On BOARD 2019-05-23T10:48:38-05:00


On BOARD is the Arts & Business Council of Chicago’s unique board training and matching program. We equip you with the knowledge, strategies, and tools to effectively serve on the board of directors of a nonprofit arts and cultural organization.

Since 1999, more than 300 individuals have joined Chicago-area nonprofit boards through On BOARD. Participants learn about the roles and responsibilities of board members and how to be effective ambassadors for the organization they join.

Through the On BOARD program, you can expect to:

  • Take part in professional leadership development opportunities
  • Learn about how an artistic company operates
  • Learn to achieve strong results with limited resources
  • Join a dynamic network of business and cultural professionals
  • Expand your skillset including: strategy, influence management, communications, negotiation, operations and creativity!
  • Make a difference in the community

You’ll attend four training classes to learn the fundamentals of board service including nonprofit finance, legal responsibilities, tax issues, and fundraising. You will also attend the Meet the Boards networking event where you’ll meet participating arts and cultural organizations, who you’ll get to know over the course of the program. You’re encouraged to attend performances, events, and programming to help you decide which organization’s mission most resonates with you.

Our Program Director Noemi Garcia is here to be your guide as you navigate the curated list of participating organizations and identify the best fit based on your interests and skills.

Some of the expertise that we look for in On BOARD candidates include, but are not limited to, strategy, finance, marketing, operations, organizational change, communications, management consulting, and nonprofit management. Candidates come to us with a range of backgrounds and experiences.

Program Sessions

  • Winter 2019 session runs February – May.
  • Fall 2019 session runs September – January.
    • Deadline to apply is Aug 16 (Early bird Jul 26)

Apply Today

Ready to apply to the On BOARD program?

Apply now!

Once you submit your application, Program Director Noemi Garcia will reach out to schedule a quick call or in-person meeting to discuss the program and learn more about your interests. 

Program Tuition

Tuition for the program is $995 (a payment plan is available). Included are all training classes as well as tickets to a variety of programs and performances provided by the participating organizations.

We offer $50 early bird discounts (see Program Sessions for deadlines) and partial scholarships to individuals who work in higher education or the nonprofit industry.

Class Schedule

Fall Session:

  • Sat, Sept 14 – Arts Organization Structures & Board Responsibilities
  • Wed, Sept 25 – Meet the Boards networking event
  • Sat, Oct 19 – Nonprofit Finances, Budgeting, & Tax Issues
  • Sat, Nov 16 – Legal & Fiduciary Responsibilities; Non-governing Boards
  • Sat, Dec 7 – Fundraising Landscape


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