I am usually not fond of the much overused phrase "think out of the box" but this is indeed the phrase that first came to mind when I came upon the following Louisville Insider article that discusses a new Center for Nonprofit Excellence program to prepare artists to sit on nonprofit boards.
The article begins with noting that artists and the prospective boards each have something to gain: artists with connections they might not otherwise have access to and the boards, thinking they might not otherwise have access to.
Of course, in considering this, one might think there to be a variety of folks who could provide similar value and are otherwise left out of the nonprofit board service opportunity and in turn, leave boards out of the benefits. For instance, there is a huge number of sol practitioner auto mechanics who are quite disciplined in their craft (bringing a different approach to problem analysis) and have their own networks introducing a new audience to a given nonprofit. I know a guy who runs a printing company who's quite creative, committed and a net-worker par excellence and again, a trade not one might think of in the first line of board prospects.
Yes, this idea opens-up many avenues that could turn for the positive, the composition of nonprofit boards.
NEWS | Center for Nonprofit Excellence, IDEAS
SEPTEMBER 28, 2015 4:50 PM
Creative Catalyst Program aims to train artists to serve on nonprofit boards
IDEAS and the Center for Nonprofit Excellence have partnered to create a new program that would train artists to serve on non-arts related boards of directors. The Creative Catalyst Program will train artists and assist in placing them on the boards of philanthropic organizations.
There are a number of benefits to having artists serve on boards, particularly when it comes to creative thinking.
There are strong benefits to the artists as well. Boards often consist largely of leaders in the business world, and an artist could benefit from those connections. It also takes them out of their community and places them into another, enabling them to learn new skills.
According to the website for the CCP, “The goal is to integrate great creative minds into comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of Louisville.”
The CCP will begin by training six artists and pairing them with six boards.
“As an artist-led organization focused on corporate and civic innovation, we understand the power of focusing creative minds on solving important problems,” explained IDEAS co-founder Theo Edmonds. “When properly trained and supported, artists are fantastic at helping organizations advance missions and at creating shared value between organizations and communities.”
Nonprofits and artists interested in participating should submit their information through the Creative Catalyst Program page.
Melissa Chipman is the Assignments Editor at Insider Louisville. She was born and raised in New England, but she's a Southerner by choice who relocated to Louisville from New Orleans 10 months after Hurricane Katrina. In addition to working for Insider Louisville, she has reported for The Louisville Paper, WFPL ...