Arts Boards

September 8, 2021

I’ve recently contributed some comments about Arts Boards to an article in Arts Hub:

When asked by the article’s author what my top criteria were for Arts Board members, this was the list I gave her:

The key attributes I’d look for:

  • Emotional intelligence – in order to work effectively with other board members and management
  • Time – the capacity and willingness to be available for more than just going to Board meetings
  • Skills – some form of skill or knowledge that’s going to be particularly useful for the company
  • Fiscal & strategic understanding – need to be able to read financial statements and to be able to judge whether an organisation is achieving its mission
  • Financial capacity – even if it’s just a modest donation, Board members should be willing to financially support their companies
  • Passion – in the form of a genuine interest in the art that’s being made
  • Communication skills – particularly the capacity to listen.

And in putting this mix together, the Board/company needs to consider:

  • Diversity – ensuring that there are a range of different types of people e.g. gender, ethnicity, age

While everyone is clear about the importance of Boards – to provide governance and leadership and financial support – the impact of dysfunctional boards and board members on the mental health of management and the effectiveness of companies is often not acknowledged.

Finding a good Board member is essential for the wellbeing of all concerned.