Arts Board Matching

Arts Board Matching promotes dynamic leadership in the arts community by cultivating the skills needed to be effective, engaged board members and making matches between vibrant business professionals and arts organizations in need of board members. We believe there is exceptional talent from all levels of management within corporations who can make great contributions to our arts nonprofits.

By serving on a nonprofit board of directors, professionals learn to lead and influence people, take risks, resolve conflicts, practice creative decision-making, and help strengthen the community. Business participants gain an extensive and diverse exposure to the arts industry; opportunities to network with arts organizations and other professionals across industries; and the chance to work in a visible role with other community leaders.

Already on a board but need a brush-up? We have a few spots saved for you as well! Please indicate this in your application.

The Ideal Candidate for Arts Board Matching…

– Holds a mid-level position

– Desires to serve an arts organization

– Seeks to network with a variety of individuals

Business participants are equipped for board service and success in the arts at four half-day workshops that include tours of Nashville arts institutions. After completing the workshops, participants will be invited to attend a “speed dating”-style matching event, where they can interact with representatives from local arts organizations.

abm-match-event-2016Highlights of past company participants include: Bank of Nashville; Baker Donelson; Bradley; Bridgestone; Centric Architecture; Deloitte; Earl Swensson Associates; Emma; Faulkner Mackie & Cochran; First Tennessee; JP Morgan Chase; Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain; Nashville Electric Service; Oak Tree Properties; Patterson; SunTrust; Waller; and more.

Highlights of past arts organization participants include:  Alias Chamber Ensemble; The Beat of Life; chatterbird; Nashville Ballet; Nashville Children’s Theatre; Nashville Opera; Nashville Shakespeare Festival; Nashville Symphony; Moves & Grooves; The Porch Writers’ Collective; Poverty & the Arts; Southern Word; Street Theatre Company; Tennessee Craft; Turnip Green Creative Reuse; Your Heart on Art; and more.

Check out the 2019 Arts Board Matching class dates below!*

WEEK 1: An Overview of the Arts Industry
Wednesday, October 9, 2019: 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
(followed by a reception from 4 pm – 5:30 pm for current class members, Arts Board Matching alumni, and arts leaders)

WEEK 2: Governance & Advocacy
Wednesday, October 16, 2019: 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

WEEK 3: Legal & Financial Responsibilities
Wednesday, October 23, 2019: 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

WEEK 4: Fundraising & Strategy
Wednesday, October 30, 2019: 1:30 – 4:00 pm

Wednesday, November 6, 2019: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

*dates or times for these sessions are subject to change

For Business Professionals: Applications for the 2019 class will open in late July. To nominate yourself or a colleague for this year’s class, please email The program fee is $750 (most participants’ companies/organizations are willing to pay this fee, but some pay it themselves).

For Arts Organizations: Interested in being matched with a business participant? The applications to be matched will open early fall 2019. If you have any questions about the program, the Match Event, or would like to participate in the 2019 event, please reach out to us at All organizations selected for the Match Event must become, or already be, members of the Arts & Business Council. Keep in mind, not every organization may be able to be paired with a board candidate. 

“Street Theatre Company has been fortunate enough to have participated in two Speed Dating sessions with the Arts Board Matching program and with great success. The two board members who joined our organization thanks to the program are dedicated and committed to the organization, have skill sets that were very much needed on our board, and have a great understanding of what it means to be an active board member.   We are grateful for this program!” – Cathy Street, Street Theatre Company

“The panel with executive directors of arts organizations at the first workshop was great! The discussion offered the most useful information about the arts community and our future role as board members.” – Rocky Arnold, Earl Swensson Associates