Understanding the Legal and Ethical Considerations for Arts Nonprofit Founders, Board Members, and Administrators

Part 1: Legal & Ethical Considerations of Founding an Arts Nonprofit

  • December 12, 9–10:30 a.m.
  • Instructor: Alandis Brassel, The Brassel Firm

In the first half of the seminar, the instructor will provide insights on the legal and ethical considerations of founding an arts nonprofit as well as discuss alternative avenues like fiscal sponsorship as well as pro bono resources available through programs such as the Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts. Attendees will learn the overall process required to establish a legal entity, specific steps that must be taken, documents and materials you’ll need to apply for tax-exempt status, and what the legal requirements are to create and maintain a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Part 2: Fiduciary, Financial, and Ethical Responsibilities of Leading an Arts Nonprofit

  • December 12, 10:30 a.m. to Noon
  • Instructor: William Cheek III, Waller

In the second half of the seminar, the instructor will provide insights on the fiduciary, financial, and ethical responsibilities of leading an arts nonprofit, focusing on the responsibilities of directors and administrators, including governance, management, oversight, insurance, 501(c)3 compliance, and more. Attendees will learn the ethical requirements of board service and administration, the importance of internal controls, and best practices to understand and maintain the financial health and leadership of a successful 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

This course has been approved by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education for a maximum of three (3) hours of dual credit.

Instructor bios:

Alandis Brassel

Alandis is the Principal Attorney at The Brassel Firm, PLLC, a boutique law firm for entertainers, artists, influencers and entrepreneurs. Prior to establishing The Brassel Firm, he worked in the public and nonprofit sectors. Immediately after law school, he worked as Counsel for U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), where he advised the Congressman on intellectual property and entertainment industry policy, handled complex casework and represented Cooper in the community. Upon completing his tenure with Cooper’s office, Alandis was the Program Director and Supervising Attorney at the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville, where he managed the organization’s legal and programs. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he owned and operated Go Forth Music, a company that provided project management and audio engineering services to clients such as Bloomberg Television, Warner Music Group, Island Def Jam and Timbaland.

Alandis is also Assistant Professor of Music Business at the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, where he is the area leader of the Music Business degree program.

Will Cheek III

Will is a trusted legal adviser to startup businesses and emerging companies in a wide range of industries. Serving as “on-call general counsel,” he has played a critical role in the growth and success of mom-and-pop and closely held companies, ranging from Nashville-based Gigi’s Cupcakes, the largest cupcake chain in the country, to Kraft CPAs, one of Tennessee’s largest independent accounting firms.

Will has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America for Nonprofit / Charities Law from 2013-2021. Will co-founded the legal clinic at the Belmont University Center for Entrepreneurship and has taught business formation and contracts to aspiring collegiate entrepreneurs. Will is a Founding Angel Partner for the Entrepreneur Center, Nashville’s non-profit incubator for entrepreneurs.

One of Will’s passions is giving back to the Nashville non-profit community. He has chaired several local nonprofit boards, serves as an advocate for local arts and actively supports the election of progressive candidates to public office.