On BOARD® is the Arts & Business Council of Chicago’s unique board governance and leadership training program that prepares individuals who are ready to engage as active board members of arts, cultural, and creative nonprofit organizations.

We recruit passionate, skilled Chicagoans who want to make a difference in their community. They attend training that covers the major aspects of board service and learn how to be effective ambassadors. Individuals who successfully complete the full program demonstrate an understanding and commitment to upholding high standards of nonprofit board governance.  

As a participant you can expect to:

  • Take part in leadership development training (On BOARD® Labs); 
  • Expand and strengthen your skillset to include strategy, influence, negotiation, conflict resolution, and creative decision-making; 
  • Join a dynamic network of arts, cultural, creative, and business leaders; 
  • Immerse yourself in Chicago’s neighborhoods and better understand the issues affecting our communities; and 
  • Learn how to champion to our city’s creative economy.
Who Should Participate?

Participants come from range of backgrounds and many vocational, academic, and lived experiences. Join On BOARD® if you are an:

  • Individual seeking a volunteer, nonprofit board position; 
  • Experienced nonprofit board leader; or 
  • A board member anticipating your first officer position.
How It Works

On BOARD® is available as a full program (six On BOARD® Labs) or individual training sessions that can be taken live or at your own paceChoose the option the works best for you!

Fall 2020 Tuition

Full Tuition: $200 – Purchase a class pack and save!
Individual Tuition: $35


  • Feb 8 – Arts Organization Structures & Board Responsibilities
  • Mar 7 – Fiduciary Responsibilities of a Board Member
  • Apr 4 – Nonprofit Finances, Budgeting, & Tax Issues
  • May 2– Fundraising & Arts Advocacy


  • Sept 14 – Arts Organization Structures & Board Responsibilities
  • Sept 28 – Legal & Fiduciary Responsibilities of Board Members
  • Oct 12 – Nonprofit Board Committee Structures & Strategic Planning
  • Oct 26 – Nonprofit Finances, Budgeting & Tax Issues
  • Nov 9 – Nonprofit Fundraising
  • Nov 23 – Arts Advocacy for Nonprofit Board Members

For more information, email Braden Cleary at bcleary@artsbiz-chicago.org or call 312.372.1876 ext. 105.

Cancellation Policy

The Arts & Business Council of Chicago (A&BC) reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule any training for which registrants will receive a full refund. Full refunds may be issued if a cancellation request is made within 5 business days of purchase date. No refunds are issued for cancellations within 72 hours of the training. No refunds will be issued for “no shows.” 

Individual Trainings

In the event of a registered individual’s cancellation for individual trainings, A&BC will retain an administrative fee of 30% of the cost of the training. 

Full Program

If you cannot attend a training, you may be issued a credit equal to the value of the registration fee to be used towards a future board training. The credit must be used within one year of purchase or the credit is forfeited. This allows A&BC to plan for event capacity and keep costs affordable.