Council, The Entertainment Fund’s Central Region Advisory Council, and volunteers with DePaul’s Alumni Sharing Knowledge program and the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

Price: $50

Session Duration: 90 minutes